Re: Shaggy Dog vs. Psychic Dog

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Aug 28 2001 - 19:49:22 BST

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: Shaggy Dog vs. Psychic Dog"

    Received: by id TAA11014 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 28 Aug 2001 19:51:09 +0100
    Message-ID: <002f01c12ff2$2d46f2a0$e824f4d8@teddace>
    From: "Dace" <>
    To: <>
    References: <>
    Subject: Re: Shaggy Dog vs. Psychic Dog
    Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 11:49:22 -0700
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400
    Precedence: bulk

    Scott wrote:

    > So...when I was a wee embryo and developed so-called gill-slits was I
    > remembering a time when an ancestor way back when was a fish? Was I
    > resonating with this ancestral water dweller?

    No. This might come across as hair-splitting, but you were never an embryo.
    You're a human being, and there's nothing human about an embryo. Human
    consciousness isn't born until sometimes during the first year of autonomous
    life. However, there is something to Haeckel's notion of phylogeny
    providing the mechanics of ontogeny. It's a species memory that infuses the
    developing organism. And Haeckel wasn't the first to apply the concept of
    memory to developmental biology. Sheldrake is resuscitating an idea that
    goes back to the 1870s.

    > When Sheldrake (in _The
    > Presence of the Past_, last page of chapter 4) brings up these gill slits
    > refers to a figure in chapter 1 which is basically Haeckel's highly
    > drawings of vertebrate embryos. Would Sheldrake's formative causation or
    > morphic resonance be any more valid than Haeckel's mnemic analogy of
    > perigenesis and plastidules in this regard?

    Haeckel's view of organic memory lacked a mechanism by which it could be
    transferred from species to egg. Sheldrake proposes that this occurs
    through resonance. Living forms (as well as certain nonliving forms)
    resonate with similar forms that preceded them. Thus the embryo in your
    mother's womb was resonating with the composite form of the embryos that
    came before it. Except for the variations resulting from unique genetic
    composition, this accounts for the form of the body as it emerges.

    The value of Sheldrake is that he gives us a testable and as yet unfalsified
    hypothesis of memory.


    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Aug 28 2001 - 19:55:48 BST