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By Kindle reader Charles Koeppen

5.0 out of 5 stars.
A Refreshing Perspective on an Astonishing Subject

February 3, 2014 By Charles Koeppen (New York) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Verified Purchase (Amazon.com)

"This review is for: The Truly Astonishing Hypothesis. First, I'd like to address some problems with (the Kindle edition). It is not formatted well for Kindle (at least the paper-white model), many of the diagrams did not display well, and the indexing did not work correctly.

However, putting those issues aside, this was a very refreshing book to read. I came across this book because I was researching some of Francis Crick's work, and thought this might be good supplemental reading. A nice surprise was that while not being a highly religious individual myself, I was somewhat disturbed by the atheist direction a lot of the popular work from neuroscientists seems to take. This book, The Truly Astonishing Hypothesis, alleviates some of my concerns, and describes a hypothesis that fills some of the gaps in the framework Francis Crick laid out by adding ideas that at the very least suggest the verdict is still out on whether or not there is still room for the belief in God within this field of science.

The author, John Beiswenger, focuses mostly on Francis Crick's book "The Astonishing Hypothesis", however also mentions and uses information from Jeff Hawkins' "On Intelligence" often. He also has included extensive footnotes and a bibliography, it is obvious that the book is well researched. My five star rating is not because I do not see problems with the author's hypothesis, but that I believe that he is on the right track by pointing out that Francis Crick's work is not a good argument atheists can rest upon, as many have, particularly in the last chapter of Crick's book titled "Dr. Crick's Sunday Morning Service".

John Beiswenger's hypothesis includes several modes of existence, including a "concurrent", an "atemporal", and a "sequential" state. Then he proposes a Particle (with a capital P) as an atemporal particle of zero mass that is the functional center of every living cell. I know that the idea of mass-less particles sounds similar to early phlogiston theories used to explain oxidation that are almost laughable knowing what we do today, however, those early theories are what gave scientists the motivation to seek the truth. And that is where I see the value in John Beiswenger's hypothesis, it is a very good starting point.

Another part of John Beiswenger's hypothesis is "the Field". This immediately reminded me of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, however, Mr. Beiswenger points out the differences between his Field and Sheldrake's in the footnotes. That brings me to another aspect of how to get the most out of this book, and that would be to read the footnotes. I was discouraged from doing so because with the poor Kindle formatting I feared that I may lose my place and put off reading the footnotes until the end. But, the footnote linking works, and in the footnotes I found text as interesting as the book itself, including a concise description of Dr. Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, a very good treatment of the "I am who I am" identification God gave Moses in the Bible, some intriguing near-death experience descriptions, a good treatise on what the soul is, an excerpt from Dr. Randell L. Mills "The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Quantum Mechanics", and other items I am certain that, no matter how skeptical, anyone with interest in this subject will enjoy.

Even for the reader who has no interest in the religious perspective so intelligently applied by the author, the excerpts from the work of Jeff Hawkins, Francis Crick, and others along with John Beiswenger's wording tying the ideas together should provide those who pick up this book with some enlightening moments."

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