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Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation [Paperback]

Rupert Sheldrake
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 9, 2009 1594773173 978-1594773174 4th Edition, Revised and Expanded Edition of A New Science of Life
New updated and expanded edition of the groundbreaking book that ignited a firestorm in the scientific world with its radical approach to evolution

• Explains how past forms and behaviors of organisms determine those of similar organisms in the present through morphic resonance

• Reveals the nonmaterial connections that allow direct communication across time and space

When A New Science of Life was first published the British journal Nature called it “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” The book called into question the prevailing mechanistic theory of life when its author, Rupert Sheldrake, a former research fellow of the Royal Society, proposed that morphogenetic fields are responsible for the characteristic form and organization of systems in biology, chemistry, and physics--and that they have measurable physical effects. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than immutable laws, offering a new understanding of life and consciousness.

In the years since its first publication, Sheldrake has continued his research to demonstrate that the past forms and behavior of organisms influence present organisms through direct immaterial connections across time and space. This can explain why new chemicals become easier to crystallize all over the world the more often their crystals have already formed, and why when laboratory rats have learned how to navigate a maze in one place, rats elsewhere appear to learn it more easily. With more than two decades of new research and data, Rupert Sheldrake makes an even stronger case for the validity of the theory of formative causation that can radically transform how we see our world and our future.

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Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation + Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery + The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Memory of Nature
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Sheldrake is an excellent scientist; the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the world in sonnets.” (New Scientist)

“Well written, provocative and entertaining . . . Improbable? Yes, but so was Galileo.” (Biologist)

“Books of this importance and elegance come along rarely. Those who read this new edition of A New Science of Life may do so with the satisfaction of seeing science history in the making.” (Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Recovering the Soul and Reinventing Medicine)

“For decades, Rupert Sheldrake has been at the leading edge of highly innovative and controversial ideas about the organization of biological systems. Morphic Resonance poses a serious challenge to traditionalists and is a most welcome book about how we see the world and how we should head off into the future.” (Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals)

Morphic Resonance is destined to become one of the landmarks in the history of biology. It is rare to find so profound a book so lucidly written.” (Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing t)

Morphic Resonance presents a revolutionary information-field understanding of the nature and evolution of life. Acquaintance with it is an essential part of new-paradigm scientific literacy.” (Ervin Laszlo, author of Science and the Akashic Field)

“Rupert Sheldrake is one of the most innovative and visionary scientists of our times. Rupert will be both vilified and praised for his theory of morphic resonance. Whatever your personal opinion of his work, he will not be ignored. In my opinion, his contributions will be recognized one day on the same level as those of Newton and Darwin.” (Deepak Chopra, author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul)

"Though his theory has much to say about the nature of evolution and the biological sciences, it also has a lot to say about consciousness, dreams, mental imagery and what I might consider ordinary and extraordinary dream/hypnotic experiences." (Baywood Reprints, Vol. 28, No. 3, Aug 2009)

" . . . will appeal to any interested in new science, biology, and blends of new age thought." (The Midwest Book Review, Vol. 4, No. 12, Dec 2009)

" . . . Sheldrake has steadily developed into one of the world's leading parapsychologists, conducting groundbreaking research in areas where well-behaved scientists fear to tread." (EnlightenNext: The Magazine for Evolutionaries, Issue 46, Spring/Summer 2010)

"Sheldrake's theories continue to gain verification, and this book is particularly important because its implications affect the way we view the natural world, as well as ourselves, as one small part of it. Morphic Resonance is therefore strongly recommended to anyone interested in understanding current thought about what may lie behind the formation of all natural systems." (New Age Retailer, March 2010)

From the Back Cover

NEW SCIENCE / BIOLOGY

“Books of this importance and elegance come along rarely. Those who read this new edition of A New Science of Life may do so with the satisfaction of seeing science history in the making.”
--Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Recovering the Soul and Reinventing Medicine

“For decades, Rupert Sheldrake has been at the leading edge of highly innovative and controversial ideas about the organization of biological systems. Morphic Resonance poses a serious challenge to traditionalists and is a most welcome book about how we see the world and how we should head off into the future.”
--Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

Morphic Resonance is destined to become one of the landmarks in the history of biology. It is rare to find so profound a book so lucidly written.”
--Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., cell biologist and bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles

When A New Science of Life was first published the British journal Nature called it “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” The book called into question the prevailing mechanistic theory of life when its author, Rupert Sheldrake, a former research fellow of the Royal Society, proposed that morphogenetic fields are responsible for the characteristic form and organization of systems in biology, chemistry, and physics--and that they have measurable physical effects. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than immutable laws, offering a new understanding of life and consciousness.

In the years since its first publication, Sheldrake has continued his research to demonstrate that the past forms and behavior of organisms influence present organisms through direct immaterial connections across time and space. This can explain why new chemicals become easier to crystallize all over the world the more often their crystals have already formed, and why when laboratory rats have learned how to navigate a maze in one place, rats elsewhere appear to learn it more easily. With more than two decades of new research and data, Rupert Sheldrake makes an even stronger case for the validity of the theory of formative causation that can radically transform how we see our world and our future.

RUPERT SHELDRAKE, Ph.D., is a former research fellow of the Royal Society and former director of studies in biochemistry and cell biology at Clare College, Cambridge University. He is the author of more than 80 technical papers and articles appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals and 10 books, including The Presence of the Past, The Rebirth of Nature, and Seven Experiments That Could Change the World.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; 4th Edition, Revised and Expanded Edition of A New Science of Life edition (September 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594773173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594773174
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. He was among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013, as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich, Switzerland's leading think tank. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize (1963). He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow (1963-64), before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1967). He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge (1967-73), where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society (1970-73), he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.

From 1968 to 1969, as a Royal Society Leverhulme Scholar, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life, published in 1981 (new edition 2009).

Since 1981, he has continued research on developmental and cell biology. He has also investigated unexplained aspects of animal behaviour, including how pigeons find their way home, the telepathic abilities of dogs, cats and other animals, and the apparent abilities of animals to anticipate earthquakes and tsunamis. He subsequently studied similar phenomena in people, including the sense of being stared at, telepathy between mothers and babies, telepathy in connection with telephone calls, and premonitions. Although some of these areas overlap the field of parapsychology, he approaches them as a biologist, and bases his research on natural history and experiments under natural conditions, as opposed to laboratory studies. His research on these subjects is summarized in his books Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1994, second edition 2002), Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (1999, new edition 2011) and The Sense of Being Stared At (2003, new edition 2012).

In his most recent book (2012), called The Science Delusion in the UK and Science Set Free in the US, he examines the ten dogmas of modern science, and shows how they can be turned into questions that open up new vistas of scientific possibility. This book received the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network.

In 2000, he was the Steinbach Scholar in Residence at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut, and a Fellow of Schumacher College in Devon, England.

He lives in London with his wife Jill Purce. They have two sons, Merlin, a graduate student in Plant Sciences at Cambridge University and a research fellow at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Cosmo, a musician.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
151 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Edition of a Wonderful Dogma Buster November 13, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When the first edition of this book came out in 1981 with the title "A New Science of Life," I well remember getting one of the first copies and being electrified by the ideas and the data to support them. There was also the guilty pleasure of reading a book that the editor of the esteemed journal Nature had declared, "This infuriating tract... is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years."

In the intervening years Rupert Sheldrake has worked tirelessly to either prove or disprove his hypotheses, published many peer-reviewed papers as well as several more books on this and related topics. I have also had the pleasure of meeting him several times and discussing his ideas with him in great detail. There are three things that have always come across: his intelligence, his integrity and his humility.

It is sad that when that Nature editor - Sir John Maddox - passed away last year, a number of commentators took the opportunity to renew their attacks on Sheldrake's work. Many of those attackers have clearly not examined the research - some even admitted it! - neither were they aware of the fact that Rupert had provided Sir John with detailed scientific responses to his critique of a later book, "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals," but never received a response. So most students of biology and behavior have probably never even heard about this work, and many online sites simply dismiss the notion of "morphic resonance" as pseudoscience.

This is the third edition of the book that started all the controversy.

So what is this book about, and why does elicit such emotional - and unscientific - responses?
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119 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charge of the ENLIGHTENED Brigade !!! October 22, 2009
Format:Paperback
Length: 8:43 Mins
As the late American Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, once stated in a speech he delivered in South Africa decades ago, "Moral Courage" is the willingness to incur the backlash of your own peer group for the sake of the truth as you see it.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated such Moral Courage for decades, himself - standing up under the poorly substantiated ridicule of the scientific community for his daring theories of Formative Causation, Morphogenetic Fields, and Morphic Resonance, which contradict the unproven (but generally accepted in mainstream scientific circles) material reductionist theories of a random, chaotic and mindless universe giving birth to an equally random and mindless process of abiogenesis and evolution.

This book is the up-to-date compilation of his more than 30 years of research and experimentation. It will surprise, challenge and enlighten you.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ingenious hypothesis by an ingenious mind! November 29, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphic fields and morphic resonance cannot be explained by anyone better than Sheldrake himself. What I love about Rupert Sheldrake (besides his simple yet elegant hypothesis) is that he is willing to find ways to test his ideas. In this book, he has an appendix where he brilliantly puts forth ways of testing for the existence of morphic resonance.

Whether Sheldrake's hypothesis is correct or not, future experiments will tell (so far findings seem to favor his hypothesis). One thing is certain: his ideas are refreshingly original. Reading this book will take you on a journey into the mind of one of the greatest and original thinkers of our time.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
MORPHIC RESONANCE: THE NATURE OF FORMATIVE CAUSATION appears in a newly revised, expanded edition of A NEW SCIENCE OF LIFE, and will appeal to any interested in new science, biology and blends of new age thought. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than laws. His ongoing research results in a vastly revamped title perfect for any collections with older editions.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Future of Science August 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Essential reading if you have been following articles and interviews with Sheldrake, and want to understand his reasons for developing the theory of Morphic Resonance in depth. OK, it's a bit of a dense read but the main points made are startling. Sheldrake may not have everything right, but he is really onto something. Claims that Sheldrake does not understand the science he discusses are bogus, he is a scientist himself with enough background to know what he is talking about and the guts to point out the weird inconsistencies in science and offer rational, scientific explanation for them. Get to know the theory now, because your kids...or maybe grand kids...will be studying it in their high school textbooks!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Money and Time June 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sheldrake's ideas in this book are not new. In short, the book is a modernization of Plato's forms, although Sheldrake probably wouldn't agree with this interpretation. What Sheldrake does is take old ideas and put them into terms modern readers and researchers can relate to more readily. That's what I gathered from the book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book December 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had seen an editorial review of the first edition of this book in a science journal (not naming) years ago and made a mental note to get it when I had some time. I ran across a reference to it again in The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto and yes, as the five stars say, I do love it (or I wouldn't be writing this review on Christmas Eve).
So much of Rupert Sheldrake's work, that busy science researchers seem never to have even come across, holds valuable clues to guide or initiate further research that will benefit humankind and will be marked in history as an important contribution to all of life.

Although Rupert Sheldrake is a biochemist by training, he is a many-times published author with several other books covering many areas that much of the science community didn't consider to be "proper"! He also has a current website that is easily found. The important thing about this book is that it offers workable alternative propositions for some of the things that DNA (and other broad biological science) doesn't explain; as well as innumerable things that many regular, thinking humans feel or intuit. Rupert Sheldrake also asks questions that all scientists should ask and often don't, either because of "grant fear" or for fear of being excommunicated from the domains of science that have turned themselves into followers of dogma, where questions are no longer welcome.

Interestingly, when I have discussed this book with other scientists, I have found that physicists are much more prepared to ponder the ideas openly than are the biologists or other life science professionals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheldrake at his best
Most of this book is scientific data compiled from Sheldrake's research. If and when it is given more consideration by his peers, he will attain the status he deserves. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bette Inman
5.0 out of 5 stars Readers of Carlos Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan" will...
Readers of Carlos Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan" will recognize "special consensus" as being analogous to "formative causation" and "morphic... Read more
Published 4 months ago by michael sirbola
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating way of looking at life
Dr. Sheldrake is an extraordinary scientist who dares to think outside the box and masterfully leads us to contemplate existence from a new perspective. Read more
Published 6 months ago by David MacKay
3.0 out of 5 stars Too scientific
It goes way too indepth. It is not a light read it gets way to scientic for the common reader.
Published 12 months ago by relaxrn
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Age scientific revolution begins
A New Science of Life by Rupert Sheldrake, Blond & Briggs, 1981; Paladin, 1983; 238 ff

This book was written by Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake during the time he... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dr. H. A. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars New ways of thinking
In this book, Sheldrake puts forward his ideas on what he calls morphic resonance. Like most scientists past and present, when you publish theories outside the mainstream... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Robert Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Morphic Resonance
Well I am not a scientist but this theory sure would explain many mysterious things like ESP and the ability of groups of birds and fish to change direction as one without bumping... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joe E. Perez
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a classic
This book could be simpler, and run on less. Having said that, his concepts are the kind of concepts that totally change paradigms. Read more
Published 18 months ago by CG
5.0 out of 5 stars The missing link
The missing link that is always brought in to explain a hole in the theory of evolution - but is never found. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Michael Kehl
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge
This is a comprehensive introduction to a cutting edge theory of biological understanding. Naturally it's going to ruffle some feathers in the established halls of academia, since... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Robin Coulon
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Rupert and Teilhard de Chardin "The Phenomenon of Man"?
Michel, I am thinking that Sheldrake's "morphic fields" is what Teilhard would call the "noosphere" in his book "The Divine Milieu", which I believe was written later than "The Phenomenon of Man".
Jun 21, 2011 by gluten free cook |  See all 3 posts
Rupert Sheldrake, formative causation, morphogenesis, and morphogenetic... Be the first to reply
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