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Morphic resonance and crystallisation
#1
In his interview with Russell Brand, Rupert Sheldrake mentioned as an example of morphic resonance the (alleged) phenomenon that a new crystal can be hard to form for the first time, but becomes progressively easier to form as time goes on. This is discussed in his books, including the revised (2005) edition of "A New Science of Life", available as a preview at Google Books. The conventional explanation is that this is because "seeds" for the new crystal are carried from lab to lab, either by scientists as they move around the world, or as airborne particles in the atmosphere:
https://books.google.com/books?id=s0llAg...6&lpg=PT86

Sheldrake suggests it should be possible to investigate this phenomenon experimentally. I wondered if anyone had any thoughts about it.
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#2
(11-09-2017, 11:27 AM)Chris Wrote: In his interview with Russell Brand, Rupert Sheldrake mentioned as an example of morphic resonance the (alleged) phenomenon that a new crystal can be hard to form for the first time, but becomes progressively easier to form as time goes on. This is discussed in his books, including the revised (2005) edition of "A New Science of Life", available as a preview at Google Books. The conventional explanation is that this is because "seeds" for the new crystal are carried from lab to lab, either by scientists as they move around the world, or as airborne particles in the atmosphere:
https://books.google.com/books?id=s0llAg...6&lpg=PT86

Sheldrake suggests it should be possible to investigate this phenomenon experimentally. I wondered if anyone had any thoughts about it.
As a kid I grew crystals. You can too. Here's a how too video.
https://youtu.be/eIAkWaQi0AE
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#3
(11-09-2017, 11:27 AM)Chris Wrote: In his interview with Russell Brand, Rupert Sheldrake mentioned as an example of morphic resonance the (alleged) phenomenon that a new crystal can be hard to form for the first time, but becomes progressively easier to form as time goes on. This is discussed in his books, including the revised (2005) edition of "A New Science of Life", available as a preview at Google Books. The conventional explanation is that this is because "seeds" for the new crystal are carried from lab to lab, either by scientists as they move around the world, or as airborne particles in the atmosphere:
https://books.google.com/books?id=s0llAg...6&lpg=PT86

Sheldrake suggests it should be possible to investigate this phenomenon experimentally. I wondered if anyone had any thoughts about it.

From memory (it's a long time since I read it), I wasn't convinced his claim that new crystals got easier to form over time was necessarily accurate, I don't remember much in the way of evidence being presented.
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#4
(11-09-2017, 01:45 PM)Max_B Wrote: From memory (it's a long time since I read it), I wasn't convinced his claim that new crystals got easier to form over time was necessarily accurate, I don't remember much in the way of evidence being presented.

Yes - there are two questions. Is it a real phenomenon, and if so can it be explained conventionally?

This letter to the Journal of Applied Crystallography by Geoffrey D. Woodard and Walter C. McCrone published in 1975 seems to be the source of several of Sheldrake's examples. They concern cases in which one crystal form has been prepared for some time and then, following the occurrence of a more stable form, it has been impossible to obtain the earlier form, even in labs "many miles away":
http://journals.iucr.org/j/issues/1975/0...a12701.pdf
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#5
(11-09-2017, 04:53 PM)Chris Wrote: This letter to the Journal of Applied Crystallography by Geoffrey D. Woodard and Walter C. McCrone published in 1975 seems to be the source of several of Sheldrake's examples. They concern cases in which one crystal form has been prepared for some time and then, following the occurrence of a more stable form, it has been impossible to obtain the earlier form, even in labs "many miles away":
http://journals.iucr.org/j/issues/1975/0...a12701.pdf

Ironically, McCrone can hardly be dismissed by sceptics as a believer in "woo woo". He is well known for his work on the Vinland Map and the Turin Shroud - having concluded that both were fakes - and after his death he achieved apotheosis as a member of the CSI "Pantheon of Skeptics":
https://www.csicop.org/about/the_pantheon_of_skeptics
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#6
Interesting quote from that letter:

Quote: Most interesting to us is the fact
that once one laboratory has recrystallized
a compound, either for the first
time or in a more stable form, other laboratories
were able to do so. As Saylor
picturesquely commented, 'as though
the seeds of crystallization, as dust, had
been carried upon the winds from end
to end of the earth'.
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#7
(11-09-2017, 08:47 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Interesting quote from that letter:

 Most interesting to us is the fact
that once one laboratory has recrystallized
a compound, either for the first
time or in a more stable form, other laboratories
were able to do so. As Saylor
picturesquely commented, 'as though
the seeds of crystallization, as dust, had
been carried upon the winds from end
to end of the earth'.

Yes. Looking a bit further, it seems that this kind of "universal seeding" is definitely not conventionally accepted. J. W. Mullin, in a book entitled "Crystallization" (2001), comments as follows:

[Image: mullin.jpg]

https://books.google.com/books?id=Et0Eto...&lpg=PA199

It sounds as though the paper by Dunitz and Bernstein (1995) is the most detailed account of seeding, but unfortunately it's not freely available online. But this account written later by Bernstein (also saying that the idea of "universal seeding" is absurd) is here:
http://www.amercrystalassn.org/documents...087-96.pdf
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#8
(11-09-2017, 11:27 AM)Chris Wrote: In his interview with Russell Brand...

Please.
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