A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation
After chemists crystallised a new chemical for the first time, it became easier and easier to crystallise in laboratories all over the world. After rats at Harvard first escaped from a new kind of water maze, successive generations learned quicker and quicker. Then rats in Melbourne, Australia learned yet faster. Rats with no trained ancestors shared in this improvement. Rupert Sheldrake sees these processes as examples of morphic resonance. Past forms and activities of organisms, he argues, influence organisms in the present through direct connections across time and space.Individual plants and animals both draw upon and contribute to the collective memory of their species. Sheldrake, now Director of the Perrott-Warwick Project supported by Trinity College, Cambridge, reinterprets the regularities of nature as being more like habits than immutable laws. Described as 'the best candidate for burning there has been for many years' by Nature on first publication, this updated edition will raise hackles and inspire curiosity in equal measure.
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PREFACE TO THE 2009 EDITION
THE UNSOLVED PROBLEMS OF BIOLOGY
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acquired characteristics actually animals atoms become behavioural fields biologists biology Bohm brain cattle grids cells changes Chapter chemical chicks chreodes complex creative crystals depend discussed effect electrons energetic energy entelechy environment epigenetic inheritance evolution evolutionary example existence experiment experimental explained in terms factors final form formative causation formative field genes genetic genome higher-level hiragana human hypothesis of formative implicate order increase influence instinctive kind Lamarckian laws living organisms mechanistic theory melting points membrane metaphysical microtubules molecular molecules morphic fields morphic resonance morphic units morpho morphogenetic fields morphogenetic germs motor fields mutations natural selection nervous system normal occur organismic organismic theories participants particles particular past systems pathways patterns of behaviour phenocopies phic resonance physical plants possible predicted probability structures problem proteins quantum mechanics random rats result role sequence Sheldrake similar systems spatial species stimuli subsequent similar tion tissues Waddington whole