Biocentrism, Life and Consciousness

consciousness

The theory of “biocentrism” is discussed below, presented by Dr. Robert Lanza first and argued against by Vinod Wadhawan at the bottom.

Scientist Dr. Robert Lanza, who was voted the 3rd most important scientist alive by the NY Times, is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company. Before he has been known for his extensive research which dealt with stem cells, he was also famous for several successful experiments on cloning endangered animal species.

But not so long ago, the scientist became involved with physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. This explosive mixture has given birth to the new theory of biocentrism, which the professor has been preaching ever since.  Biocentrism teaches that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe.  It is consciousness that creates the material universe, not the other way around, implying intelligence existed prior to matter.  He also claims that space and time are not objects or things, but rather tools of our animal understanding.

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist.   It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too.  If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies.  But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

See a presentation in this clip:

Vinod Wadhawan discuss the theory and tries to debunk the idea that the universe is itself a consciousnessproduct of our consciousness, and not the other way around (as scientists have been telling us). He says that Lanza is re-inventing idealism, an ancient philosophical concept that fell out of favour with the advent of the scientific revolution. According to the idealists, the mind creates all of reality. In the rather long article at the bottom (cited by P.Z. Myers at Pharyngula and Steven Novella at Neurologica, and has been reposted at RichardDawkins.net), Wadhawan present pretty good arguments that:

(a) Space and time exist, even though they are relative and not absolute.

(b) Modern quantum theory, long after the now-discredited Copenhagen interpretation, is consistent with the idea of an objective universe that exists without a conscious observer.

(c) Lanza and Chopra misunderstand and misuse the anthropic principle.

(d) The biocentrism approach does not provide any new information about the nature of consciousness, and relies on ignoring recent advances in understanding consciousness from a scientific perspective.

(e) Both authors show thinly-veiled disdain for Darwin, while not actually addressing his science in the article. Chopra has demonstrated his utter ignorance of evolution multiple times.

http://nirmukta.com/2009/12/14/biocentrism-demystified-a-response-to-deepak-chopra-and-robert-lanzas-notion-of-a-conscious-universe/

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