How do cats know when it's time to go to the vet, even before the cat carrier comes out? How do dogs know when their owners are returning home at unexpected times? How can horses find their way back to the stable over completely unfamiliar terrain?
With a scientist's mind and an animal lover's compassion, world-renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake presents a groundbreaking exploration of animal behavior that will profoundly change the way we think about animals -- and ourselves. After five years of extensive research involving thousands of people who have pets and work with animals, Dr. Sheldrake proves conclusively what many pet owners already know: there is a strong connection between humans and animals that defies present-day scientific understanding. This remarkable book deserves a place next to the most beloved and valuable books on animals, including When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Hidden Life of Dogs.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
It's rare for a book's title to say so clearly what the book is about. In the case of Rupert Sheldrake's latest work, the controversial content is right on the front cover. Pet owners will see it and smile in recognition; skeptical scientists will shake their heads and mutter about "maverick scholars." We all know of cases of dogs (and cats) who know when their owners are coming home, who go to wait at the door or window 10 minutes or more before their human arrives. Conditioned by the tight rigor of contemporary scientific thinking, we either look for rational explanations or we file the phenomenon away in our minds as "unexplained" and are careful not to talk about it with our scientist friends.
Sheldrake has shown in the past that he is not afraid to be labeled a rebel, thanks to his theory of morphic resonance, which suggests the following:
Natural systems, or morphic units, at all levels of complexity are animated, organized, and coordinated by morphic fields, which contain an inherent memory. Natural systems inherit this collective memory from all previous things of their kind by a process called morphic resonance, with the result that patterns of development and behavior become increasingly habitual through repetition.
Sheldrake believes that the "telepathy" between pets and humans, or between flocks of birds or schools of fish that move as a single organism, can be explained this theory. Sheldrake is less persuaded by anecdotes that suggest animal clairvoyance--warning of something in the near future--but refuses to disallow the possibility.
He accepts that the case histories he details so thoroughly in this book are anecdotal, but that makes them no less real; and as a scientist himself he sets up experimental conditions for studying this previously ignored phenomenon that show beyond any doubt that the phenomenon exists. He castigates traditional scientists for their refusal to countenance anything that doesn't fit in with their existing paradigms (or prejudices) and challenges them to come up with some more "acceptable" explanation--but none is forthcoming.
This fascinating book is a first attempt at a scientific investigation into a puzzling but quite common occurrence. One hopes that other scientists will follow Sheldrake's brave lead. --David V. BarrettFrom Kirkus Reviews:
An open-minded inquiry into animals' precognitive capabilities from Sheldrake (Seven Experiments That Could Change the World, 1995), attentive to the evidence and thoroughly investigative, conducted in the belief that science can be fun and rigorous, inquisitive as well as skeptical. Do animals possess telepathy? What lies behind their uncanny sense of direction? What is it chickens know that the scientists studying earthquakes do not? Sheldrake, a British biochemnist, has gathered a vast number of case histories documenting animals, from dogs and cats to horses and parakeets, that can tell when their owners are coming home, animals that anticipate epileptic seizures and air raids, cats that can tell who is on the phone, animals that find their human families after being separated by huge distances, not to mention the whole fabulous act known as migration. By way of explanation, Sheldrake proposes the possibility of what he calls morphic fields, self-organizing regions of influence, invisible blueprints as it were, with both spatial and temporal aspects, that interconnect and organize a system. Within the elasticity of the morphic field, ``channels of telepathic communication'' operate over the vastness of spacethe type of connectedness witnessed in quantum entanglement theoryand the fields, large and small, specific and nonlocal, possess a collective memory, an instinct for habitual patterns shaped through experience. Sheldrake situates all this within ideas currently entertained by physicists and cosmologists and migration theorists and others, so that the word preposterous never seems applicable. What would be preposterous is trying to explain away the incidence of animal prescience and precognition as irrelevant and the product of wishful thinking, or to dismiss the potential that animals may have to forewarn events from medical crises to seismic upheavals, examples of which abound in these pages and not infrequently flabbergast. Sheldrake is a pleasure not just because he roams way beyond the mechanistic theory of nature, but because he appreciates worthy new questions as well as answers, one such being the time-honored Why? (b&w photos and drawings, not seen) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Crown Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091801508
Book Description Crown Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91801508
Book Description Crown Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0091801508