Lyall Watson

What I say about Lyall Watson in “Lamarck’s Due, Darwin’s Luck”.

Another popular writer of the 1970s was a South African-born biologist working in Britain, Lyall Watson (1939-2008), whose books did not set out to explain science, but to highlight all the strange phenomena that science could not explain. Travelling around the world investigating all sorts of seemingly supernatural phenomena, he had come to the conclusion that there was much more in heaven and earth than was dreamed of in any orthodox scientist’s philosophy. As a basic exponent of Jung, he regarded telepathy as one of the fundamental, determining influences in the life sciences. As far as the scientific Establishment was concerned, he had gone completely AWOL, but he caught the public imagination by putting some mystery back into soul-less science. He may have also contributed to a general increase in mysticism that would occur during the coming decades. In his 1979 book, “Lifetide”, one of the pieces of evidence he cited which particularly impressed me, and will become relevant in the next chapter, concerned the chemical glycerine, about which I quote from my own 1996 book, “The Alternative Life”:

Glycerine is an organic chemical which now exists in two forms – a liquid or a crystalline solid at temperatures below 18oC. It has been used extensively by human beings for 250 years but until the early part of this century it was always only a liquid. Despite strenuous efforts by chemists to induce crystallisation, they never succeeded. Then a barrel of glycerine being transported from Vienna to London accidentally crystallised. Thereafter, other glycerine samples started to crystallise more and more easily and eventually spontaneously at temperatures below 18oC.