Tag: Cambridge University

Brain-to-brain communication

Communication seems to be a bit of a theme just at present!

About 18 months ago, I wrote a piece on Learning from Dogs about Rupert Sheldrake’s fascinating book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home. The reason that this has come up again (and, as it happens, I’m rereading Sheldrake’s book just now) is a recent item on the Big Think website called Can We Have Brain-to-Brain Communication?  Here’s what was written.

Dr. Michio Kaku addresses the question of Collective Intelligence. Some people think that the next big innovation in the coming decades is not going to involve the Internet because we can already connect computers to the human mind. Therefore, Dr. Kaku says this brain-to-brain communication would involve not just the exchange of information, but also the transmission of emotions and feelings, “because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts.”

There’s also an interesting 4-minute video by Dr. Kaku that may be accessed here.

But then again, many pet owners would probably take it for granted that our cats and dogs can read our mind, as Dr. Sheldrake rather entertainingly explains below.

Before closing today’s post, the research that Dr. Sheldrake has undertaken is very impressive.  His website is here, from which one learns that,

Dr. Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative biologists and writers, is best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory.

He worked in developmental biology at Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Clare College. He was then Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in Hyderabad, India. From 2005 to 2010 he was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project. , funded from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Rupert Sheldrake … Biography 
A Guide to the Website Rupert’s Science and Philosophy

The website is a very useful resource, as this section underlines,

Unexplained Powers of Animals

by Rupert Sheldrake

In the late 1980s and early 1990s I explored a variety of experimental approaches for the investigation of unexplained phenomena that might help to enlarge our scientific view of the world, summarised in my book Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994).

One of the seven experiments concerned unexplained abilities of animals, and I published a series of papers on the unexplained powers of animals, see Papers on animals .

I summarised much of this research in my book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999).

My research with Aimée Morgana into the telepathic powers of her African Grey Parrot, Nkisi, led to the celebrated debate at the London RSA with Prof Lewis Wolpert, which is featured on this website The Telepathy Debate 

More information is available on Nkisi, including a tape of one of his conversations with Aimée in The Nkisi project

So if your pet is looking at you as though they know what you are thinking – they probably are!

It really is about integrity

A reflection on truth.

This is not the first time that I have wandered through this subject.  Indeed, Learning from Dogs would never have seen the light of day if, all those years ago, Jon Lavin hadn’t raised the fascinating idea that dogs are integrous animals.  As the quote says in the sidelink Purpose of Learning from Dogs;

There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyse the causes of happenings. Dorothy Thompson.

So what is it that has rocked my boat again?  A number of things, to be honest.  So much so, please forgive me for running these musings over to tomorrow!

Regular readers may have noticed that both Tuesday’s post Modelling the future and yesterday’s A study of man’s behaviours explored determining truth; frequently a fickle beast to track down!  Then last Monday, I read the latest post from Climate Denial Crock of the Week that was about Sea Ice Slowing to Minimum.  It was yet another reminder that embracing the truth of what is happening to our planet is vital, I mean VITAL, for anyone who has a reasonable expectation to be alive in 20 years time.

Here’s how Peter opened that post (published with Peter’s kind permission):

Not there yet, but in an interview with Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers last week, the message was clear – the ice has retreated so much that at this point, we will already be experiencing the impacts of a low or no-ice arctic minimum, including “very interesting” weather in the northern hemisphere this fall and winter. Wow. I can’t wait.

Peter then included an update in that post, a reference to a report published in the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.  I requested permission to republish the SMH article but that wasn’t granted, well to be factual it was offered at a fee of $420.75 – say no more.  Here is how that report from on board the Greenpeace ice-breaker Arctic Sunrise opened,

We are a few hundred miles from the north pole. The air temperature is -3C, the sea freezing. All around us in these foggy Arctic waters at the top of the world are floes – large and small chunks of sea ice that melt and freeze again with the seasons.

Arne Sorensen, our Danish ice pilot, is 18 metres up in the crow’s nest of the Arctic Sunrise vessel. Visibility is just 200 metres and he inches the 1,000-tonne Greenpeace ice-breaker forward at two knots through narrow passages of clear water.

A few paragraphs later come this:

More than 600,000 sq km more ice has melted in 2012 than ever recorded by satellites. Now the minimum extent has nearly been reached and the sea is starting to refreeze.

‘‘This is the new minimum extent of the ice cap,’’ [Sorensen] says – the frontline of climate change. ‘‘It is sad. I am not doubting this is related to emitting fossil fuels to a large extent. It’s sad to observe that we are capable of changing the planet to such a degree.’’

British, Italian and American scientists on the Arctic Sunrise say they are shocked at the speed and extent of the ice loss.

Over at the Guardian newspaper, their reporter John Vidal, also aboard the Arctic Sunrise, reports:

One of the world’s leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years.

In what he calls a “global disaster” now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for “urgent”   consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.

In an email to the Guardian he says: “Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward.”

Professor Peter Wadhams is head of the Cambridge University Polar Ocean Physics Group, from which one may learn,

Sea ice covers 7% of the surface of our planet. It is one of the most important and variable components of the planetary surface and is the key to understanding many basic questions about the energy balance of the Earth. The ice-covered seas represent the cold end of the enormous heat engine that enables the Earth to have temperatures suitable for human life over most of its surface.

Just go back and re-read, “.. the enormous heat engine that enables the Earth to have temperatures suitable for human life over most of its surface.”

So determining the truth of what is happening to our planet is not some elegant academic exercise, it is about determining the likelihood of human life surviving or not!

Doesn’t that put everything else we are doing into some form of perspective?  Let me rant on tomorrow!

Serious Learning from Dogs!

A fascinating talk by Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Morphic Resonance and ESP

In 1981 Rupert Sheldrake outraged the scientific establishment with his hypothesis of morphic resonance. A morphogenetic field is a hypothetical biological field that contains the information necessary to shape the exact form of a living thing. A presentation at the Biology of Transformation Conference in 2007.

If the sub-heading means as little to you as it did to me when I was introduced to this speaker and his ideas, then hang on for a small while.  But thanks to Peter N, I have had my eyes opened big time about a number of concepts.  Such as have you ever wondered how at times you ‘sense’ who is ringing you before you answer the phone?  Or how your pet cat or dog, especially your dog, knows when you are returning home even outside a normal pattern of your behaviour?

Rupert Sheldrake is a serious scientist, indeed a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University.  He is a Research Fellow of the Royal Institute.

So if you trust what is presented on Learning from Dogs, then trust this one and settle down and watch the video.  It will truly open your eyes in a way that you won’t anticipate.  The video is 1 hour 20 minutes long but within 10 minutes you’ll be hooked!

The link is here http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-4105824266525326404&hl=en&fs=true

More about Rupert Sheldrake tomorrow.