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

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

by Robert Lanza, Bob Berman

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935251248
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 02/02/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 260,901
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

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 has been exploring the frontiers of science for more than four decades, and is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has several hundred publications and inventions, and 20 scientific books, among them, Principles of Tissue Engineering, which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field. Others include One World: The Health&Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century (with a foreword by President Jimmy Carter), and the Handbook of Stem Cells and Essentials of Stem Cell Biology, which are considered the definitive references in stem cell research.

Dr. Lanza received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, and was part of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, as well as the first to clone an endangered species, to demonstrate that nuclear transfer could reverse the aging process, and to generate stem cells using a method that does not require the destruction of human embryos. Dr. Lanza was awarded the 2005 Rave Award for Medicine by Wired magazine, and received the 2006 “All Star” Award for Biotechnology by Mass High Tech.

Dr. Lanza and his research have been featured in almost every media outlet in the world, including all the major television networks, CNN, Time, Newsweek, People magazine, as well as the front pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today, among others. Lanza has worked with some of the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel Laureates Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter. Lanza worked closely with B.F. Skinner at Harvard University. Lanza and Skinner (the “Father of Modern Behaviorism”) published a number of scientific papers together. He has also worked with Jonas Salk (discoverer of the polio vaccine) and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard.

Bob Berman
“this is a fascinating guy” —David Letterman

“fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight” —Astronomy magazine

Bob Berman is the most widely read astronomer in the world. Author of more than one thousand published articles, in publications such as Discover and Astronomy magazine, where he is a monthly columnist, he is also astronomy editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the author of four books. He is adjunct professor of astronomy at Marymount College, and writes and produces a weekly show on Northeast Public Radio, aired during NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Our understanding of the universe as a whole has reached a dead
end. The “meaning” of quantum physics has been debated
since it was first discovered in the 1930s, but we are no closer
to understanding it now than we were then. The “theory of everything”
that was promised for decades to be just around the corner
has 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 what
the universe was made of, but it now turns out that 96 percent of the
universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy, and we have
virtually no idea what they are. We’ve accepted the Big Bang, despite
the increasingly greater need to jury-rig it to fit our observations (as
in the 1979 acceptance of a period of exponential growth, known as
inflation, for which the physics is basically unknown). It even turns
out that the Big Bang has no answer for one of the greatest mysteries in
the universe: why is the universe exquisitely fine-tuned to support life?
Our understanding of the fundamentals of the universe is actually
retreating before our eyes. The more data we gather, the more
we’ve had to juggle our theories or ignore findings that simply make
no sense.

This book proposes a new perspective: that our current theories
of the physical world don’t work, and can never be made to work,
until they account for life and consciousness. This book proposes
that, rather than a belated and minor outcome after billions of years
of lifeless physical processes, life and consciousness are absolutely
fundamental to our understanding of the universe. We call this new
perspective biocentrism.

In this view, life is not an accidental by-product of the laws of
physics. Nor is the nature or history of the universe the dreary play
of billiard balls that we’ve been taught since grade school.

Through the eyes of a biologist and an astronomer, we will
unlock the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed
to confine itself. The twenty-first 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,
not with imaginary strings that occupy equally imaginary unseen
dimensions, but with a much simpler idea that is rife with so many
shocking new perspectives that we are unlikely ever to see reality
the same way again.

Biocentrism may seem like a radical departure from our current
understanding, and it is, but the hints have appeared all around us
for decades. Some of the conclusions of biocentrism may resonate
with aspects of Eastern religions or certain New Age philosophies.
This is intriguing, but rest assured there is nothing New Age about
this book. The conclusions of biocentrism are based on mainstream
science, and it is a logical extension of the work of some of our greatest
scientific minds.

Biocentrism cements the groundwork for new lines of investigation
in physics and cosmology. This book will lay out the principles
of biocentrism, all of which are built on established science, and all
of which demand a rethinking of our current theories of the physical
universe.

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

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