Blinded by Science
The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind
by Rupert Sheldrake
New York: Crown, 2003
(370 pages; $25.00, hardcover)
reviewed by Peter J. Leithart
Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book is full of amusing and entertaining oddities, as Sheldrake continues his assault on reductionistic modern science. At the outset of a treatment of “para-normal” phenomena, he points out that such things as telepathy are “para-normal” only if we have already defined “normal” in terms that are compatible with modern science. If our minds are more complex and extended than modern science suggests, then there is no “para” about it—it’s just normal, though some people might have better-developed “sixth” and “seventh” senses than others, just as some people can naturally see better than others. Sheldrake thinks that these “paranormal” senses are in theory as susceptible to scientific investigation (i.e., rigorous testing) as anything, but points out that science excludes such phenomena from scientific investigation by the sheer tyranny of definition.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
more on science from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives