Rupert Sheldrake

This is a copy of an email I just sent to Cecil. I’m posting it here as well because I have no idea how likely (I figure; pretty unlikely) it is that Cecil will get back to me.

What's the deal with Rupert Sheldrake? He wrote the introduction to one of my college textbooks (a book on Thomas Aquinas, I think.) I asked who he was and my professor proceeded to rattle off some really odd stuff about 'morphogenic fields.'

Apparently -and I've had a hard time finding out more about this- Sheldrake believes that what we know and have learned influences what others know and how they learn, even if we don't interact with them. He proposes something called a Morphogenic Field. I don't know what this is, or what it does, but I recall something about experiments with pigeons and crossword puzzles (not pigeons doing crossword puzzles, we're talking about two different experiments here) that led to some really strange conclusions on his part.

He seems to think we could, for instance, discern what information alien cultures have developed by monitoring which ideas *we* have an easy time learning. Please god. . .er, rather, Cecil, this has got to be hokum. Part of me really wants to keep an open mind, but a big chunk of me thinks the universe can't work this way.

Rupert Sheldrake Online

Salon article about Sheldrake

I think I’ll go with the latter view…

I haven’t actually read any of his work, but I remember seeing him in a delightful tv-program (Dutch, though the interviewer Wim Somethingorother spoke English). It was kind of a talk show with Sheldrake and other scientists (many of them Nobelists, Freeman Dyson and Oliver Sacks come to mind) debating about science. I think the name was “A Glorious Accident”?

Sheldrake posed only one question: “What if sun could think?” The others just watched him agog…


For once you must try to face the facts: Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.

O-kay… Lets fix those links:

Sheldrake Online

Rupert Sheldrake: The delightful crackpot


For once you must try to face the facts: Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.