Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry, By Rupert Sheldrake Independent review by Colin Tudge

The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry, By Rupert Sheldrake


Science is wonderful and necessary - one of the great creations of humankind. Most importantly, it is helping us to see just how extraordinary life and the universe really are, far exceeding the unaided imagination even of the greatest poets. At its best, too, science lives up to its own mythology: a disinterested, self-effacing search after truth, carried out by people of humility in true generosity of spirit. As a fairly considerable bonus it has led us to create a wide range of "high" (science-based) technologies that have improved the lives of a great many people, and have the potential to help all humankind and our fellow creatures too.

But alas, in large measure, science and the idea of it have been seriously corrupted. That some of its high technologies are not in the general good is all too obvious – although it isn't always obvious which ones are and which ones aren't. Even more to the point, and in some ways more serious, is that science all too often becomes the enemy of what it should stand for. Although it must have rules and methods – in particular, the ideas of science must be testable – it should be open-minded. It should go where the data lead. That's what the myth says it does do – but the reality is very different.

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