A New Theory of The Universe
by Robert Lanza


For full article see excerpt from:
Biocentrism builds on quantum physicsby putting life into the equation

While I was sitting one night with a poet friend watching a great opera performed in a tent under arc lights, the poet took my arm and pointed silently. Far up, blundering out of the night, a huge Cecropia moth swept past from light to light over the posturing of the actors. He doesn't know, my friend whispered excitedly. He`s passing through an alien universe brightly lit but invisible to him. Hes in another play; he doesnt see us. He doesn`t know. Maybe it's happening right now to us.`"Loren Eiseley

The world is not, on the whole, the place we have learned about in our school books. This point was hammered home one recent night as I crossed the causeway of the small island where I live. The pond was dark and still. Several strange glowing objects caught my attention on the side of the road, and I squatted down to observe one of them with my flashlight. The creature turned out to be a glowworm, the luminous larva of the European beetle Lampyris noctiluca. Its segmented little oval body was primitivelike some trilobite that had just crawled out of the Cambrian Sea 500 million years ago. There we were the beetle and I, two living objects that had entered into each others world. It ceased emitting its greenish light, and I, for my part, turned off my flashlight.


Science has been grappling with the implications of the wave-particle duality ever since its discovery in the first half of the 20th century. But few people accept this principle at face value. The Copenhagen interpretation, put in place by Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Born in the 1920s, set out to do just that. But it was too unsettling a shift in worldview to accept in full. At present, the implications of these experiments are conveniently ignored by limiting the notion of quantum behavior to the microscopic world. But doing this has no basis in reason, and it is being challenged in laboratories around the world. New experiments carried out with huge molecules called buckyballs show that quantum reality extends into the macroscopic world as well. Experiments make it clear that another weird quantum phenomenon known as entanglement, which is usually associated with the micro world, is also relevant on macro scales. An exciting experiment, recently proposed (so-called scaled-up superposition), would furnish the most powerful evidence to date that the biocentric view of the world is correct at the level of living organisms.

One of the main reasons most people reject the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory is that it leads to the dreaded doctrine of solipsism. The late Heinz Pagels once commented: If you deny the objectivity of the world unless you observe it and are conscious of it, then you end up with solipsism the belief that your consciousness is the only one Indeed; I once had one of my articles challenged by a reader who took this exact position. I would like to ask Robert Lanza, he wrote, whether he feels the world will continue to exist after the death of his consciousness. If not, it'll be hard luck for all of us should we outlive him (New Scientist, 1991).

What I would question, with respect to solipsism, is the assumption that our individual separateness is an absolute reality. Bells experiment implies the existence of linkages that transcend our ordinary way of thinking. An old Hindu poem says, Know in thyself and all one self-same soul; banish the dream that sunders part from whole. If time is only a stubbornly persistent illusion, as we have seen, then the same can be said about space. The distinction between here and there is also not an absolute reality. Without consciousness, we can take any person as our new frame of reference. It is not my consciousness or yours alone, but ours. That's the new solipsism the experiments mandate. The theorist Bernard Stagnate, a collaborator of Niels Bohr and Enrico Fermi, has said that non-reparability is now one of the most certain general concepts in physics. This is not to say that our minds, like the particles in Bells experiment, are linked in any way that can violate the laws of causality. In this same sense, there is a part of us connected to the glowworm by the pond near my house. It is the part that experiences consciousness, not in our external embodiments but in our inner being. We can only imagine and recollect things while in the body; this is for sure, because sensations and memories are molded into thought and knowledge in the brain. And although we identify ourselves with our thoughts and affections, it is an essential feature of reality that we experience the world piece by piece.

The sphere of physical reality for a glowworm and a human are decidedly different. However, the genome itself is carbon-based. Carbon is formed at the heart of stars and supernova explosions, formative processes of the universe. Life as we know it is limited by our spatio-temporal logic that is, the genome traps us in the universe with which we are familiar. Animals (including those that evolved in the past) span part of the spectrum of that possibility. There are surely other information systems that correspond to other physical realities, universes based on logic completely different from ours and not based on space and time. The universe of space and time belong uniquely to us genome-based animals.

Eugene Wigner, one of the 20th century's greatest physicists, called it impossible to formulate the laws of [physics] in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness [of the observer]. Indeed, quantum theory implies that consciousness must exist and that the content of the mind is the ultimate reality. If we do not look at it, the moon does not exist in a definite state. In this world, only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality to a dandelion in a meadow or a seed pod.


Robert Lanza

Robert Lanza is vice president of research and scientific development at Advanced Cell Technology and a professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has written 20 scientific books and won a Rave award for medicine from Wired magazine and an "all star" award for biotechnology from Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology.