Where Does Science End and ‘Magic’ Begin?

The third edition of Rupert Sheldrake’s book, A New Science of Life, will be published in the UK this week. Unlike most enthusiasts for the paranormal, Sheldrake, who enjoyed success for many years as a conventional biochemist, frames his hypotheses as science; he designs and reports experiments. Yet when A New Science of Life was first published, the editor of Nature famously wondered whether it merited being publicly burned. But if Sheldrake isn’t scientific, what is it about his work that takes it beyond the bounds of science?

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