Hans-Cees Speel (
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 09:31:33 MET

From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 09:31:33 MET
Subject: Sheldrake

> My main problem with the likes of Sheldrake (learning at the "billiard
> ball" level of physics) and Teilhard (who attributed mental capabilities to
> fundamental particles) is that if their flagrant denial of an Eternal
> Verity (to freely quote Saint Augustine), namely the fundamental
> distinction between Creatura and Pleroma, happens to be true, we might as
> well close shop and go fishing, because in that world anything would
> explain everything. It was the original genius of Lamarck - who once
> remarked that we should not attribute mental characteristics to an organism
> if it doesn't feature sufficient internal complexity (properly formulated
> more than a century-and-a-half later by cyberneticians) - that gave us the
> notion of emergence and the relation between "matter" and "mind".

I think this does wrong to Sheldrake. What he does is to confront us
with evidence (true or false, I do not know) that people 'know
perticular things when they should not according to our theories.
He then explains them with his theory of 'fields' of knowledge, like
magnetic fields. His particular mechanism to explain however is no
denial of mind, but rather an extention of it (or at least can be
seen like it). One that we haven't been able to lay ourt fingers on.

By the way, does anyone have a reference to systematique zoologice
from Lamarck, but an English translation?



Theories come and go, the frog stays [F. Jacob]
Hans-Cees Speel
Managing Editor "Journal of Memetics Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission"

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