Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is causing a ruckus in the science world. He has done work at Cambridge University as well as Harvard, and is no doubt a smart man. So why has he caused such an uproar within the scientific community and with skeptics?
Morphic resonance and causative formation. I'll translate for you.
Fields, like magnetic fields, are regions of influence that extend beyond matter. They are physical, but not material. Based on fields, a morphogenetic field guides the form of organisms and other energy components. For example, if a section of a growing embryo is removed, the embryo will regenerate the section. The field is holistic. If a magnet is cut in half, each half is a whole, separate magnet.
Now enter Dr. Sheldrake.
Sheldrake takes these morphic fields and argues that the field are effected by past morphic fields and can be shaped. Thus, a morphic field has an effect on all subsequent fields. The more a field has been replicated, the more easily it is repeated in the future. The amazing part of this is that not only do systems evolve, but they do so instantaneously across space and time. For example, if mice are tested again and again in mazes in Canada, completely different mice in Britain will run the same mazes faster than the original mice in Canada. An potential modern example could be the use of computers and technology. Younger and younger children are quicker and much more proficient at using computers than their parents and even older siblings. Related to morphic resonance, once can expect that further generations will continue the pattern of faster development with technology.
Seems hard to believe, right?
However, Dr. Sheldrake has examined this effect with a number of topics: crystallization of materials, melting points, genetic mutations, human recognition rates of visual puzzles, and more. He sees the laws of nature not as laws, but more like habits. These habits evolve with nature itself.
Sheldrake concludes that all species, including humans, draw on a type of collective memory and contribute to it. A sort of gigantic morphic field that connects everyone. Thus, he contends that memories are actually stored in this morphic field, a type of collective. Jung would have called this the collective unconscious. Unlike Jung, Sheldrake feels that this collective extends through other parts of nature.
This theory contains a number of implications. Is this more evidence that humankind and other species are really connected to each other in a large interweb of evolution? If past lives are real, could we tap into those memories? Would telepathy be possible? Does this construct support rituals being more effective? Sheldrake has his critics, but research in this field is relatively new.
Interested in learning more?