"...creative perception often anticipates scientific findings..."
so says Science News this week (2/2/08, v 173, p. 79)when it lists a book called Proust was a Neurologist. The book summary states," Lehrer analyzes artistic discoveries such as (these)...(that) add up to a plea for scientists to pay attention to the arts. The summary lists examples where Lehrer posits a novelist that described in the story a sensation, a cause and effect, or a phenomenological description of a human response or activity that was later studied by scientists.
(Whew. The summary in SN says it sooo much better!! And they use the number of words needed to say it right, too.Me? I once summarized 1000+ years of history into one 4 paragraph answer on an essay test. Think I'm kidding?)
The summary states that "(t)he poet Walt Whitman made consciousness biological before scientists did. He wrote, 'Behold, the body includes and is the meaning, the main concern, and includes and is the soul.' "
Personally I found the book summary to be another argument for reading science fiction. I also found the summary to be another reason for encouraging today's students to read science fiction since they are the scientists of tomorrow.
Visit www.sciencenews.org to read the book summary. Buy the book. If you would rather that your money went to Science News than to me, then go to Science News bookstore page to order the book. Both sources, them and me, will take you to Amazon.com.
Now if I could find the time to actually read the book itself!!