DOGS THAT KNOW WHEN THEIR OWNERS ARE COMING HOME by Rupert Sheldrake

DOGS THAT KNOW WHEN THEIR OWNERS ARE COMING HOME

and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals

KIRKUS REVIEW

An open-minded inquiry into animals’ precognitive capabilities from Sheldrake (Seven Experiments That Could Change the World, 1995), attentive to the evidence and thoroughly investigative, conducted in the belief that science can be fun and rigorous, inquisitive as well as skeptical. Do animals possess telepathy? What lies behind their uncanny sense of direction? What is it chickens know that the scientists studying earthquakes do not? Sheldrake, a British biochemnist, has gathered a vast number of case histories documenting animals, from dogs and cats to horses and parakeets, that can tell when their owners are coming home, animals that anticipate epileptic seizures and air raids, cats that can tell who is on the phone, animals that find their human families after being separated by huge distances, not to mention the whole fabulous act known as migration. By way of explanation, Sheldrake proposes the possibility of what he calls morphic fields, self-organizing regions of influence, invisible blueprints as it were, with both spatial and temporal aspects, that interconnect and organize a system. Within the elasticity of the morphic field, “channels of telepathic communication” operate over the vastness of space—the type of connectedness witnessed in quantum entanglement theory—and the fields, large and small, specific and nonlocal, possess a collective memory, an instinct for habitual patterns shaped through experience. Sheldrake situates all this within ideas currently entertained by physicists and cosmologists and migration theorists and others, so that the word “preposterous” never seems applicable. What would be preposterous is trying to explain away the incidence of animal prescience and precognition as irrelevant and the product of wishful thinking, or to dismiss the potential that animals may have to forewarn events from medical crises to seismic upheavals, examples of which abound in these pages and not infrequently flabbergast. Sheldrake is a pleasure not just because he roams way beyond the mechanistic theory of nature, but because he appreciates worthy new questions as well as answers, one such being the time-honored “Why?” (b&w photos and drawings, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1999
ISBN: 0-609-60092-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999




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