In Magical Child, Joseph Chilton Pearce presents the idea that our current medical practices around childbirth and our education systems subvert the natural and healthy growth of our greatest human capacities. Pearce builds on the work on the French developmental psychologist Piaget to delineate five stages of human growth, outlining the "natural" biological and psychological processes that help people reach the apex of each of these stages. Unfortunately, he maintains, our modern medical birthing methods and education systems tend to work against these natural processes and trip us up far short of our true human potential. He goes on to cite the work of a number of researchers that suggest better ways of birthing, parenting, and educating.
There are some keen insights here, but unfortunately they are buried within an intellectually muddled and scientifically dishonest presentation. For example, in the introductory chapters, Pearce speaks about human development from a very materialistic (and atheistic) view of human evolution, while often in the same paragraph praising Nature the wonderful "designer" of our human growth, a very theistic view. The significance of the book's central themes -- realization one's full humanity and potential -- is very different in each of these worldviews, and Pearce avoids revealing which side of the fence he sits on. He is similarly dishonest in his use of scientific research. He likes to quote from researchers -- when they agree with his theories. Contradictory scientific evidence isnt mentioned, except in a few cases where he merely dismisses it without discussion. This is unfortunate, because it's the weighing of seemingly contractictory evidence that science has tended to make its greatest leaps. Too bad Pearce wasnt brave enough to put his own theories to that test.