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Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe
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Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe [Format Kindle]

Bob Berman , Robert Lanza
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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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.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent and mind opening 14 mars 2014
Par Jan
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A completely different outlook on how life and the universe are entangled in a way that one cannot exist without the other. This book had me riveted. It made me look at the world in a different way. Often I'd stop reading and just look around me, to try and experience the theory.
Absolutely fascinating.
For those who enjoy the world of physics, quantum physics, spirituality and how we perceive 'reality'.
Very rare I read a book twice, with this one I did.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.9 étoiles sur 5  314 commentaires
314 internautes sur 334 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliantly written, challenging and kind of creepy 10 juin 2009
Par Free Thinker - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Challenging assumptions is always excellent mental exercise. In this book Robert Lanza takes on one of the key tenets of modern thinking: that all scientific disciplines ultimately reduce to physics. In its place he offers the provocative thesis that biology is primary, and the Universe literally flows from the conscious perceptions of living creatures.

On its face this sounds absurd, which demonstrates all the more just how brilliant this man is. He draws on findings from quantum physics and anatomy studies to establish a series of foundational principles for his biocentric theory, which he then elaborates on and defends.

He begins by reminding us of something we all know but rarely think about: that reality is literally "all in our heads." We don't see the sunset, we see the interpretation of it our brain creates. We don't smell the rose, we experience the sensation of a scent created by a neural network.

We believe that these impressions are imposed on us by what Stephen Hawking calls the RWOT (Real World Out There). But our evidence for this belief amounts to subjective internal experiences! In pointing this out Lanza shifts the burden of proof to the physicalists, who assert that the outside world is what is truly real, while our qualia are illusory.

He expands on this thought by citing evidence from quantum physics.
The famous two slit experiment, observations of split photons switching spin directions simultaneously, and observations of true backwards causation (the present determining the past) are all cited. Einstein once asked a colleague if he truly believed that the moon wasn't in the sky if no one was looking at it. Lanza would reply "of course it's not!"

In reading this book I was reminded of some of the implications of Relativity. It occurred to me that there are no absolute measurements of length. What my tape measure says is three feet would not be that at all
for someone traveling at 99.99% of light speed. Nor would my estimation of the distance from my living room to Disneyland be the same as theirs. And their figures would be just as valid as mine! If space and time are completely dependent on the perspective of the observer, then in what sense are they real?

I have to also comment on Lanza's excellent writing style. He makes esoteric concepts understandable to laypeople like me. He also injects quite a bit of his life story into the text, talking about how he escaped from a less than ideal upbringing to become a medical doctor and a highly regarded research scientist. Being from a very similar background, I was able to identify with his struggles, though my resume is nowhere near as impressive as his.

This book so successfully challenged my current view of reality that it actually left me feeling a little unsettled, "creepy." But it also gave me an abundance of food for thought. Am I convinced he's right? Not yet. But I suspect he may be. So will you. This book gets my highest recommendation.
173 internautes sur 186 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating proposal for a paradigm change 7 juillet 2009
Par Douglas Kings - Publié sur
I've just finished reading the book and there is still a lot I need to process. The comments I have read (not so much here but on other sites) have been, not surprisingly, mostly negative. Personally I do think Lanza is on to something important. Reading the many criticisms of his ideas, however, makes me aware that evaluating biocentrism is going to be very difficult because it is a proposal for a paradigm shift. By definition, a new paradigm always appears to be nonsense from within the established paradigm. A proposal to change from one paradigm to another is very different than a proposal to replace one idea with another within a paradigm. Most of biocentrism's critics, it seems to me, are treating it as if it's the latter rather than the former.

It's been a long time since I read Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions but this is, I think, one of its most profound insights. For example,from the Ptolemaic perspective Copernicus and Galileo were crazy. Their critics and persecutors were not unreasonable. What Copernicus and Galileo were proposing, however, was a change in reason. As Kuhn shows, the shift from one paradigm to another is inevitably messy and chaotic. In the end, a new paradigm is finally adopted for very pragmatic reasons: it works, or at least works better than its predecessor.

For this reason, I think there is a lot of misunderstanding of what Lanza is proposing. He is being critiqued from within the assumptions of the paradigm he is seeking to replace, which is understandable and even inevitable, but nonetheless very confusing. For example, traditional Christianity and modern science have debated whether God created the universe or whether it originated spontaneously in an event like the Big Bang. When Lanza says consciousness creates the universe he is not now offering a third alternative. Rather, he is proposing a model in which origins-in-time questions are meaningless.

For Lanza, the universe is created and re-created in our consciousness every time we interact with it and this is its most important moment of creation. To many/most, such an observation will seem obvious and inconsequential. Lanza's assertion is that in practice this is much more significant a truth than we are aware. Ignoring the universe in our heads, he maintains, is leading scientists and others to numerous misunderstandings and on a whole assortment of fruitless quests (e.g. for a TOE/ "theory of everything or GUI/ "grand unified theory").

In the long run, biocentrism will be judged on its utility. Lanza is certainly right in identifying the many problems that exist with our current model of reality, which are more profound and consequential than probably most people realize. It will take awhile to see if biocentrism is the replacement model that both addresses these problems and opens up new avenues for exploration and problem solving. In any case, I think Lanza has opened up a path that needs to be explored.

Biocentrism is not overly long or technical and is well written, including several enjoyable and even moving passages from Lanza's own life. It will certainly make you think and see things from a different perspective, which I believe is always a good thing. Strongly recommended.
118 internautes sur 135 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perhaps Lanza and Hawking converge? 11 juin 2009
Par Daniel J. Rose - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I must concur with all of the thoughtful reviews so far presented that Robert Lanza and Bob Berman have crafted a beautifully written account of a potentially revolutionary idea. Where as most current cosmological theories represent life and consciousness as emergent, and even accidental, properties of an otherwise lifeless universe. Dr. Lanza proposes, to the contrary, that life and consciousness are actually fundamental properties of the universe and all that it represents, so much so that the universe cannot possibly exist without life to give it reality.

From this simple idea, some might immediately assume that Dr. Lanza is seeking to justify a form of Intelligent Design or Creationism, but that would be a huge mistake. Dr. Lanza is a consummate scientist who fully embraces the latest knowledge that science has brought us, from evolutionary theory to relativity and quantum mechanics. His biocentrism, in fact, proposes to make sense of some of the most perplexing discoveries that quantum mechanics has revealed together with Einsteinian relativity, and he does this in the most engaging, patient (to this layman), and conversational style, with a minimum of mathematics. He even takes the time to explain the little math that he uses for the most innumerate among us to understand.

Basically, he contends that any unobserved universe can only exist in a state of probability that requires living observation and measurement to give it any certain reality. Some have assumed that Lanza refers only to human consciousness and question the idea on this very basis: what gave the universe reality before humans arrived? However, it is clear that he is referring to consciousness as it exists, to one degree or another, in all forms of life, known and unknown. While for an individual, what is not perceived may not exist for them, clearly the larger reality is far more complex than that, and such, at the very least, is the work that remains to be understood.

A previous reviewer draws a distinction between Robert Lanza's biocentrism and Stephen Hawking's sense of the "RWOT (Real World Out There)." However, from a recent article on Dr. Hawking's latest thinking, it appears that Lanza and Hawking may actually be converging on the same point. Hawking is quoted in the July/August 2009 issue of Discover magazine as follows ("Return of the Invisible Man," pp. 50-51):

"Hawking's most recent work explores the implications of the notion that the universe is a giant quantum phenomenon. The problem with conventional attempts to understand the cosmos, he now believes, is that researchers have failed to appreciate the full, bizarre implications of quantum physics. These efforts to create a unique theory that would explain all the properties of the universe are therefore doomed to fail. Hawking refers to such attempts as `bottom-up' theories because they assume the universe had a unique beginning and that its subsequent history was the only possible one.

"Hawking is now pushing a different strategy, which he calls top-down cosmology. It is not the case, he says, that the past uniquely determines the present. Because the universe has many possible histories and just as many possible beginnings, the present state of the universe selects the past. `This means that the histories of the Universe depend on what is being measured,' Hawking wrote in a recent paper, `contrary to the usual idea that the Universe has an objective, observer-independent history.'"

Dr. Lanza insists that future theories of the universe will be biocentric in nature. That Dr. Hawking might agree, in a complete reversal from his past writing about this, certainly raises the most intriguing of possibilities, does it not?
159 internautes sur 185 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Biocentrism: a good start 2 juillet 2009
Par Andres Betts - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Dr Lanza does present some interesting perspectives on the role of life and consciousness in the origin and nature of the Universe. He goes on to ascribe six principles to his Biocentrism hypothesis, where the role of the conscious observer is central to the very existence of the Universe itself; and that time and space, or physical objects themselves do not have an independent existence or reality without an observer. In fact, he concludes that life creates the Universe. It is a refreshing review of biology as being more central to the origin and evolution of the Universe over the more typical emphasis of physics and mathematics as the primary language of cosmology. Biology is intuitively more understandable than the application of advanced mathematics to describe the inner workings of the Universe. Dr Lanza provides an excellent biological emphasis for Cosmology to help individuals grasp the role of the observer in the understanding of the Universe, which is the foundation of his Biocentrism hypothesis.

The observer's role in the creation of the Universe stems from a "quantum weirdness" that describes how the act of observation effects the outcome of a quantum measurement. Most of this hypothesis is based on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics that posits the observer as the key element in determining the result of a quantum measurement. The experimental result of any quantum measurement remains undetermined (in a state of superposition) until a conscious observer looks at the quantum system. At the extreme view, no object exists until someone looks at it; not even the sun, moon, stars or the Universe itself. Unfortunately, this is by no means a new hypothesis: the eminent cosmologist John Wheeler had made a similar acertion more than 6 decades ago, that only the presence of a conscious observer brings the Universe into existence.
Dr Lanza asserts that it is biology that gives meaning to time and space; indeed that space-time does not exist without the perception by a biological observer. In other words, there is no existence beyond the self, which boils down to the philosophy of Solipsism. However, again, there is nothing novel or new in this position. He offers no clues as to what degree of consciousness an observer must possess to bring spacetime or a quantum measurement into reality. Does a dog, cat, insect, amoeba and quantum physicist equally qualify as an observer? Or, if only human consciousness qualifies, then at what point in time did the Universe come into being? Was Australopithecus sufficiently self aware to bring the Universe into creation by possessing tool making capability; or was it Homo Erectus, with the power to control fire, the evolutionary triggering point? None of these issues are discussed, much less even introduced into the argument for Biocentrism. Biocentrism emerges fully formed based on a human conscious observer, without regard to the consideration that human evolution and consciousness is a process that occurred over millions of years.

The Biocentric model, as Dr Lanza describes, hangs solely on human consciousness, but that is pure hubris in a Universe 13.7 Billion years old with trillions of stars with orbiting planets and moons, which may also support other intelligent life who gazed back at the universe as conscious observers long before earthly pre-hominids descended from trees. I was disappointed that these more expansive biological views of a Universe that was presumably designed to be observed was limited to that of only the Earthly human observer.
Consider, for example, in quantum mechanics, a set of entangled photos may be created to produce a diffraction pattern when not observed and a bimodal distribution pattern when observed no matter how far they are separated. If such a pair of entangled photons were produced from across the universe, then theoretically, if no diffraction pattern was measured when they arrive and measured by a conscious earthly observer, then they must have been previously observed by some other conscious entity. Therefore, it should be theoretically possible to detect extraterrestrial life in this manner. Now, that would have been a novel concept to bring to light in a Biocentric model of the Universe!

Dr Lanza often refers to consciousness as a DVR that contains information but only exists when the DVR is played back. However, a DVR can only play the past it cannot be played into the future and quantum information appears to be non-local such that either information comes from the future or there is supraluminal transmission of information.
As an aside, it is rather self-indulgent to devote several chapters on Dr Lanza's associations with several Nobel Prize winning scientists. As an undergraduate at UC San Diego, Francis Crick was one of my professors, as a medical student at UC San Francisco I performed research on oncogenes under J Michael Bishop (Nobel Prize Medicine 1989); and had dinner with James D Watson in Cold Spring Harbor when I presented at the Human Evolution conference held there in 1998. Therefore, it is certainly not unheard of for physician scientists to have multiple associations with prominent scientists, including Nobel Prize winners.

For readers interested in the origin and evolution of the Universe and the role of observers from a quantum mechanical viewpoint, there are several books that may be placed on the reading list, including John Gribbin's Schrödinger's Kittens or John Barrows Cosmological Anthropological Principle both are a more expansive extension of a Biocentric hypothesis.
34 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Uber Woo 17 avril 2014
Par Lowell Morgan (physicist) - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Beware MDs writing books having to do with physics. Especially if D. Chopra's name appears anywhere in the book, much less on the cover. This is pretty much as solipsistic as it can get. As with Chopra, does Lanza exist if no one is looking at him? This follows the argument that, since both consciousness & quantum physics are weird, there must be a connection between the two. Indeed.

Lanza, like many others, invokes the so-called "Copenhagen Interpretation" of quantum mechanics along with a comment by von Neumann about a possible role of a conscious observer performing a measurement as being responsible for the so-called collapse of the wavefunction representing all possible outcomes to a single observed outcome. This is a common misinterpretation of these concepts.

There are a number of interpretations of QM that make more sense. Not only that, a number of lines of research in the modern physics that Lanza disparages have much more interesting implications for life, consciousness, death, and perhaps beyond than Lanza can comprehend.

Although uber woos like Lanza & Chopra gain fame & fortune by playing the rubes they really are insulting to those of us who spend our lives doing serious work in these areas gaining neither fame nor fortune.
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And this is one of the central themes of biocentrism and this book: that the animal observer creates reality and not the other way around. &quote;
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First Principle of Biocentrism: What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. &quote;
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Second Principle of Biocentrism: Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be separated. &quote;
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