Having shocked myself by saying that much scientific theory is just that – theory – and that so many people like to say that science/religion can’t be compatible (both run on a certain amount of faith), I was interested to see this book reviewed in Times Higher Education:

After Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion comes the reply. Wham bam! Rupert Sheldrake takes on the “truth-finding religion” of science in general and “ten dogmas” of the 21st-century worldview in particular. These include arguments that consciousness is “a by-product” of the biochemistry of the brain; that evolution is purposeless; that God is only an idea. Each is dealt with swiftly and efficiently in its own chapter, at the conclusion of which are some sceptical questions that challenge the reader to think again, and a clear summary of the main arguments.

Sheldrake recalls, disapprovingly, the philosopher of science George Sarton saying: “Truth can be determined only by the judgment of experts … The people have nothing to say but accept the decisions handed out to them.” Verily, says Sheldrake, here is an attitude worthy of the Roman Catholic Church at its most zealous. And he hints that religion lies behind many philosophical certainties, starting with Descartes splitting asunder mind and matter, that have shaped the modern, supposedly “objective” worldview.

Read the full review. Buy the book. Another book of interest is Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Co-Operation which takes a biological perspective on cooperation.

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