The whole of Western natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change again, forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory. At the same time, these findings have increased our doubt and uncertainty about traditional 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 new paradigm, life is not just an accidental byproduct of the laws of physics. Biocentrism takes the listener 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 shatters the listener's ideas of life, time and space, and even death. At the same time, it releases us from the dull worldview that life is merely the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements; it suggests the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal. Biocentrism awakens a new sense of possibility and is full of so many shocking new perspectives that the listener will never see reality the same way again.
©2009 Robert Lanza and Bob Berman; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
This is a fascinating book which posits that if we accept the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics on face value, a new understanding of the world is possible.
Lanza marries physics with Biology to produce a scientifically grounded world-view which he calls Biocentrism. In a nutshell, the theory states that the world doesn't exist in actuality until we observe it AND since all observation takes place inside the human brain, reality is wholly a construct of human consciousness. While this sounds somewhat audacious on the it's face, there is some extremely good science behind Lanza's amazingly understandable argument and the author presents his case in a manner which is accessible to all. Even if you don't have any previous knowledge of quantum weirdness, this book is comprehendible and, if for no other reason, this makes the book useful.
If you ever wanted to understand the basic strangeness of the quantum world but felt daunted by the scope of the task, read this book and it will make sense to you. If you are initiated into such subject matter and you've started to wonder why there's been no fundamental break throughs in our understanding of the world since the first half of the 20th century, read this book. It's possible that science has been speeding down the wrong track for 75 years because scientists refused to accept what physics experiments were telling them at face value.
Whether the theory of Biocentrism is actually right, wrong or somewhere in between, it's a fascinating and thought provoking read.
If you have a basic understanding of quantum theory, no one completely understands it, this book presents ideas that will make you rethink your concept of what we have be taught about our world and how our conscious mind perceives it.
Letting the rest of the world go by
The book explains the paradoxes in physics more succinctly than any other I've come across. Even for the listener who hasn't heard them before, this very short book makes them understandable.
The author's brief biographical sketch about his youth and his sister are very moving and well worth listening to the book alone.
I don't agree with his theory that consciousness creates reality, but when he's writing those parts of the book he's writing like a poet and it flows perfectly.
He writes and explains so well that if the Imp of the Perverse gets on my shoulder at a party, I'd feel perfectly comfortable bringing up the points he lays out in the book and defending them as real while knowing all along that it's just pseudoscience.
It's easy to develop a pseudoscience while merging a theory of consciousness (I'd recommend "Who's in Charge" for a good book on consciousness) with the mysterious of physics (entanglement, double slit experiment, superposition, Copenhagen interruption and so on).
I enjoyed the book because it was so well written (and read). This book just goes to show one can reject the main theme but still learn a lot and be entertained.
So the author uses personal stories in his narrative. It makes the delivery more tangible and human. Lanza's struggles and tragedies, not doubt, fuel his search for bridging the gaps in physics (science), spirituality and the nature of self.
His work is well grounded in the scientific method (observation) and well researched. He directly attacks ideas such as "string theory" as questionable science because it relies on obtuse math. He doesn't say "string theory" is wrong, merely that modern physics uses very sloppy grounding for its assertions.
The book is a fantastic "whack up the side of my head". Consciousness has no explanation in physics. That does not mean science is bunk, but merely that we have no tools to account for consciousness. His book presents the idea that biology (life itself) defines the Universe and not the other way around.
Seen this way, then the human spiritual understanding of consciousness and the scientific method of observation are on a path to converge.
This is actually my first book on audible but I have to say that the reading was great, very entertaining. A lot of the things he mentions have already been mentioned before in the past but I think he brought everything together. Even though a lot of people don't agree with him and his theory, I would actually like it to be true. Simply because it would mean that we're somewhat special and our lives would be more meaningful. I know that's wishful thinking but in the end, I think that consciousness is the key to understanding reality itself.
What I liked about this book is the fact that it mentions the limitations on language and logic that are not usually described in other books or movies.
The experience was comparable to being in a movie theatre, I really enjoyed the reading, it was very entertaining.
I would recommend this book because it can bring some new ideas that you have missed from other books and science shows but I would also advice that his claim is not to be taken literally.
I appreciated the storyline adn anectdotal stores especially the inital story of Robert Lanza at Harvard as a young boy (himorous). excellent. And to see similar insights in this new field of unification with a kindred spirit. Dr Lanza is truly a luminary with a lifetime of contribution to science and biology as well as philosophy and regenerative neurobiology
He has a grasp on the story and allows me to digest as the narration unfolds with the color and detail that his great narration allows adn accentuates
AHHHHH! Weel that film would have to include his incredible current pioneering work in stam cells . his miraculous discoveries in biology and stems cells and even the fantasy arena of recreating extinct or threatened species has a storyline that would make an incredible film.Touch the Future
I beleive Dr Lanz is an extremely rare genius who weaves together psychology and philosophy with humor and radical insights ...and adding this to his revelations in stem cell landmarks makes him a nobel prize winning visionary
He also distinguishes between non-sensical non provable radical theories that have no foundation in reality..in making physics subordinate to biology adn tangible reality which mirrors the patterns and wisdom of the unseen world.
This is an extraordinary book for those individuals with the intellectual skills required to analyze Dr. Lanza???s and Dr. Berman's theories, in a logical and open minded fashion. I would strongly urge you to first read the book Quantum Enigma by the physicists, Bruce Rosenblum Phd and Fred Kuttner Phd, PRIOR to reading Biocentrism, as it will give you a grounded NO-nonsense description of the ???quantum strangeness??? in physics that Dr. Lanza and Dr. Berman are discribing their book. I especially want to complement Dr. Lanza for his courage in sharing the "emotionally difficult" stories from his personal life. Both Dr. Lanza and Dr. Berman are highly respected scientists which lends great credabilty to their theories expounded in Biocentrism.
This is definitely worth a listen/read. I think a lot of people will dismiss Biocentrism as a mad theory, which is apparently heresy coming from scientists! However, from a philosophical perspective there are some great ideas, fascinating and playful analysis, and profound associations and insights with physics and consciousness research here, and listening to these these is worth the investment of time.
As exciting a proposition as Biocentrism is, it does not come across as 'true' in the subjective way that Robert Lanza constantly refers to when establishing various arguments and principles. It also lapses deeply into whimsy and subjectivity on occasion to be more than a creative opinion per se. There are some very basic contextual ideas and constructs completely missing, which alongside profound insights, undermines the intellectual rigour of the whole text.
Unfortunately there's very little accessible criticism of Biocentrism (online) that doesn't instantly dismiss it, or make it seem cultish and simplistic. Other critiques discuss logical misteps, or addressing what seem obvious logical misteps that are present in the text. These need to be addressed. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend listening if you're inquisitive and interested in consciousness research, there's a very creative perspective here... But as Evelyn Waugh warned, beware of charm in all things.
I thought this was an interesting book and better on the science than many of its critics suggest. That said, it does nothing whatsoever to address the question of where consciousness comes from and so leads down an ultimately unsatisfying path. The authors attempt to dance around the topic at the end but to little avail. Also, little or no effort is given to pursuing whether and how alternative "observers" can cause waveform collapse. It's my understanding that a photon can count as an observer because it would be affected by the collapse. Ignoring alternative explanations is prime sign of bad science.
At one point in this book the author starts talking about his awful childhood. It comes out of nowhere and seems to have nothing to do with the thesis of the book. After a relatively long biographical tangent, he returns to an in-depth explanation of the basis of quantum theory which can be found in dozens of books on the subject. That's when I stopped listening. Judging from the other reviews I doubt I'm missing some great revelation later in the book or anything to support the claims made in the book that, based on quantum theory, all reality is in our minds. That's also the basis of some pretty good sci-fi stories but there's no more empirical evidence for the claims in this book than there is that The Matrix exists. Don't waste your time.
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