Rupert Sheldrake’s 10 Dogmas that Are Holding Back Science
* Nature is mechanical
* Matter is unconscious
* The laws of nature are fixed
* The total amount of matter and energy is the same
* Nature is purposeless
* Biological heredity
* Memories are stored inside of the brain as material traces
* The mind is inside the head
* Psychic phenomena, like telepathy are impossible
* Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that works – if natural remedy or other healing practice seems to affect physical healing, this is merely due to chance or the placebo effect.
Biochemist, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake begins this fascinating talk on how scientific materialism is a kind of dogmatic religion. He begins by describing how mainstream science portrays the phenomenological world as entirely mechanistic and how it denies the existence of anything outside of the world of molecules. He explains how machinery became the founding metaphor in the sciences, in a rupture from the older European scientific model that preceded the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century.
He describes this earlier model as a kind of “Christian Animism”. It was then taught that the Earth was a living organism, that stars were alive, the heavens were alive with angelic minds and that animals had souls. In fact, the word “animal” comes from the Latin word, anima which means “animating principle” or “soul”. Everything including God was previously alive and purposeful.
He says the new scientific model removed the souls from everything outside of humanity and turned it all into “purposeless machinery” as he calls it.
Sheldrake launches into a discussion of modern cosmology and intelligent design, neither of which he supports. He believes in God but not in an intelligent, engineering Designer outside of the cosmos. He tells a humorous account about his close friendship with Martin Rees, the current Astronomer Royal in Britain and former President of the Royal Society and about how a current physics theory about quadrillions of universes was designed with the specific purpose of enabling science to “get rid of God.”
He says the debate between this theory and intelligent design wouldn’t be necessary if the laws of nature didn’t need to be fixed but if they were seen to be more like tendencies or “habits”.
Since the 1980s, Rupert Sheldrake has been bravely discussing his original thoughts, such as his hypothesis on morphic resonance (which was recently censored by TED) and this talk is a real treat.