New Consciousness Review Winter 2016 - Page 40

AWAKENING HEALTH REVIEW & INTERVIEW Arguing Science: A Dialogue on the Future of Science and Spirit by Rupert Sheldrake and Michael Shermer D O Debating the nature of the ineffable is always a chancy proposition. In “Arguing Science” we have two scientists, respected in their fields, face off in a debate over whether there can be a spiritual dimension to science. n the side of belief in a divine source is Rupert Sheldrake, the biologist best known for his hypothesis of morphic fields and morphic resonance. On the side of materialism and evolution dictated by physical parameters alone is Michael Shermer, Scientific American’s skeptic-in-chief and well-known debunker of the paranormal. The book starts with a discussion of the scientific method and whether paranormal phenomena can be investigated in ways that would satisfy the rigorous standards acceptable to peer-reviewed scientific journals. As the dialogues progress back and forth, a middle ground of agreement emerges in which the paranormal becomes defined as natural phenomena for which science does not yet have an explanation. Sheldrake spends a lot of time quoting his books on psychic dogs who know when their masters are coming home and people who know who will be telephoning them next. I thought the whole exchange on “mental action at a distance” could have been much more persuasive on Sheldrake’s part had he gone into the extensively documented reports on near-death experiences and out of body experiences. 40 | New Consciousness Review