28 June 1942|
|Occupation||Biochemist, parapsychologist, writer|
|Employer||Director of the Perrot-Warrick Project, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge (2005–2010)|
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (born 28 June 1942) is an English biologist and author. He is known for his work on plant hormones, crop physiology, and for having proposed a non-standard account of morphogenesis and for his research into parapsychology. His books and papers stem from his hypothesis of morphic resonance, and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory, telepathy, perception and cognition in general.
Sheldrake's publications include A New Science of Life (1981), Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1994), Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (1999), The Sense of Being Stared At (2003), and The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry, called Science Set Free in the US (2012).
Early life and education 
Sheldrake was born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire to Doris (née Tebbutt) and Reginald Alfred Sheldrake (b.1903), a family of Methodists. His father graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in pharmacy, was also an amateur naturalist and microscopist, and encouraged his son's interest in plants and animals.
Sheldrake attended Worksop College, an Anglican boarding-school, and specialized in science. He obtained a scholarship to study Biology at Clare College, Cambridge. He specialized in biochemistry, graduated with double-first-class honours, and won the University Botany Prize. He won a Frank Knox fellowship to study philosophy and history at Harvard University at around the time Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) was published, which he writes informed his view on the extent to which the mechanistic theory of life is just a paradigm. He returned to Cambridge, where he obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry.
As a biochemist, Sheldrake researched the role of auxin, a plant hormone, in the cellular differentiation of a plant's vascular system. With his colleague Philip Rubery, he worked out the cellular mechanism of Polar auxin transport, on which much subsequent research on plant polarity has been based. He also studied the nature of ageing, and published a wide-ranging paper in Nature on the ageing, growth and death of cells. He ended this line of study when he concluded, "The system is circular, it does not explain how [differentiation is] established to start with. After nine years of intensive study, it became clear to me that biochemistry would not solve the problem of why things have the basic shape they do." He then worked on the physiology of tropical crops in Hyderabad, India, as Principal Plant Physiologist at ICRISAT, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics from 1975 to 1985.. For a year and a half he lived in the ashram of Bede Griffiths, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life.
More recently, drawing on the work of French philosopher Henri Bergson, Sheldrake has proposed that memory is inherent to all organically formed structures and systems. Where Bergson denied that personal memories and habits are stored in brain tissue, Sheldrake goes a step further by arguing that bodily forms and instincts, while expressed through genes, do not have their primary origin in them. Instead, his hypothesis states, the organism develops under the influence of previous similar organisms, by a mechanism he has dubbed morphic resonance.
Since 2003, Sheldrake has been a visiting Professor at The Graduate Institute in Bethany, Connecticut, where he was also Academic Director of the Holistic Learning and Thinking Program from 2003 to 2012. From September 2005 until 2010, Sheldrake was the Perrott-Warrick Senior Researcher in psychical research, appointed by Trinity College, Cambridge.
In April 2008, Sheldrake was stabbed in the leg during a lecture at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was presenting as part of the tenth annual International Conference on Science and Consciousness. Sheldrake has since recovered. The assailant, Japanese-born laborer Kazuki Hirano, had come to New Mexico from Japan to ask Sheldrake to block the voices he was hearing. He stabbed Sheldrake because he thought that Sheldrake was controlling his mind. Hirano was charged with attempted murder, and convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon while mentally ill. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and jailed for three years in New Mexico. After serving his sentence he was deported to Japan.
Sheldrake has made appearances in popular media, both on radio and on television. He was one of the subjects of a six-part documentary series called Heretic, broadcast on BBC 2 in 1994. On 18 May 2009, he appeared on The Museum of Curiosity on BBC Radio 4.
Sheldrake has entered into a scientific wager with fellow biologist Lewis Wolpert on the importance of DNA in the developing organism. Wolpert bet Sheldrake "a case of fine port, Quinta do Vesuvio 2005" that by the First of May 2029, "given the genome of a fertilised egg of an animal or plant, we will be able to predict in at least one case all the details of the organism that develops from it, including any abnormalities." Sheldrake denies that DNA contains a blueprint of morphological development. If the outcome is not obvious, the British Royal Society will be asked to determine the winner.
Plant and Cell Biology 
At Cambridge, Sheldrake first worked on the production of the plant hormone Auxin. He found that auxin is produced by dying cells, especially in germinating seeds and in differentiating Xylem cells, which die as they differentiate, an example of programmed cell death, or Apoptosis or programmed cell death. His work on polar auxin transport culminated in the discovery, together with Philip Rubery, of the cellular mechanism of polar auxin transport. The auxin efflux carrier, which Rubery and Sheldrake correctly predicted would be found at the basal or root-ward ends of cells, has subsequently been identified as one of a family of so-called PIN proteins.
As Principal Plant Physiologist at ICRISAT in Hyderabad, India, Sheldrake worked on the legume crops Chickpea and Pigeonpea, on which he published 17 papers as well as a monograph on the Anatomy of the Pigeonpea. He helped develop new cropping systems, some of which have been widely adopted in both India and China.
Morphic field 
"Morphic field" is a term introduced by Sheldrake. He proposes that there is a field within and around a "morphic unit" which organizes its characteristic structure and pattern of activity. According to Sheldrake, the "morphic field" underlies the formation and behaviour of "holons" and "morphic units", and can be set up by the repetition of similar acts or thoughts. The hypothesis is that a particular form belonging to a certain group, which has already established its (collective) "morphic field", will tune into that "morphic field". The particular form will read the collective information through the process of "morphic resonance", using it to guide its own development. This development of the particular form will then provide, again through "morphic resonance", a feedback to the "morphic field" of that group, thus strengthening it with its own experience, resulting in new information being added (i.e. stored in the database). Sheldrake regards the "morphic fields" as a universal database for both organic (genetic) and abstract (mental) forms.
That a mode of transmission of shared informational patterns and archetypes might exist did gain some tacit acceptance when it was proposed as the theory of the collective unconscious by renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung. According to Sheldrake, the theory of "morphic fields" might provide an explanation for Jung's concept as well. Also, he agrees that the concept of akashic records, a term from the Vedas representing the "library" of all the experiences and memories of human minds (souls) through their physical lifetime, can be related to "morphic fields", since one's past (an akashic record) is a mental form, consisting of thoughts as simpler mental forms (all processed by the same mind), and a group of similar or related mental forms also have their associated (collective) "morphic field". (Sheldrake's view on memory-traces is that they are non-local, and not located in the brain.)
Morphic resonance 
Sheldrake views the universe as a swarm of matter waves, spiralling down the gradient of their synergetic (energetically favourable) constructive interference. When two matter waves become connected by mutual constructive interference (quantum entanglement, rapport), they intuit or grok each other. Intuition interconnects matter waves instantaneously, regardless of the distance:
I think that we—humankind—are connected to everybody we think of and to all the places we are attached to through our extended minds. Our minds are vast, far-reaching, and spatially extended networks of connections in space and time—networks of immense scope in which the brains inside our heads are but a portion…
The greater the degree of similarity, the greater the constructive interference, leading to habituation or persistence of particular forms. So, the existence of a morphic field makes the existence of a new similar form easier.
Sheldrake suggests that matter waves' synergetic (energetically favourable) constructive interference is the mechanism by which simpler ensembles of matter waves self-organize into more complex ones, and that this model provides the true explanation for the process of evolution.
Morphogenetic field 
- For the concept in developmental biology, see Morphogenetic field.
Morphogenetic fields are defined by Sheldrake as the subset of morphic fields which influence, and are influenced by living things.
The term [morphic fields] is more general in its meaning than morphogenetic fields, and includes other kinds of organizing fields in addition to those of morphogenesis; the organizing fields of animal and human behaviour, of social and cultural systems, and of mental activity can all be regarded as morphic fields which contain an inherent memory.—Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past (Chapter 6, page 112)
The term morphogenetic field generally referred to a "collection of cells by whose interactions a particular organ formed" in 1920s and 1930s experimental embryology. "The genetics program of biology was originally in direct opposition to the concept of morphogenetic fields... an alternative to the gene as the unit of ontogeny." Due to the success of genetics, the term fell into widespread disfavor in the 1960s, although it could be still be found in developmental biology literature regarding limb and heart fields. "In such instances, no claims are usually made other than that these areas of mesoderm are destined to form these particular structures". Sheldrake commented on the distinction between his usage and that of the biologist, whom he said uses the term "morphic field" as a heuristic device, which is conceptually distinct from his own use of the term. He says that most biologists regard morphogenetic fields as "a way of thinking about morphogenesis rather than something that really exists."
Sheldrake's research into telepathy between humans and animals, particularly dogs, was the main subject of his 1999 book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (see below).
In 2003 Sheldrake published research on human telepathy in an experiment where subjects guessed which of four people was going to telephone or send an email. Sheldrake reported that the subject guesses the person correctly about 40% of the time instead of the expected 25% (p=.05).
Sheldrake's work was the theme of a plenary session titled "Anomalies of Consciousness" of the 2008 Toward a Science of Consciousness conference, where he presented his work on telepathy in animals and humans, followed by three critiques of his work on the sense of being stared at.
A New Science of Life 
In his first book, A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance, Sheldrake proposed that phenomena – particularly biological ones – become more probable the more often they occur, and therefore biological growth and behaviour become guided into patterns laid down by previous similar events. As a result, newly acquired behaviors are subject to inheritance by subsequent generations – a form of Lamarckism. He suggested that this underlies many aspects of science, from evolution to laws of nature. Indeed, he suggested that the laws of nature are mutable habits that have evolved since the Big Bang.
Sheldrake's primary focus in this book is morphogenesis, which includes both embryonic cell differentiation and the development of the embryo as a whole. In chapter 2, "Three Theories of Morphogenesis," Sheldrake states that there are three historical approaches to morphogenesis: materialism (August Weismann), vitalism (Hans Driesch), and organicism (Alfred North Whitehead). Sheldrake describes his own hypothesis as fitting within the third tradition, which rejects a vitalistic principle exclusive to life but also denies that a strictly materialistic explanation will ever account for the holistic nature of organic forms. The next three chapters address form as a general topic, the traditional concept of morphogenetic fields, and the possibility that past forms directly influence current organic activity. He introduces his main idea in chapter 6, "Formative Causation and Morphogenesis" and devotes the remaining chapters to subsidiary topics such as inheritance, behavior, instinct and learning, and so on.
The book was discussed in a variety of scientific and religious publications, receiving mixed reviews. Then in September 1981, Nature published an editorial written by John Maddox, the journal's senior editor, entitled "A book for burning?" In it, Maddox said:
Sheldrake's argument is an exercise in pseudo-science. Many readers will be left with the impression that Sheldrake has succeeded in finding a place for magic within scientific discussion – and this, indeed, may have been a part of the objective of writing such a book.
Maddox's comments raised what Anthony Freeman called "a storm of controversy". The New Scientist inquired whether Nature had abandoned the scientific method for "trial by editorial". Maddox did not act concerned by the criticism his comments received, and according to Freeman, the "furore that grew out of the assault in Nature put an end to [Sheldrake's] academic career and made him persona non grata in the scientific community." In a 1994 BBC documentary on Sheldrake's theory, Maddox elaborated on his views:
Sheldrake's is not a scientific theory. Sheldrake is putting forward magic instead of science, and that can be condemned, in exactly the language that the Pope used to condemn Galileo, and for the same reasons: it is heresy.
The Presence of the Past 
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988) puts forward morphic resonance, one aspect of the "formative causation" hypothesis Sheldrake introduced in A New Science of Life, and presents evidence for it.
Sheldrake writes, "Since these past organisms are similar to each other rather than identical, when a subsequent organism comes under their collective influence, its morphogenetic fields are not sharply defined, but consist of a composite of previous similar forms. This process is analogous to composite photography, in which 'average' pictures are produced by superimposing a number of similar images. Morphogenetic fields are 'probability structures,' in which the influence of the most common past types combines to increase the probability that such types will occur again."
In support of his hypothesis, Sheldrake cites replications of William McDougall's experiment with rats in a water maze and Mae-Wan Ho's replication of CH Waddington's experiment with fruit flies, as well as several psychology experiments involving human learning. Sheldrake contends that a number of biological anomalies are resolved by morphic resonance, including personal memory (which he contends would otherwise require the existence of an elaborate information-storage mechanism in the brain), atavism and parallel evolution. He argues that the existence of organizing fields – with or without inherent memory – would explain phenomena ranging from coordinated behavior among social insects, flocks of birds and schools of fish to the regeneration of severed limbs by salamanders or a sense of phantom limbs among amputees, as the organizing field of a limb would remain even after the limb itself had been lost.
Seven Experiments That Could Change the World 
In 1994 Sheldrake proposed a list of Seven Experiments That Could Change the World. He encouraged lay people to contribute to scientific research, and argued that scientific experiments similar to his own could be conducted on a shoestring budget.
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home 
Seven Experiments included the seed of Sheldrake's next book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. This covered his research into telepathy between humans and animals, particularly dogs. As the title indicates, Sheldrake carried out experiments aiming to show that dogs can tell when their owners are coming home, a phenomenon frequently reported by dog-owners. By videoing the dogs' behaviour, and making their owners come home at unpredictable times, he concluded that the dogs know when the owner has decided to set off home, and will go and wait by the door. This occurs even if the owner doesn't actually arrive home (having been contacted en route and told not to). Sheldrake's experiments were also intended to rule out other frequently-cited explanations, such as the dog being able to hear the owner's car much further away than humans can.
The book also summarized other experiments and reports of telepathy involving animals, such as an experiment on an African grey parrot that had apparently learned enough English words that it could describe photographs its owner was looking at in another room.
The Sense of Being Stared At 
In 2003, Sheldrake published The Sense of Being Stared At on the psychic staring effect, including an experiment where blindfolded subjects guessed whether persons were staring at them or at another target. He reported that, in tens of thousands of trials, 60% of subjects reported being stared at when being stared at; 50% of subjects reported being stared at when they were not being stared at. According to Sheldrake, this suggested a weak sense of being stared at but no sense of not being stared at. He also claimed that these experiments were widely repeated, in schools in Connecticut and Toronto and a science museum in Amsterdam, with consistent results.
The Science Delusion / Science Set Free 
The Science Delusion, published on 1 January 2012 in the U.K. and in the U.S. on September 4, 2012, as Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery, summarises much of his previous work and encapsulates it into a broader critique of modern materialism, with the title apparently mimicking that of The God Delusion by one of Sheldrake's critics, Richard Dawkins. (In an interview with Fortean Times, Sheldrake denied that Dawkins' book was the inspiration for his own. "The title was at the insistence of my publishers, and the book will be re-titled in the USA as "Science Set Free". Dawkins is far less important outside Britain (...) Dawkins is a passionate believer in materialist dogma, but the book is not a response to him - although I do object to his dumbed-down representation of science.") Sheldrake proposes a number of questions as the theme of each chapter, which seek to elaborate on his central premise that science is predicated on the belief that the nature of reality is fully understood, with only minor details needing to be filled in. This "delusion" is what Sheldrake argues has turned science into a series of dogmas, rather than a genuinely open-minded approach to investigating phenomena; he argues that there are many powerful taboos that circumscribe what scientists can legitimately direct their attention towards.
Sheldrake's work has little support in the mainstream scientific community. Members of the scientific community consider Sheldrake's claims to be currently unfalsifiable and therefore outside the scope of scientific experiment. The "morphic field" concept is believed by many to fall into the realm of pseudoscience.
Some within the parapsychological community have supported the theories of Sheldrake as they believe it may explain the phenomena of extrasensory perception. Paranormal writers and parapsychologists such as Arthur Koestler, Brian Inglis and John L. Randall have supported the work of Sheldrake.
Sheldrake's ideas have resonated with the general public and some physicists such as David Bohm. The idea that fields may influence cells has even received cautious support from biologists Janis Roze and Sue Ann Miller. However, Sheldrake's work has met with a hostile reception from other scientists. Neurophysiologist and consciousness researcher Christof Koch, for example, has stated that discussing Sheldrake's ideas is a "waste of time," given the absence of hard, physical evidence and Sheldrake's lack of understanding of modern neurobiology. Henry Bauer compared Sheldrake's ideas to Wilhelm Reich's claims of orgone energies. In his Skeptic's Dictionary, Robert Todd Carroll stated, in an article highly critical of Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance, that "although Sheldrake commands some respect as a scientist because of his education and degree, he has clearly abandoned conventional science in favor of magical thinking."
Germano Resconi and Masoud Nikravesh are sympathetic to Sheldrake's ideas, and base their concept of morphic computing directly upon Sheldrake's morphic fields and morphogenetic fields, but acknowledge that "Morphic fields and its subset morphogenetic fields have been at the center of controversy for many years in mainstream science and the hypothesis is not accepted by some scientists who consider it a pseudoscience."
Some quantum physicists have supported Sheldrake's hypothesis. The late David Bohm suggested that Sheldrake's hypothesis was in keeping with his own ideas on what he terms "implicate" and "explicate" order. Hans-Peter Dürr has called for further discussion of Sheldrake's hypothesis, describing it as one of the first to reconcile 20th-century breakthroughs in physics, which emphasize fields and the indivisible nature of matter, with biology, which he says for the most part remains rooted in 19th-century Newtonian concepts of particles and separateness. Others, like biologist Michael Klymkowsky, disagree, contending that "[w]e live in a macroscopic world. Quantum effects are essentially irrelevant". For more details on this topic, see quantum biology.
The concept has attracted speculation from neurolinguistic programming, as an explanation for action at a distance. Sheldrake's book The Presence of the Past: A Field Theory of Life was positively reviewed by the physicist Amit Goswami.
Scientific reception 
Morphic resonance predicts that memories of one generation are automatically passed on to the next generation, though unconsciously, or to other conspecifics. A neuroscientist and memory expert, Steven Rose, has been critical of this view. A major reason for the criticism is that Rose does not feel there to be any anomalous phenomena which require the theory of morphic resonance as an explanation. Rose suggested an experiment to resolve the matter. In Rose's opinion the resulting study, done in collaboration with Sheldrake, disproved morphic resonance, but Sheldrake has challenged this.
Sheldrake's ideas have often met with a hostile reception from some scientists, including accusations that he is engaged in pseudoscience, and at least two respected scientists who have sought to discuss his work, thoroughgoing metaphysical naturalists Lewis Wolpert and Richard Dawkins, reportedly refused to even examine his evidence—a fact cited as illustrating the allegedly dogmatic nature of mainstream science alluded to in Sheldrake's book The Science Delusion.
Testing formative causation 
In 1990 neurobiologist Steven Rose experimented jointly with Sheldrake to test the hypothesis of morphic resonance. The experiment involved training day-old chicks to react negatively to a small yellow light when the light was followed 30 min later by an injection which caused temporary illness. Chicks become strongly averse to pecking the stimulus again. Sheldrake predicted that successive batches of day-old chicks would progressively become more averse to pecking the light for the first time, because morphic resonance would cause them to "remember" the experience of previous generations of chicks. Rose predicted that no such effect would be observed.
Rose wrote that he and several scientists who reviewed the data were convinced that there was no evidence of morphic resonance. Sheldrake, however, said that the proportion of test chicks taking longer than 10 sec for the first peck, compared with control chicks, gradually increased in successive batches and believed therefore that the experiment supported his theory.
In a separate paper, Rose responded that there were several confounding details of the experiment which skewed the results, such as the experimenter improving his skills with practice over the course of the experiment. Rose said there was no trend for an increase in the latency, in fact a slight decrease, thus disconfirming Sheldrake's prediction. In an independent analysis of the data, biologist Patrick Bateson agreed with Rose that the results ran counter to the prediction of morphic resonance.
Sheldrake responded that Rose's analysis omitted a significant portion of the data, thus skewing the results. Sheldrake contended that repeating Rose's analysis with the full set of data shows that the trends in aversion were in fact significantly different and morphic resonance was confirmed, not disconfirmed. Rose and other researchers in the field, however, rejected this interpretation of the results.
Tests of the staring effect 
David Marks and John Colwell, writing in the Skeptical Inquirer (2000), criticized the experimental procedures Sheldrake had developed for tests designed to demonstrate the existence of the staring effect. Apart from the fact that Sheldrake had encouraged the involvement of lay members of the public in research of the effect, Marks and Colwell suggested that the sequences used in tests followed the same patterning that people who guess and gamble like to follow. These guessing patterns have relatively few long runs and many alternations. The non-randomness of test sequences could thus lead to implicit or explicit pattern learning when feedback is provided. When the patterns being guessed mirror naturally occurring guessing patterns, the results could go above or below chance levels even without feedback. Thus significant results could occur purely from non-random guessing. Non-randomization is one of seven flaws in parapsychological research identified by Marks.
Michael Shermer wrote in Scientific American (2005) that there were a number of objections to Sheldrake's experiments on the sense of being stared at, reiterating Marks' and Colwell's points about non-randomization and the use of unsupervised laypeople, and adding confirmation bias and experimenter bias to the list of potential problems; he concluded that Sheldrake's claim was unfalsifiable.
Sheldrake (2004, 2005) responded to the criticisms by stating that the experiments had been widely replicated; the results from an independent meta-analysis by parapsychology researcher Dean Radin, which had excluded all data from unsupervised tests, were shown to be highly significant; and the Marks-Colwell suggestion of non-randomization had been refuted by thousands of trials with different randomization methods, including coin-tossing, yielding positive and highly statistically significant results, whatever the randomization method.
2006 British Association controversy 
In September 2006, Sheldrake and Peter Fenwick (a near-death experience researcher) were invited by the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) to speak at an event at the University of East Anglia, which resulted in criticism from Lord Winston, Peter Atkins, Richard Wiseman and the Royal Society.
Personal Life 
- A New Science of Life: the hypothesis of formative causation, Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, 1981 (second edition 1985, third edition 2009). ISBN 978-1-84831-042-1.
- The Presence of the Past: morphic resonance and the habits of nature, New York, NY: Times Books, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1666-2.
- The Rebirth of Nature: the greening of science and God, New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1991. ISBN 0-553-07105-X.
- Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: a do-it-yourself guide to revolutionary science, New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 1995. ISBN 1-57322-014-0.
- Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home: and other unexplained powers of animals, New York, NY: Crown, 1999 (second edition 2011). ISBN 978-0-307-88596-8.
- The Sense of Being Stared At: and other aspects of the extended mind, New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-609-60807-X.
- The Science Delusion: Freeing the spirit of enquiry, London: Coronet, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4447-2795-1.
- Trialogues at the Edge of the West: chaos, creativity, and the resacralization of the world, Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co. Pub., 1992. ISBN 0-939680-97-1.
- The Evolutionary Mind: trialogues at the edge of the unthinkable, Santa Cruz, CA: Dakota Books, 1997. ISBN 0-9632861-1-0.
- Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness, Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 2001. ISBN 0-89281-977-4.
- The Evolutionary Mind: conversations on science, imagination & spirit, Rhinebeck, NY: Monkfish Book Pub. Co., 2005. ISBN 0-9749359-7-2.
With Matthew Fox (priest):
- Natural Grace: dialogues on creation, darkness, and the soul in spirituality and science, New York, NY: Doubleday, 1996. ISBN 0-385-48356-2.
- The Physics of Angels: exploring the realm where science and spirit meet, San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. ISBN 0-06-062864-2.
See also 
- Fritjof Capra
- Hundredth monkey effect
- Bodo Sperling
- Lyall Watson
- "Biography of Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D.". sheldrake.org. Retrieved 18 Mar. 2013.
- Sheldrake, R. (1981). A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance. Park Street Press. ISBN 9780892815357. LCCN 94044869.
- Marriage record registered in September 1934, @ FreeBMD Images ref 1934M3-T-0308
- "Birth record". Findmypast.com.
- Marriage record registered in September 1934, @ FreeBMD Images ref 1934M3-S-0193
- "Reginald Sheldrake Upon his Graduation, Newark, c 1924". Picturethepast.org.uk. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "Biography of Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. – Part II". Sheldrake.org. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Biography of Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., www.sheldrake.org/. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Sheldrake, R. (1974) The ageing, growth and death of cells. Nature 250, 381-5.
- Brad Lemley; Cannon, C; Barbour, R; Burke, RL; Games, D; Grajeda, H; Guido, T; Hu, K et al. (August 2000). "Heresy". Discover 6 (8): 916–9. doi:10.1038/78682. PMID 10932230.
- John David Ebert (1998). From Cellular Aging to the Physics of Angels: A Conversation with Rupert Sheldrake. The Quest, 86(2):14, February 1998. Reprint[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Faculty and Administrative Staff, The Graduate Institute, Bethany, Connecticut
- "The Perrott-Warrick Project". Sheldrake.org. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- Sheldrake, Rupert. "2011 Perrott-Warrick Lecture: The Evolution of Telepathy". Cambridge University Media Service. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Jay Walljasper (November 2005). "A Heretic for our times". Ode (28).. Reprint[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- "Alleged assailant says he's not crazy". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Sharpe, T. (2008) Judge orders mental-health help for man who insists his mind is being controlled. Santa Fe New Mexican, December 5.
- Why I am Stiil an Anglican, Continuum 2006, pages 119-131
- What can DNA tell us? Place your bets now New Scientist, 8 July 2009.
- "Ein Portwein auf die Gene," Die Zeit, July 11, 2009 Die Zeit
- Sheldrake, Rupert (2012) The Science Delusion, pp. 172-173
- Sheldrake, R. (1973). The production of hormones in higher plants. Biological Reviews 48, 509-559.
- Petrasek, J and Frimi, J. (2009) Auxin transport routes in plant development. Development 136, 2675-2688.
- [Sheldrake's papers on Chickpea and Pigeonpea crops
- [Sheldrake's monograph on the Anatomy of the Pigeonpea
- Sheldrake, R. and Venkataratnam, N. (1987). Effect of harvest methods on the second flush yield of short-duration pigeonpeas. Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge) 109, 591-3.
- Sheldrake, R. (1987). A perennial cropping system from pigeonpeas grown in the post-rainy season. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 57, 895-9.
- Icrisat.org data
- "Glossary". Sheldrake.org. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
- Sheldrake, Rupert (1988) The Presence of the Past, Chapter 17
- Pratt, David. "Rupert Sheldrake: A Theosophical Appraisal". Theosophy-nw.org. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- "Poetic Mind, para 12, 2009". Poeticmind.co.uk. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- Gilbert, Scott (1997). "The "Re-discovery" of Morphogenetic Fields". Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- Sheldrake, Rupert; Stanislav Grof, Editor (1984). "Morphic Resonance". Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science. seventh Conference of the International Transpersonal Association, Bombay: SUNY Press, Albany. p. 155. ISBN 0-87395-848-9.
- Rupert Sheldrake and Pamela Smart (2003). Experimental tests for telephone telepathy. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 67:184-199. Reprint. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
- 2008 Toward a Science of Consciousness conference plenary sessions. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Rupert Sheldrake (2008). The Evolution of Telepathy. Toward a Science of Consciousness, Tucson, AZ, April 2008. Abstract. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Dick J. Bierman, Stephen Whitmarsh and Steven H. Scholte (2008). How to interpret apparent paranormal effects: Immediate and long-term effects of meditation on the anticipation of visual stimuli. Toward a Science of Consciousness, Tucson, AZ, April 2008. Abstract. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- Anomalies of Consciousness Sheldrake, Bierman, Allen, Barker. Plenary session recordings (TSC28-310-CD, TSC28-810-DVD). Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- Rupert Sheldrake (2005). Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance: An Introduction, February 2005. Paper[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Palmer, Trevor (2003). Perilous Planet Earth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 173–174. ISBN 0-521-81928-8.
- Rupert Sheldrake, A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation, Los Angeles: JP Tarcher, 1981, pp. 19-22, 109-120, ISBN 0-87477-281-8
- Rupert Sheldrake, A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation, Los Angeles: JP Tarcher, 1981, p. 52, ISBN 0-87477-281-8
- Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Modern Theories of Development. An Introduction to Theoretical Biology, New York: Harper, 1962, pp. 21, 28-46, ASIN: B0007E65IK
- Freeman, Anthony (2006). "The Sense of Being Glared At: What Is It Like to be a Heretic?" (PDF) (12, No. 6). Journal of Consciousness Studies. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- "A book for burning?". Nature 293 (5830): 245–246. 24 September 1981. Bibcode:1981Natur.293R.245.. doi:10.1038/293245b0. Online quote
- Michael Kenwood, 'Burning Editorials', New Scientist vol. 92, no. 1273 ( October 1, 1981), p. 61
- John Maddox (Book For Burning) at Google Videos (Adobe Flash video)
- Library Journal, cited at The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (Paperback), Amazon.com
- Rupert Sheldrake (1988). The Presence of the Past: Morphic resonance and the habits of nature, New York: Times Books, p. 109.
- Rupert Sheldrake. Seven experiments that could change the world: a do-it-yourself guide to revolutionary science, New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 1995. ISBN 1-57322-014-0.
- Rupert Sheldrake (2003). The Sense of Being Stared At: and other aspects of the extended mind, New York, NY: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-609-60807-X.
- Marshall, Steve (April 2012). Fortean Times 286: 38.
- L'Imposture Scientifique en Dix Lecons, "Pseudoscience in Ten Lessons," By Michel de Pracontal. Editions La Decouverte, Paris, 2001. ISBN 2-7071-3293-4.
- Sheldrake, Rupert; Stanislav Grof, Editor (1984). "Morphic Resonance". Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science. seventh Conference of the International Transpersonal Association, Bombay: SUNY Press, Albany. pp. 154–156. ISBN 0-87395-848-9.
- The Bookseller: Issues 3976-3983 Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland J. Whitaker, 1982, p. 1591
- Brian Inglis The hidden power J. Cape, 1986, p. 12
- John L. Randall "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 51, 1981.
- Jiin Ju Chang, ed. (1998). Biophotons. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 386. "More recently, morphogenetic fields, although conceptualized in a way much in contrast with the organismic approach, have acquired considerable public attention in the form of Rupert Sheldrake's 'morphic fields' (Sheldrake, 1988)."
- David Bohm; F. David Peat (1987), Science, Order, and Creativity: A Dramatic New Look at the Creative Roots of Science and Life, New York: Bantam Books, p. 204, ISBN 978-0-553-34449-3
- Henry H. Bauer, Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies, p. 162. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2001. ISBN 0-252-02601-2.
- "Morphic Resonance". Skepdic.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- Resconi, Germano; Nikravesh, Masoud (2008). "Morphic computing". Applied Soft Computing 8 (3): 1164–1177. doi:10.1016/j.asoc.2007.02.018.
- Introduction by Hans-Peter Dürr to the book "Rupert Sheldrake in der Diskussion" (German)
- "It has been speculated that this level of processing and change influences our environment and ourselves through what Rupert Sheldrake termed 'morphogentic fields.'" Dilts R, DeLozier J (2000). "Encyclopedia of Systemic NLP and NLP New Coding". Retrieved 2007-08-16.
- Goswami, Amit (2002). The Physicists' View of Nature: The Quantum Revolution: Pt. 2. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. pp. 277–289. ISBN 978-0-306-46509-3.
- So-called "formative causation" - A hypothesis disconfirmed, Response to Rupert Sheldrake Rivista di Biologia - Biology Forum 85 (3/4), 1992, 445-453; Steven Rose
- An experimental test of the hypothesis of formative causation, Rivista di Biologia - Biology Forum 86 (3/4), 1992, 431-44; 86 (3/4), 431-44, (1992), Rupert Sheldrake
- Mary Midgley (2012-01-27). "The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake - review | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Rose, Steven (1997). Lifelines: Biology Beyond Determinism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512035-3.
- Rupert Sheldrake (1992). An experimental test of the hypothesis of formative causation. Rivista di Biologia – Biology Forum, 86(3/4):431-44. Reprint[dead link]. PMID 1341836. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Steven Rose (1992). So-called "formative causation" – A hypothesis disconfirmed: Response to Rupert Sheldrake. Rivista di Biologia – Biology Forum, 86(3/4):445-53. Reprint[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Rupert Sheldrake (1992). Rose refuted. Rivista di Biologia – Biology Forum, 86(3/4):455-60. Reprint[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- David F. Marks and John Colwell (2000). The Psychic Staring Effect: An Artifact of Pseudo Randomization, Skeptical Inquirer, September/October 2000. Reprint. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- Marks, David. The Psychology of the Psychic, p. 305.
- Michael Shermer (October 2005). Rupert's Resonance: The theory of "morphic resonance" posits that people have a sense of when they are being stared at. What does the research show? Scientific American, October, 2005. Reprint. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Rupert Sheldrake (2004). The Need For Open-Minded Scepticism: A Reply to David Marks. The Skeptic, 16(4):8-13. Reprint[dead link]. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Rupert Sheldrake (2005). Reply to Michael Shermer: Do Skeptics Play Fair?, Letter to Scientific American November 2005. Reprint. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Fleming, Nic (06/09/2006). "Festival attacked over paranormal nonsense". Daily Telegraph.
- Connor, Steve (2006-09-06). "Scientists angry after platform is given to charlatan's fantasy". Independent.co.uk.
- "Scientists angered by telephone telepathy study". Timesonline.co.uk. 5 September 2006.
- "The research that triggered the row". Timesonline.co.uk. 6 September 2006.
- Sam Coates Deputy Political Editor Published 1 minute ago. "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- "The Way We live Now". Financial Times.
- Wheldon, Julie (6 September 2006). "Telepathy does exists claims Cambridge scientist". Dailymail.co.uk.
- Jill Purce's website
- Merlin Sheldrake's research page
- Cosmo Sheldrake's website
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