Book Reviews by Stephen P. Smith, Ph.D. (Part VII)

Review of Charles T. Tart’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together

Abstract: Tart believes that the big five, his referral to telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing, are well supported by scientific evidence. Tart reviews this evidence, but wants to go to the next step: to consider other paranormal phenomena, and to look at the issue of what these phenomena mean in a philosophical sense (his best bet). See:

Review of Gregg Braden's Book by Stephen P. Smith: The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits

Abstract: In is interesting that Braden sees reality as a computer simulation, and it comes with belief codes that act as part of the universal computer program. This admission would seem to delight materialists and science fiction writers that venture similar speculations. But Braden's usage is metaphorical, and there is a serious caveat that permits a break from a mechanistic world view: we are able to re-program our poorly tuned beliefs, because instinctively we know that the simulation is only an illusion. Because we know that an appearance is an illusion we are able to escape the dictates of a computer program, and therefore greater reality cannot be just a simulation. See:

Review of B. Alan Wallace & Brian Hodel's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality

Abstract: Wallace (and Hodel) do a very good job in "Embracing Mind." They break the book down into three parts. In Part One, Wallace takes another look at science, and where science may drift off into scientism. In Part Two, Wallace looks at a more promising science that can study the mind. In Part Three, Wallace takes up "tools and technologies of a Buddhist science of contemplation. See:

Review of David Skrbina's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Panpsychism in the West

Abstract: David Skrbina's "Panpsychism in the West" presents the historical emergence of panpsychism within western philosophy: from the ancient Greeks, the Renaissance, the eighteenth century, and up to modern times. Skrbina gives a very comprehensive treatment, worthy of five stars despite my criticism. Nevertheless, I want to point out some subtlety that Skrbina missed, and this is not to detract from Skrbina's fine work. Skrbina writes about my favored panpsychists: C.S. Peirce; A.N. Whitehead, Teilhard de Chardin, and C. Hartshorne. He makes a very impressive case for panpsychism, taking us into modern time. His book is must reading. See:

Review of Manjir Samanta-Laughton's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Punk Science: Inside the Mind of God

Abstract: Manjir Samanta-Laughton's "Punk Science" is worth five stars. I recommend her book because of its groundbreaking insights, and this is despite of the book's significant weaknesses that I will also point out. See: