RUPERT SHELDRAKE studied natural sciences at Cambridge and philosophy at Harvard, took a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cambridge, and was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. The author of several books and more than fifty scientific papers, he lives in London.
We've all heard anecdotes about dogs who wait at the door for their owners to come home, cats who travel hundreds of miles to return home, and pets who provide comfort to depressed or sick people. Add to these stories of dogs who can sniff and detect cancer, dogs who howl when an absent owner dies, and cats who anticipate telephone calls from their owners, and you begin to wonder if animals are indeed telepathic. Sheldrake (Seven Experiments That Could Change the World) wondered, and he spent five years conducting research on the perceptiveness of pets. His conclusions may cause you to be surprised, dismayed, or disbelieving, but you will never be bored. For millions of pet owners, Sheldrake's book will affirm what they already knowÄthat animals have abilities that have been lost by modern humans. This book is highly recommended and will be in demand by readers of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.ÄPeggie Partello, Keene State Coll. Lib., NH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
While there have been many books on pets' psychic powers and on animals' seemingly paranormal abilities, English biologist Sheldrake's distinctive contribution is to set forth a theory that begins to make sense of this baffling realm. Sheldrake's bold and influential hypothesis of morphic fields (first developed in his 1988 book The Presence of the Past) asserts that members of a group are linked by self-organizing regions of influenceÄfields that have a history, evolve, contain a collective memory, and shape the development of organisms, crystals and new ideas, as well as patterns of behavior, adaptation and learning. Applying this hypothesis to the animal kingdom, he maintains that cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals can communicate telepathically with people (or with other animals) with whom they have emotional bondsÄand that morphic fields act as a channel for this ESP. Sheldrake surveyed or interviewed more than 1000 pet owners, dog trainers, veterinarians, zookeepers, blind people with guide dogs, horse trainers and riders and pet-shop proprietors. His study is filled with marvelous stories of missing pets finding their way home over unfamiliar terrain; of cats and dogs responding emotionally, sometimes at a great distance, to the suffering or death of their owners; of animals' precognitive warnings of earthquakes, impending epileptic seizures, bombing attacks and other imminent dangers; of cats, dogs and parrots responding to the ring of the telephone whenever a particular person calls. Skeptics may scoff, yet the cumulative weight of evidence Sheldrake assembles is impressive, and an appendix outlines simple research projects animal lovers can conduct to test whether their pets have psychic powers. This pioneering study throws a floodlight on an area largely ignored by institutional science. Illustrations. Author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
YA-Not just dogs, but also cats, horses, and many other creatures appear in this attractive book. Though it has the interest inherent in any good animal story, it also offers teens an outstanding introduction to science. In a highly readable style, Sheldrake looks at the way recent generations of scientists have begun to explore animal behavior and how it has expanded our understanding of humans in the process. The author describes working with pet owners to document animal behaviors and to test possible explanations. He also relates these experiments and theories to a wide range of modern scientific concerns, from quantum physics to sociobiology. He points out that this is an exciting new field of inquiry, one still open to participation by nonscientists. He suggests several activities that readers can easily carry out and invites them to share observations and experiences via his Web page.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax Country Public Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Delightful . . . this book will turn our understanding of animals inside out."
-- Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep
"Wonderful . . . splendid and thought-provoking."
-- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs