Saturday, September 22, 2012

Is Rupert Sheldrake a Modern Giordano Bruno?

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/22 at 08:07 PM

In the latest Lapham’s Quarterly Peter Foges writes about Rupert Sheldrake in THe Magician in the Laboratory. He wonders if Sheldrake might end up being as important for science as Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, or burned at the stake as a heretic. Speaking of Giordano Bruno:

This friar maintained not only that the earth revolved around the sun but that the sun was one of millions of identical stars and that around each were solar systems populated by intelligent life. This was not only “magic thinking” by sixteenth century standards but truly revolutionary. The church couldn’t wait to get rid of this dangerous priest, burning him to a crisp in the middle of Rome. In his sweeping intellectual dissent and reckless arrogance, Sheldrake could be said to be Bruno’s heir.

I’m not entirely sure about the “magic thinking” comment but sort of enjoy thinking about a future in which Sheldrake is a science hero.

[Cross-posted here.]

Tags: galileo galilei, giordano bruno, isaac newton, lapham's quarterly, nicolaus copernicus, peter foges, rupert sheldrake