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General News    H3'ed 6/24/21

Notes on book "The Grand Biocentric Design," by Robert Lanza

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Notes from "The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality, by Robert Lanza and Matej Pavsic and Bob Berman

In classical physics, Sir Issac Newton showed that the motion "out there" is the same as the motion "in here." Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell unified electricity and magnetism. As well as showing that matter and energy are interchangeable, Einstein also showed that space and time are two sides of the same coin.

In all of these, the "mind-body problem," or "the hard problem of consciousness," was finessed, subsumed under Rene Descartes' Cartesian theater: a matrix that rigidly separated mind from body. His subject-object wall all but conveniently omitted "the subjective" under the rubric "cogito ergo sum."

During the quantum revolution of the 1920s, Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle made clear that the more we know about a moving object, the less certain we are about where it is. Louis de Broglie showed that all particles are blurry and remain in a superposed state prior to being rendered statistically distinct waveforms once said waveform is observed and then collapses. Neils Bohr showed that consciousness must be taken into account if an atom is to be thought of as being well-defined.

As well, we have had a generation of experiments that show that particles can influence each other instantaneously over vast distances, defying the universal light speed limit. And more recently as well, there have also been confirmed experiments that have shown that past decisions can be amended "after the fact" rendering time as we understand it questionable if not down right meaningless. Then, of course there is the functional MRI, that can reliably reproduce the images we see in our mind's eye. It is a strange kind of self-reference when the brain knows how the mind works but the mind is unaware of how the brain that contains it generates thoughts?

The upshot of experiments at least since the 1920s is that we are rapidly converging to a critical mass of understanding about how nature and observer are part of an inseparable whole; or else running headlong backwards into an even more rigid solipsistic kind of neo-realism. All we know reliably is that the presence of an observer, undeniably changes what is observed.

Yet, until this author did so here, these well-rehearsed anomalies of Quantum Theory have remained unmoored floating about in the ether, either too hot to handle or too inconvenient to bring to the forefront into a larger picture of a more general theory of the universe.

But here, almost single-handedly, the author takes up this daunting task, and unsteadily runs the gauntlet. He makes his grand entrance with a powerful and imminently plausible set of assertions that "life creates reality and not the other way around." And then he systematically lays down a set of principles, that if confirmed through repeatable experiments, will indeed prove his point. Thus, as auspicious as his start is, all his work remains ahead of him, with many experiments yet to be done.

It is Professor Lanza's final conjecture that when the dust settles, and our worldview catches up with existing scientific experiments, the old paradigm of reality being matter "out there," and consciousness being mind "in here," must eventually give way to a new biocentric worldview in which the universe becomes a product of life and consciousness, and not the other way around.

Clearly this thesis is not your run-of-the-mill "solipsistic new world spiritual semantic sleight of hand," but is a new full-bodied scientific way of seeing both life and the universe through a new set of biocentric lens.

And if bold assertions alone were sufficient proof, the ball game would already be over. It of course is not over until the fat lady sings, and she has not yet even warmed up her vocal cords.

Even if this treatise poses as many questions as it answers, it is nevertheless a robust beginning. It more than kick-starts a discussion that should have begun at least a generation ago.

In his new paradigm, the assertion that life is separate from the universe is forced to give ground to the Schrodinger and Bohr interpretation of Quantum Physics, one that factors consciousness back into the equation of the universe, and arguably reveals it as the central player in the drama of reality.

Development of his thesis begins by depicting "consciousness" as the electric current that creates life. Electrochemical processes make up the substrate of both the brain and reality, especially life. According to the author, at the core of this electric current are eleven principles of biocentrism.

Simplified and stripped of redundancies, they reduce to:

Our external and internal perceptions are just different sides of the same superposed collapsible probability wave function.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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