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Watch > Episode > Rupert Sheldrake - The Science Delusion

Rupert Sheldrake - The Science Delusion


Rupert Sheldrake is a maverick biologist and provocative thinker who has dedicated his career to pushing the boundaries of conventional scientific thought. Sheldrake has become a symbol of intellectual curiosity and fearlessness in questioning established scientific paradigms. In this landmark London Real interview, Rupert joins host Brian Rose in the studio to talk about his unconventional ideas, the impact of his work on the scientific landscape and why there’s nobody who comes close to being as lively and as much fun as Terence McKenna.

Sheldrake’s academic journey began at the University of Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences. He continued his academic pursuits at Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Sheldrake’s early research focused on plant development, establishing a solid foundation for his later, more unconventional, explorations into the mysteries of nature.

One of Sheldrake’s most controversial and influential concepts is morphic resonance. This theory challenges the traditional understanding of biology by suggesting that there is a collective memory inherent in nature. Morphic resonance proposes that organisms inherit experiences from their predecessors, creating a non-local connection between similar forms. Sheldrake argues that this concept could explain the mysterious and coordinated behaviour observed in nature.

Sheldrake’s concept of morphogenetic fields, the hypothetical organising principles that shape the development of organisms, has been met with both fascination and resistance. Critics within the scientific community often dismiss these ideas as speculative and lacking empirical evidence. Sheldrake, however, maintains that his theories offer a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the complexity of life.

In his book “The Science Delusion”, Sheldrake challenges what he calls the “ten dogmas” of modern science. These dogmas, ranging from the assumption that nature is mechanical to the belief in the total independence of the mind from the brain, represent the entrenched beliefs that Sheldrake argues are hindering scientific progress. He advocates for a more open-minded and exploratory approach to scientific inquiry.

Rupert Sheldrake’s research extends beyond the realms of traditional biology. He has conducted experiments in telepathy, exploring the possibility of non-local communication between individuals and even between humans and animals. While such research is often met with scepticism, Sheldrake’s dedication to exploring unexplained phenomena challenges the boundaries of what is considered acceptable within the scientific community.

Sheldrake’s work often ventures into the intersection of science and spirituality. His exploration of consciousness goes beyond the materialistic view that consciousness is confined to the brain. Sheldrake proposes a more expansive understanding of consciousness, one that acknowledges the interconnectedness of all living things and the potential spiritual dimensions of our existence.

In his pursuit of open inquiry and the exploration of unconventional ideas, Rupert Sheldrake founded the Sheldrake Foundation. The foundation serves as a platform for researchers and thinkers who challenge established scientific dogmas, fostering an environment where diverse perspectives are welcomed.

While Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas have faced challenge from mainstream science, his legacy lies in his unwavering commitment to intellectual freedom and open inquiry. Sheldrake has become a symbol of the courage to question, explore, and challenge the status quo in the pursuit of understanding the mysteries of life.

Rupert Sheldrake’s unorthodox ideas and fearless pursuit of scientific exploration have made him a captivating figure in the world of biology and consciousness studies. Whether one agrees with his theories or not, Sheldrake’s legacy lies in his ability to inspire curiosity, encourage open-minded inquiry, and remind us that the frontiers of science are meant to be explored, questioned, and, at times, even challenged.


“Each species has a kind of collective memory, a bit like what Jung called the collective unconscious.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (02:09)

“If you trains rats to learn a new trick in London then rats around the world will learn it quicker thereafter.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (02:52)

“The conventional view is that memories are stored materially.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (03:37)

“It wasn’t going through the genes, something much more mysterious was happening.” “I’m still a skeptic.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake & Brian (09:16)

“‘We’ve already figured out the way the world is’, that’s the science delusion.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (12:43)

“What Terence McKenna was saying is that modern science is based on the principal of ‘Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.'” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (18:14 )

“Did you drink Ayahuasca with Terence McKenna?” – Brian (31:28)

“I first met Terence McKenna in 1982.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (32:23)

“A battered golden Cadillac pulled up and Terence McKenna said, “Dr. Sheldrake I presume?'” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (33:45)

“We thought 3-way conversations are much better, that’s what I like about is its trialogue format.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (36:55)

“Mr. Richard Dawkins we should have you on London Real to have a debate with Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.” – Brian (47:10)

“You have such a different view of things in India, there’s hardly any materialist, atheist types.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (48:42)
“There’s nobody who comes close to being as lively and as much fun as Terence McKenna.” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (52:43


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