Paul LeMay

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Paul LeMay
Posted about 1 year ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
I am an independent science writer based in Vancouver, B.C. While I specialize in the behavioral sciences, I also have a pretty respectable informed layman's grasp of physics and astronomy, having studied these in university, and keeping abreast of the subject in my leisure reading. I first saw Rupert Sheldrake speak at a conference in Montreal in 2004, and then a second time here in Vancouver a couple of years ago. I have also read a few of his books. While it is true that more research must be done to substantiate some of his claims, particularly in the area of telepathy, good evidence is building from people like emeritus social psychologist Daryl Bem from Cornell, and intriguing new evidence from quantum biology, though admittedly, evidence that is still early in the game around quantum smell and vision, although quantum photosynthesis appears to be here to stay. But what fascinates me more, and I have written about it in a book that I've co-authored with a psychiatrist on the subject of the victimization process (a project that has taken seven years to complete, and which is now in final editing), is that science, or should I say scientists, are prone, as are all humans, to experiencing cognitive dissonance when new challenging ideas come along. Sheldrake's morphic resonance theory certainly fits that category. But it is a theory, and as such, it deserves the opportunity to find its legs if only as a placeholder theory until some better theory for explaining overall body plans can come along. Epigenetics may one day do that, but not yet. I am happy to see that TED decided to re-post his talk, even if it was with a cautionary note. I am most familiar with his case, and the manner in which he was excommunicated by Nature Magazine from the Church of Science. Ever since that inglorious incident, his reputation as a scientist has yet to fully recover. In this sense, his is a cautionary tale of what can happen to scientists who dare to push the envelope, even today.