I heard this story last week and thought it would make an interesting blog post. The photo doesn’t really have anything to do with the story – I just think it’s cute.
In 1952 a group of scientists were observing a colony of snow monkeysÂ on the Japanese island of Koshima. The monkeys liked to eat a fruit that dropped into the sand where they lived, but they didn’t like the taste of the sand that stuck to the fruit. One day a young female monkey worked out that she could clean the fruit in a nearby stream.
For the next six years all the young monkeys on the island and a small number of adult monkeys (who learned from their children), learned how to wash their fruit, but there were still a large number of adult monkeys who continued to eat the dirty fruit. No one knows the exact number of monkeys that were washing their fruit at that time, but suddenly one morning in 1958 the scientists observed that ALL the monkeys had started to wash their fruit. Not only that but all the snow monkeys on the other islands and the mainland at Takasakiyama had started to wash their fruit on the same morning.
The same thing has been observed in lab rats who are presented with a particularly difficult problem to solve. Once a lab rat in one location solves the problem then scientists have observed that lab rats on corresponding experiments in different geographical locations all solve the problem shortly afterwards.
This phenomenon is called ‘morphic resonance’. It is the theory that if enough conscious beings know about something then somehow the idea communicates to all those conscious beings by some kind of natural telepathy. For this to work we would all have to be linked in to the minds of our fellow beings in a way that we are not fully aware of. I love this theory and it gives weight to the fact that what you do to the environment or someone esle you are in fact acting against yourself and so you had better make your actions good ones!
If you want to read more about morphic resonance, look up Rupert Sheldrake‘s website. He is a Cambridge University educated scientist with a very unusual way of looking at the world.