Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert LanzaBiocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the…

byRobert Lanza, Bob Berman

Paperback | May 18, 2010

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Robert Lanza is one of the most respected scientists in the world—a US News & World Report cover story called him a “genius” and a “renegade thinker,” even likening him to Einstein. Lanza has teamed with Bob Berman, the most widely read astronomer in the world, to produce Biocentrism, a revolutionary new view of the universe.

Every now and then a simple yet radical idea shakes the very foundations of knowledge. The startling discovery that the world was not flat challenged and ultimately changed the way people perceived themselves and their relationship with the world. For most humans of the 15th century, the notion of Earth as ball of rock was nonsense. The whole of Western, natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change again, increasingly being forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory, and at the same time, towards doubt and uncertainty in the physical explanations of the universe’s genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.

In this paradigm, life is not an accidental byproduct of the laws of physics. Biocentrism takes the reader on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe—our own—from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. Switching perspective from physics to biology unlocks the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed to confine itself. Biocentrism will shatter the reader’s ideas of life—time and space, and even death. At the same time it will release us from the dull worldview of life being merely the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements; it suggests the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal.

The 21st century is predicted to be the Century of Biology, a shift from the previous century dominated by physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turning the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science with a simple idea discovered by one of the leading life-scientists of our age. Biocentrism awakens in readers a new sense of possibility, and is full of so many shocking new perspectives that the reader will never see reality the same way again.
Robert Lanza “Robert Lanza was taken under the wing of scientific giants such as psychologist B.F. Skinner, immunologist Jonas Salk, and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. His mentors described him as a ‘genius,’ a ‘renegade thinker,’ even likening him to Einstein himself.” —US News & World Report cover story Robert Lanza ha...
Title:Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the…Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:May 18, 2010Publisher:BenBella Books, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1935251740

ISBN - 13:9781935251743

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book Smart. Interesting. Great book for a scientific mind. This book made me have a different view of the world!
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from More like selfcentrism It was nice on the first chapters. But starting to whine, whine, and whine till the end, "Believe in me. Forget physics, drop string theory, the hell with big bang. Those maths are too hard for our 'consciousness'. Hail biocentrism!"
Date published: 2013-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Science in the name of fantasy The book explains established scientific concepts well. However, the book then makes some massive leaps of logic in order to back up the Biocentrism theory. It is an enjoyable read, but Biocentrism is a far cry from a scientific theory.
Date published: 2013-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great explanation on quantum theory but.. Robert Lanza is no doubt one of the brightest contemporary mind. This is evident in his grasp and clarity in explaining quantum theory especially quantum entanglement. However the chapters on time and space seemed rather rushed and under developed. It would be good if he can elaborate more on how his biocentrism take account into how different entities' consciousness interact with each other. And how these interaction affects the biocentrism's take on time and space.
Date published: 2013-01-18

Read from the Book

IntroductionOur understanding of the universe as a whole has reached a deadend. The “meaning” of quantum physics has been debatedsince it was first discovered in the 1930s, but we are no closerto understanding it now than we were then. The “theory of everything”that was promised for decades to be just around the cornerhas been stuck for decades in the abstract mathematics of string theory,with its unproven and unprovable assertions.But it’s worse than that. Until recently, we thought we knew whatthe universe was made of, but it now turns out that 96 percent of theuniverse is composed of dark matter and dark energy, and we havevirtually no idea what they are. We’ve accepted the Big Bang, despitethe increasingly greater need to jury-rig it to fit our observations (asin the 1979 acceptance of a period of exponential growth, known asinflation, for which the physics is basically unknown). It even turnsout that the Big Bang has no answer for one of the greatest mysteries inthe universe: why is the universe exquisitely fine-tuned to support life?Our understanding of the fundamentals of the universe is actuallyretreating before our eyes. The more data we gather, the morewe’ve had to juggle our theories or ignore findings that simply makeno sense.This book proposes a new perspective: that our current theoriesof the physical world don’t work, and can never be made to work,until they account for life and consciousness. This book proposesthat, rather than a belated and minor outcome after billions of yearsof lifeless physical processes, life and consciousness are absolutelyfundamental to our understanding of the universe. We call this newperspective biocentrism.In this view, life is not an accidental by-product of the laws ofphysics. Nor is the nature or history of the universe the dreary playof billiard balls that we’ve been taught since grade school.Through the eyes of a biologist and an astronomer, we willunlock the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managedto confine itself. The twenty-first century is predicted to bethe century of biology, a shift from the previous century dominatedby physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turningthe universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science,not with imaginary strings that occupy equally imaginary unseendimensions, but with a much simpler idea that is rife with so manyshocking new perspectives that we are unlikely ever to see realitythe same way again.Biocentrism may seem like a radical departure from our currentunderstanding, and it is, but the hints have appeared all around usfor decades. Some of the conclusions of biocentrism may resonatewith aspects of Eastern religions or certain New Age philosophies.This is intriguing, but rest assured there is nothing New Age aboutthis book. The conclusions of biocentrism are based on mainstreamscience, and it is a logical extension of the work of some of our greatestscientific minds.Biocentrism cements the groundwork for new lines of investigationin physics and cosmology. This book will lay out the principlesof biocentrism, all of which are built on established science, and allof which demand a rethinking of our current theories of the physicaluniverse.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Muddy Universe 3
2. In the Beginning There Was . . . What? 11
3. The Sound of a Falling Tree 19
4. Lights and Action! 25
5. Where Is the Universe? 33
6. Bubbles in Time 41
7. When Tomorrow Comes Before Yesterday 47
8. The Most Amazing Experiment 61
9. Goldilocks’s Universe 83
10. No Time to Lose 95
11. Space Out 111
12. The Man Behind the Curtain 129
13. Windmills of the Mind 135
14. A Fall in Paradise 143
15. Building Blocks of Creation 147
16. What Is This Place? 153
17. Sci-Fi Gets Real 163
18. Mystery of Consciousness 169
19. Death and Eternity 185
20. Where Do We Go from Here? 195
Appendix 1: The Lorentz Transformation 199
Appendix 2: Einstein’s Relativity and Biocentrism 201
Index 209
About the Authors 213

Editorial Reviews

“I found the attack on physics to be pretty compelling ... Lanza's theories [are] certainly worth debate.”—Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger, SciGuy blog“What makes this book both interesting and worth the effort of reading it; is the unique perspective Lanza brings to the subject matter as a physician. ... From the way [Lanza] chooses to present his arguments, it's clear he has a solid grasp of esoteric disciplines like quantum theory, special relativity and particle physics. And what makes his presentation more compelling than other efforts I've encountered is his ability and willingness to weave personal experience into the thoughts and ideas presented. His style is conversational and warm which tends to pull you along through the exposition gently. And his sense of wonder and befuddlement at shop worn enigmas like the double slit experiment, Bell's theorem, non-locality and Schrödinger's cat is as infectious as it is delightful ... I very much like what Lanza has to say in Biocentrism.”—Midwest Book ReviewEndorsements for Robert Lanza’s essay on which Biocentrism is based:“For several days now I have read and reread your article and thought about it. Like ‘a brief history of time’ it is indeed stimulating and brings biology into the whole. Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work. Almost every society of mankind has explained the mystery of our surroundings and being by invoking a god or group of gods. Scientists work to acquire objective answers from the infinity of space or the inner machinery of the atom. Lanza proposes a biocentrist theory which ascribes the answer to the observer rather than the observed. The work is a scholarly consideration of science and philosophy that brings biology into the central role in unifying the whole. The book will appeal to an audience of many different disciplines because it is a new way of looking at the old problem of our existence. Most importantly, it makes you think.”—E. Donnall ThomasThomas was awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and Director Emeritus of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.“It is genuinely an exciting piece of work. I am very familiar with some of the things you say. The idea that consciousness creates reality has quantum support, as you suggest, and also coheres with some of the things biology and neuroscience are telling us about the structures of our being. To put what you are doing in a larger context, it exhibits a dramatic new Copernican reversal. Just as we now know that the sun doesn’t really move but we do (we are the active agents), so you are suggesting that we are the entities that give meaning to the particular configuration of all possible outcomes we call reality. I think this is a great project.”—Ronald GreenGreen is the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, and Director of Dartmouth College’s Ethics Institute. Professor Green is a well-known religious studies scholar and former Chairman of the Department of Religion“Robert Lanza, a world renowned scientist who has spanned many fields from drug delivery to stem cells to preventing animal extinction, and clearly one of the most brilliant minds of our times, has done it again. ‘A New Theory of the Universe’ takes into account all the knowledge we have gained over the last few centuries, and correlates them to our own beings, placing in perspective our biologic limitations that have impeded our understanding of greater truths surrounding our existence and the universe around us. This new theory is certain to revolutionize our concepts of the laws of nature for centuries to come.”—Anthony AtalaAtala is an internationally recognized scientist, and the W.H. Boyce Professor, Chair, and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.“As an astrophysicist, I focus my attention on objects that are very large and very far away, ignoring the whole issue of consciousness as a critical part of the Universe. Reading Robert Lanza’s work is a wake-up call to all of us that even on the grandest scale we still depend on our minds to experience reality. Issues of “quantum weirdness” do have a place in the macroscopic world. Time and space do depend on perception. We can go about our daily lives and continue to study the physical Universe as if it exists as an objective reality (because the probabilities allow that degree of confidence), but we do so with a better awareness of an underlying biological component, thanks to Dr. Lanza. I cannot speak for NASA or other NASA scientists, but personally I look forward to hearing a more detailed explanation of this biocentric view of the Universe from Dr. Lanza.”—David ThompsonThompson is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. His contributions include the building and flying of prototypes of EGRET, which was launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1991. He is currently with the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, and has received both the Goddard Space Flight Center & NASA Group Exceptional Achievement Awards.“Yes, it is appropriate to ask whether our perception of space and time is a consequence of our particular neurophysiology. Yes, it is appropriate to ask how it happened that the conditions worked out to be just right for life to appear somehow on earth and then to evolve from the archaea through the eukaryotes to us. ... I’ll bet the book gets a good audience. And I like to see books published that challenge my own ideas and thoughts in ways that make me think, but not ones that simply throw dogma at me. The essay is definitely of the former kind.”—R. Stephen BerryBerry is James Franck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago. Professor Berry is a member (and recent Home Secretary) of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. He was also former Vice President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and MacArthur Prize “Genius” Fellow.“Science has a token of freedom that motivates scientists to study all logical possibilities that may explain the world. Robert Lanza has come up with an innovative approach to investigate reality from the viewpoint of biology. His article demands an answer to the question of whether scientists have exhausted all possible tools for studying nature. Can science bring biology into grand unified theory? A solution is suggested that involves a new concept, biocentrism. Lanza goes beyond the individual human attribute calling for interconnectedness among all living creatures forming the fundamental basis for understanding reality. A book that expands upon this unique approach is warranted, not only to alert society, but to call on it to test this novel new hypothesis.”—Gunther KletetschkaKletetschka is a geophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is also a Research Professor of Physics at Catholic University of America and leading scientist working on the James Web Space Telescope.“It’s a masterpiece—truly a magnificent essay. Bob Lanza is to be congratulated for a fresh and highly erudite look at the question of how perception and consciousness shape reality and common experience. His monograph combines a deep understanding and broad insight into 20th century physics and modern biological science; in so doing, he forces a reappraisal of this hoary epistemological dilemma. Not all will agree with the proposition he advances, but most will find his writing eminently readable and his arguments both convincing and challenging. Bravo.”—Michael LysaghtLysaght is Professor of Medical Science and Engineering at Brown University and Director of Brown’s Center for Biomedical Engineering.