I always knew I was the center of the Universe, and now Robert Lanza agrees.
Lanza's book Biocentrism, which contends that human consciousness is what is really determining the shaping of reality - is making waves in the media lately. Even Huffington Post is all over the concept now, giving Lanza ample space to drop some science:
Cosmologists propose that the universe was until recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other. It's presented as a watch that somehow wound itself up, and that will unwind in a semi-predictable way. But they've shunted a critical component of the cosmos out of the way because they don't know what to do with it. This component, consciousness, isn't a small item. It's an utter mystery, which we think has somehow arisen from molecules and goo.
Lanza goes on to enumerate in great detail how extremely unlikely it is that the Universe could have formed in such a way that made conditions just right for this spiral arm of the Milky Way to have formed this planet whose conditions are just right for hosting human life and that we happen to have "evolved" here at just the right time to take advantage of it, despite a long chain of factors and variables that make all of the above statistically near-impossible to have occurred in sequence.
Does it mean that the "Creationists" are right after all? Or does it mean mankind is just the luckiest critter in the Universe?
Lanza says no to both - Lanza says that we dodged all those dangers of the physical world because we were here first and we are shaping reality as we go along - "we" being life itself, the life force, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it that is really piloting these golems of flesh and bone we're lumbering around in, that St. Francis of Assisi referred to as "Brother Ass". Though human consciousness may or may not carry greater weight in that reality-creation, life means life, and that includes not only you and me, but all life, even yeast, fungi, and microscopic dust mites.
Lanza isn't the first to propose these ideas, of course - not by any means - and some previous blazers of these trails have expressed them more elegantly, in fact. But by building on the works of those pioneering thinkers who came before him, Lanza is having some success at entering these radical ideas into the mainstream at a time when even our grandparents are finally just starting to have an inkling of the ramifications of quantum physics.
His view of Biocentric Cosmology can be broken down into seven basic principles:
1. What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. An "external" reality, if it existed, would by definition have to exist in space. But this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.
2. Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.
3. The behavior of subatomic particles, indeed all particles and objects, is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.
4. Without consciousness, "matter" dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.
5. The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. The "universe" is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.
6. Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.
7. Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life.
My old pal David Thompson at NASA's Astroparticle Physics Lab in Maryland has effusively embraced Lanza's work, describing it as "a wake-up call" for us all.