The lab was pleased to host a visit by Rupert Sheldrake, perhaps the world’s leader in exploring areas of science that fall between the cracks, often deeply. Rupert drew a large crowd, some from the university and some from the local community, many of whom know well his many books. Rupert and his family come to the Northwest each summer, staying at an island off Vancouver. So, a visit to Seattle is a natural for them.
Rupert inspired us with evidence that some of the “constants” of science are not constant. Included are the gravitational constant and the speed of light. His presentation focused on the gravitational constant, G. Rupert collected successive volumes of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and plotted the reported values of G. (Each value is the mean of measurements made independently by selected laboratories. Meteorologists then combine the results, and report the values, with the estimated level of uncertainty.) The expectation is that over the years, values will converge on the “real” value. But the plot showed otherwise - a lot of scatter, in which the difference between the highest and lowest values differed by some 80 times the uncertainty. This raised the question whether G is genuinely constant, or whether it might be secondary to some more fundamental constant. A more detailed discussion appears in Rupert’s latest book, “The Science Delusion"
Rupert told us that he is now looking at water to test his famous “morphic resonance” theory. When water is vibrated, certain patterns form, depending on frequency. They are known as Faraday waves, or “cymatics.". Rupert is testing whether once vibrated at a particular frequency, the pattern appears more quickly the second time it’s vibrated at that frequency. If so, that would lend support to his theory that information is never lost: once it exists, that information is available to facilitate the subsequent appearance of the same event.