The Rebirth of Nature

Rupert Sheldrake, Author Bantam Books $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07105-4
Penicillin crystallizes the way it does, not because of timeless mathematical laws, but because it ``crystallized that way before . . . following habits established through repetition,'' claims British biochemist Sheldrake. His controversial theory of ``morphic resonance'' holds that self-organizing systems--molecules, crystals, cells, organisms, societies--respond to invisible regions of influence. He ransacks ideas from Greek animism to pagan polytheism to Darwin's embrace of the concept of Mother Nature as a vast, spontaneous creative process as counterweight to classical physics, which sees the world as a cause-and-effect machine. Sheldrake believes that the mechanistic outlook, coupled with the technological conquest of nature, is killing humankind and the planet. Extending the ideas he advanced in The Presence of the Past , he boldly argues that even the laws of nature may themselves be evolving, and that God might be ``a living, evolutionary cosmos.'' This frontal asault on conventional science embodies a radical rethinking of humanity's place in the scheme of things. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-553-35157-6
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-89281-510-4
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