Posts Tagged ‘Robert lanza’

Biocentrismo, Físicocentrismo e Conscientrismo: De Qual “Centrismo” Se Pode Ver a Verdade? Uma Nova teoria do Universo.

quinta-feira, agosto 16th, 2012

(Publicada uma nova teoria do Universo, que aqui será analizada pela Matrix/DNA. Copiei aqui o artigo abaixo para analiza-lo item por item e depois elaborar meu artigo)

Tese da Matrix/DNA inspirada no ensaio:


A New Theory of the Universe

Biocentrism builds on quantum physics by putting life into the equation

By Robert Lanza

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 (mariposa)swept past from light to light over the posturings of the actors. “He doesn’t know,” my friend whispered excitedly. “He’s passing through an alien universe brightly lit but invisible to him. He’s in another play; he doesn’t 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 (poça dágua, charco) 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 primitive—like 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.

I wondered if our interaction was different from that of any other two objects in the universe. Was this primitive little grub just another collection of atoms—proteins and molecules spinning away like the planets round the sun? Had science reduced life to the level of a mechanist’s logic, or was this wingless beetle, by virtue of being a living creature, creating its own physical reality?

The laws of physics and chemistry can explain the biology of living systems, and I can recite in detail the chemical foundations and cellular organization of animal cells: oxidation, biophysical metabolism, all the carbohydrates and amino acid patterns. But there was more to this luminous little bug than the sum of its biochemical functions. A full understanding of life cannot be found by looking at cells and molecules through a microscope. We have yet to learn that physical existence cannot be divorced from the animal life and structures that coordinate sense perception and experience. Indeed, it seems likely that this creature was the center of its own sphere of reality just as I was the center of mine.

Although the beetle did not move, it had sensory cells that transmitted messages to the cells in its brain. Perhaps the creature was too primitive to collect data and pinpoint my location in space. Or maybe my existence in its universe was limited to the perception of some huge and hairy shadow stabilizing a flashlight in the air. I don’t know. But as I stood up and left, I am sure that I dispersed into the haze (névoa, bruma) of probability surrounding the glowworm’s little world.

Our science fails to recognize those special properties of life that make it fundamental to material reality. This view of the world—biocentrism—revolves around the way a subjective experience, which we call consciousness, relates to a physical process. It is a vast mystery and one that I have pursued my entire life. The conclusions I have drawn place biology above the other sciences in the attempt to solve one of nature’s biggest puzzles, the theory of everything that other disciplines have been pursuing for the last century. Such a theory would unite all known phenomena under one umbrella, furnishing science with an all-encompassing explanation of nature or reality.

We need a revolution in our understanding of science and of the world. Living in an age dominated by science, we have come more and more to believe in an objective, empirical reality and in the goal of reaching a complete understanding of that reality. Part of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or with the idea that we are close to understanding the big bang rests in our desire for completeness.

But we’re fooling (enganando, iludindo) ourselves.

Most of these comprehensive theories are no more than stories that fail to take into account one crucial factor: we are creating them. It is the biological creature that makes observations, names what it observes, and creates stories. Science has not succeeded in confronting the element of existence that is at once most familiar and most mysterious—conscious experience. As Emerson wrote in “Experience,” an essay that confronted the facile positivism of his age: “We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subjectlenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.”

Biology is at first glance an unlikely source for a new theory of the universe. But at a time when biologists believe they have discovered the “universal cell” in the form of embryonic stem cells, and when cosmologists like Stephen Hawking predict that a unifying theory of the universe may be discovered in the next two decades, shouldn’t biology seek to unify existing theories of the physical world and the living world? What other discipline can approach it? Biology should be the first and last study of science. It is our own nature that is unlocked by means of the humanly created natural sciences used to understand the universe. Ever since the remotest of times philosophers have acknowledged the primacy of consciousness—that all truths and principles of being must begin with the individual mind and self. Thus Descartes’s adage: “Cogito, ergo sum.” (I think, therefore I am.) In addition to Descartes, who brought philosophy into its modern era, there were many other philosophers who argued along these lines: Kant, Leibniz, Bishop Berkeley, Schopenhauer, and Henri Bergson, to name a few.

We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature. The ether of the 19th century, the “spacetime” of Einstein, and the string theory of recent decades, which posits new dimensions showing up in different realms, and not only in strings but in bubbles shimmering down the byways of the universe—all these are examples of this speculation. Indeed, unseen dimensions (up to a hundred in some theories) are now envisioned everywhere, some curled up like soda straws at every point in space.

Today’s preoccupation with physical theories of everything takes a wrong turn from the purpose of science—to question all things relentlessly. Modern physics has become like Swift’s kingdom of Laputa, flying absurdly on an island above the earth and indifferent to what is beneath. When science tries to resolve its conflicts by adding and subtracting dimensions to the universe like houses on a Monopoly board, we need to look at our dogmas and recognize that the cracks ( fendas, frestas) in the system are just the points that let the light shine more directly on the mystery of life.

The urgent and primary questions of the universe have been undertaken by those physicists who are trying to explain the origins of everything with grand unified theories. ( Por exemplo: onde estavam, nos 10 bilhões de anos da evolução cosmológica, as fôrças, as leis, os processos, os mecanismos, que mais tarde afloraram como propriedades vitais tais como sexo, metabolismo, reprodução, ciclo vital, pensamento, já que a Vida não pode ter surgido do Nada, e seja por acaso ou dirigido, hoje a Vida é um resultado real mostrando que o Universo estêve tunelado para produzi-la?).  But as exciting and glamorous as these theories are, they are an evasion, if not a reversal, of the central mystery of knowledge: that the laws of the world were somehow created to produce the observer. And more important than this, that the observer in a significant sense creates reality and not the other way around. Recognition of this insight leads to a single theory that unifies our understanding of the world.

( Bem,… aqui está um ponto de discordancia entre nós. Em que a mariposa cria sua realidade, ou seja, a dimensão do mundo que seus sentidos percebem? isto poderia ser meia-verdade se falar-mos de humanos, porque humanos são operativos, fôrças que transformam ao menos sua realidade imediata… mas mariposas não. Elas são passivas, do jeito que encontraram seu nivel de realidade vão deixá-lo como está. Elas foram criadas pela realidade e serão eliminadas pela realidade. Humanos surgiram na biosfera terrestre, a qual foi produzida pelo sistema astronomico ao qual a Terra pertence. Humanos percebem partes da realidade maiores que as mariposas, como os eventos reais do passado, a previsão de que o sol vai nascer no futuro amanhã, que alem do oceano existe a Europa, etc. Porque? O corpo biológico da mariposa apenas produz um complexo sensorial capaz de perceber matéria á volta, corpos pequenos na dimensão do tamanho dela. O corpo biológico humano tambem produziu os mesmos sentidos, porem, o cérebro humano produziu um novo sentido, que é a consciência. As partes da realidade maiores que humanos percebem e mariposas não, são invadidas e capturadas por este novo sentido de percepção. Então o que criou a realidade fisica que criou o humano foi o sistema astronomico. Então nêle tinha que existir de alguma forma, expressando-se já ou ainda apenas em estado de potencial latente, os recursos fisicos para produzir as qualidades biológicas. Porem, a Ciência humana liderada pela Fisica e a Matemática  captava até a poucos anos um sistema astronomico e atômico apenas como sistemas eletro-magnético ou mecanico. Ultimamente está iniciando a captar mais complexidades naqueles sistemas, no que se denomina “nivel quantico”. E em nenhum dêstes níveis captados se vê a presença obrigatória das fôrças que evoluiram para a Biologia. Mas elas tinham que estarem lá porque foram estes sistemas que criaram a Vida, foram êles que modelaram sua matéria num novo nivel de complexidade, organizando-a no novo patamar que denominamos de “biológico”. Se o fisico matemático aceitar esta racional imposição, êle será levado a suspeitar então que estas fôrças nada produziam, estavam ali porem totalmente ocultas, apenas como potencial latente. Porem, pensando assim, imediatamente vem as questões: a) estavam ali no Big Bang, mas como, e vindas de onde? – b) Estavam ali antes, no que produziu o Big Bang, mas como, e vindas de onde?  c) Estas fôrças são eternas ou então o que e quando no passado algo introduziu estas fôrças na matéria, e no estado de inércia? d) O que nos garante que estas fôrças “vitais” não se expressaram no momento do Big Bang, o que indicaria que nosso entendimento atual do Big Bang está incompleto? nenhuma evidencia cientifica nos pode garantir isso ainda, assim como nada pode nos garantir que estas fôrças não tenham se expressado antes inclusive do Big Bang, e que elas podem terem sido as dominantes naquela época, o que determinaria que tôda a fenomenologia fisica subsequente, atômica, astronomica, tenha sido produto da Vida, e não o inverso, como a Fisica tem nos levado a acreditar.

A teoria da Matrix/DNA é um modo de pensar lógico porque se baseia numa suscessão de modêlos interconetados que montam uma versão da História Universal sensata para explicar o resultado funal da realidade observada hoje, aqui e agora. Ela até concorda com a Fisica  quando esta sugere que  o Sistema Solar funciona pelo processo da mecânica newtoniana.  Mas quando chega no sistema galáctico ela sai da avenida pavimentada pelo agente mecânico e toma uma estrada lateral pavimentada poi uma agente meio-mecânico e meio-biológico. Aqui ela vê as fôrças ocultas que criaram os fenômenos despertadas, começando a acordarem e já de alguma maneira atuando nas origens e formação das galáxias. Ela olha esta galáxia, gosta do que vê e por isso, ao invés de retornar para a avenida e continuar a seguir com os fisicos,  ela resolve ir adiante, solita’ria, por esta estrada lateral. Acontece que tanto a estrada quanto a avenida não são retas, elas se encurvam uma na direção da outra e se encontram no Big Bang. É impossivel abarcar com a vista, os sentidos humanos, e a consciência, o grande quadro do Big Bang, mas o humano tem necessidade de tirar alguma conclusão, e essas conclusões são sempre versões incompletas do quadro real, são tendenciosas, porque baseadas em experiencias de vida. Então a experiencia de vida dos fisicos na avenida quantica>eletro-magnética>mecanica>biológica, é diferente da minha experiencia de vida na estrada quantica+vitalismo>eletro-magnética+vitalismo>mecânica+vitalismo, biológica+vitalismo. Eu ainda não sei qual a interpretação dos Fisicos sôbre o significado do Big Bang, só sei o significado que despontou como minha conclusão: Big Bang na origem do Universo é igual ao brusco rompimento do invólucro espermatico em meio a um óvulo na origem de um corpo humano. O meu Big Bang  é quantico, fisico, eletro-magnético, mecânico, pode acontecer por acaso ou segundo a vontade de algo mais, porem, é acima de tudo, regulado por um processo vital.

Quando Mr. Robert Lanza se aproximou com sua lanterna do verme brilhante, o verme deve ter sentido uma forte fôrça e pressão no ar, assim como nos sentiriamos se de repente se um gigantesco  buraco negro viesse em nossa direção. Minusculos nós não teríamos  visibilidade para compreender qual a forma, qual a constituição, daquele corpo.  Ficaríamos em estado de alerta, aguardando, o imprevisivel. Mas suponhamos que o buraco negro parasse bem ao lado da Terra e nada fizesse nela, como Lanza parou ao lado da minhoca. Daria tempo para nós processar-mos algumas informações captadas no ar sôbre o buraco negro, e cientistas teóricos correriam a projetar um modêlo geral de como deve ser a coisa. Qual a chance do verme descobrir o modêlo real do que é o corpo humano ao seu lado e entender sua realidade, sua verdade? Nenhuma.  Assim estamos nós perante o Universo.  O verme iria fazer um modêlo projetando a sua realidade conhecida e coisas como “consciência”, se aparecesse no modêlo ( se um verme tiver algum grau de consciencia), jamais iria sequer se aproximar do que é na realidade a consciência humana. Mesmo os humanos versados em Fisica que possuem um consideravel grau de consciência não a conseguem inserir no seu modêlo teórico do Universo! O Universo dos Físicos é um corpo sem auto-consciência. Eu não consigo acreditar nisso. A alternativa que me resta é apostar na existência de uma auto-conciencia existente maior e alem do Universo.

Mas aqui a Teoria da Matrix/DNA ( cujos modêlos sugerem um Universo gerado não apenas pelo vitalismo mas tambem pelo consciencialismo) deixa de discordar com Mr. Lanza quando êle diz que nossa consciência é quem cria nossa realidade. Tambem, nêste caso, a Matrix e o Lanza vinham caminhando juntos numa avenida filosófica, se separaram devido a um desacôrdo quando encontraram uma bifurcação, mas as duas estradas se encurvaram e ambos se encontraram no mesmo ponto final… com uma pequena diferença de interpretação do que consiste essa auto-consciencia, deviso as diferenças nas experiencias diferentes proporcionadas pelas duas estradas. Na minha experiencia, a nossa realidade foi criada pelos atomos e pela galaxia. Creio que estamos nesta galáxia como a mariposa está no palco do teatro, sem entender nada do pouco que está captando. Mas a minha estrada mostrou uma galaxia semi-viva e a estrada do senhor Lanza mostrou a galaxia pela ótica da escola, mecânica. Minha estrada sugeriu que a Vida existe alem do Universo. Ora… se a vida aqui produziu a consciência, a vida antes e maior que o Universo deve tê-la produzido tambem. Se existe uma consciencia e sua inteligencia operativa fora do Universo, é possível que ela tenha produzido o Universo e sua realidade, que é a nossa realidade. É possivel que ela tenha criado isso numa simples distração quando brincava desenvolvendo softwares, ou quando têve alguma relação amorosa, com uma outra consciencia, ou com ela mesma, se for hermafroddita. É possivel que ela criou isto num esboço geral, sem muita preocupação com os pequenos detalhes e pequenos eventos produzidos ao funcionar dessa coisa. E nós, humanos seríamos um destes pequenos detalhes, assim como a mariposa que apareceu no palco talvez nem tenha sido notada pelo criador da peça que assiste sentado numa poltrona. Mas como temos auto-consciencia microscópica, seríamos como pequenas bolhas que se condensam a partir da auto-consciencia cósmica. Se somos parte da consciencia cósmica, e se a consciencia cósmica criou a realidade que nos cerca, conclue-se que nós, enquanto fragmentos da auto-consciência cósmica, criamos essa realidade. Assim encontro-me com o senhor Lanza no final de nossas estradas.

Mas tudo isso pode ser apenas mero exercicio intelectual, e como tal, assim como está acontecendo com os Físicos Matematicos, em algum ponto saímos fora da longa inexorável cadeia de causas e efeitos naturais e começamos a imaginar coisas inexistentes. Porem, certeira ou errada, essa conclusão me conduz a exercer um maior esforço no sentido de ampliar minha consciencia e ser uma bolha maior, mais reintegrada na consciencia cósmica. E só existe uma maneira de fazer êste esforço: é ampliar o conhecimento de mais porções da realidade, ampliar meu horizonte de percepção. Mas quando faço isso, recebo automaticamente uma recompensa: minha ciência evolui, e como efeito, evolui minha tecnologia, e como resultado, obtenho melhores condições de vida.


Modern science cannot explain why the laws of physics are exactly balanced for animal life to exist. For example, if the big bang had been one-part-in-a billion more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies to form and for life to begin. If the strong nuclear force were decreased by two percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together. Hydrogen would be the only atom in the universe. If the gravitational force were decreased, stars (including the sun) would not ignite. These are just three of more than 200 physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that they cannot be random. Indeed, the lack of a scientific explanation has allowed these facts to be hijacked as a defense of intelligent design.

Without perception, there is in effect no reality. Nothing has existence unless you, I, or some living creature perceives it, ( não concordo) and how it is perceived further influences that reality (concordo).  Even time itself is not exempted from biocentrism. Our sense of the forward motion of time is really the result of an infinite number of decisions that only seem to be a smooth continuous path. At each moment we are at the edge of a paradox known as The Arrow, first described 2,500 years ago by the philosopher Zeno of Elea. Starting logically with the premise that nothing can be in two places at once, he reasoned that an arrow is only in one place during any given instance of its flight. But if it is in only one place, it must be at rest. The arrow must then be at rest at every moment of its flight. Logically, motion is impossible. But is motion impossible? Or rather, is this analogy proof that the forward motion of time is not a feature of the external world but a projection of something within us? Time is not an absolute reality but an aspect of our consciousness.

Acho que êste paradoxo se explicaria se a flecha, assim como os fótons, tambem apresenta propriedades de ser uma onda e uma particula ao mesmo tempo. Para isso me baseio no circuito da formula da Matrix. O que existe, em essencia ultima, é informação em movimento. Ísto é o que constitui o fluxo dinamico do circuito. Porem, na formula, onde existem os espaços indicados por setas, o fluxo de informação avança como uma onda, e onde existe um corpo visivel, ocupando o espaço, significa que a onda se colapsa na forma de uma particula. Mas como o fluxo prossegue e carregando o corpo sólido, isto significa que o corpo é onda e particula ao mesmo tempo durante todo o trajeto do circuito. Assim seria a flecha em seu trajeto. Mas como nosso complexo sensorial só percebe  o aspecto “particula” da informação, o ser humano teria razão em crer que o movimento não  existe, que seria apenas uma ilusão gerada quando corremos os olhos por uma sucessào de pontos parados. Acontece que a informação é ao mesmo tempo “uma onda que se propaga”, o que atesta que movimento existe na realidade. Acho que esta produção do Zeno de Eléa foi lida pelo Sr. Lanza quando era ainda muito novo, e isto o umpressionou, tomando lugar de destaque em todo seu exercicio intelectual inquiridor posterior, e o conduziu erroneamente á conclusão final que a realidade externa não existe sem im observador vivo. Quando ele na ultima frase inclui a palavra “tempo”, substituindo com ela a palavra “movimento” acho que comete outro êrro. Tempo nada tem a ver com o paradoxo do movimento.

This paradox lies at the heart of one of the great revolutions of 20th-century physics, a revolution that has yet to take hold of our understanding of the world and of the decisive role that consciousness plays in determining the nature of reality. The uncertainty principle in quantum physics is more profound than its name suggests. It means that we make choices at every moment in what we can determine about the world. We cannot know with complete accuracy a quantum particle’s motion and its position at the same time—we have to choose one or the other. Thus the consciousness of the observer is decisive in determining what a particle does at any given moment.

Einstein was frustrated by the threat of quantum uncertainty to the hypothesis he called spacetime, and spacetime turns out to be incompatible with the world discovered by quantum physics. When Einstein showed that there is no universal now, it followed that observers could slice up reality into past, present, and, future, in different ways, all with equal reality. But what, exactly, is being sliced up?

Space and time are not stuff that can be brought back to the laboratory in a marmalade jar for analysis. In fact, space and time fall into the province of biology—of animal sense perception—not of physics. They are properties of the mind, of the language by which we human beings and animals represent things to ourselves. Physicists venture beyond the scope of their science—beyond the limits of material phenomena and law—when they try to assign physical, mathematical, or other qualities to space and time.

Return to the revelation that we are thinking animals and that the material world is the elusive substratum of our conscious activity continually defining and redefining the real. We must become skeptical of the hard reality of our most cherished conceptions of space and time, and of the very notion of an external reality, in order to recognize that it is the activity of consciousness itself, born of our biological selves, which in some sense creates the world.

Despite such things as the development of superconducting supercolliders containing enough niobium-titanium wire to circle the earth 16 times, we understand the universe no better than the first humans with sufficient consciousness to think. Where did it all come from? Why does the universe exist? Why are we here? In one age, we believe that the world is a great ball resting on the back of a turtle; in the next, that a fairy universe appeared out of nowhere and is expanding into nothingness. In one age, angels push and pummel the planets about; in another age, everything is a meaningless accident. We exchange a world-bearing turtle for a big bang.

We are like Loren Eiseley’s moth, blundering from light to light, unable to discern the great play that blazes under the opera tent. Turn now to the experimental findings of modern science, which require us to recognize—at last—our role in the creation of reality from moment to moment. Consciousness cannot exist without a living, biological creature to embody its perceptive powers of creation. Therefore we must turn to the logic of life, to biologic, if we are to understand the world around us.

Space and time are the two concepts we take most for granted in our lives. We have been taught that they are measurable. They exist. They’re real. And thatreality has been reinforced every day of our lives.

Most of us live without thinking abstractly about time and space. They are such an integral part of our lives that examination of them is as unnatural as an examination of walking or breathing. In fact, many people feel silly talking about time and space in an abstract, analytical way. The question “Does time exist?” can seem like so much philosophical babble. After all, the clock ticks, the years pass, we age and die. Isn’t time the only thing we can be certain of? Equally inconsonant is the question of whether or not space exists. “Obviously space exists,” we might answer, “because we live in it. We move through it, drive through it, build in it, measure it.”

Time and space are easy to talk and think about. Find yourself short of either or both—late for work, standing in a stalled subway car packed with riders—and issues of time and space are obvious: “It’s crowded and I’m uncomfortable and my boss is going to kill me for being late.” But time and space as our source of comprehension and consciousness is an abstraction. Our day-to-day experiences indicate nothing of this reality to us. Rather, life has taught us that time and space are external and eternal realities. They bound all experiences and are more fundamental than life itself. They are above and beyond human experience.

As animals, we are organized, wired, to think this way. We use dates and places to define our experiences to ourselves and to others. History describes the past by placing people and events in time and space. Scientific theories of the big bang, geology, and evolution are steeped in the logic of time and space. They are essential to our every movement and moment. To place ourselves as the creatorsof time and space, not as the subjects of it, goes against our common sense, life experience, and education. It takes a radical shift of perspective for any of us to entertain the idea that space and time are animal sense perceptions, because the implications are so startling.


Ver outro artigo aqui na categoria biocentrismo

Luz e Biocentrismo: Robert Lanza e Sua Teoria Similar à Matrix/DNA

sexta-feira, julho 20th, 2012

Há 30 anos atrás, ainda na selva amazônica, os modêlos e calculos que resultaram nas minhas pranchetas me levaram a escrever coisas como: “Não existiu origens da vida, não ao menos aqui na Terra nem dentro dêste Universo”, e, “Êste Universo está sendo o palco de um processo de reprodução genética de algo ex-machine, algo que existia antes e alem do Big Bang, e como aqui vejo os fetos tomarem as formas de vida e de auto-conciências, suspeito que aquêle algo ex-machine já era vivo e auto-consciente”. Porem agora me deparo com um grande cientista autor de muitas inovações nas áreas de células-tronco e clonagem, divulgando sua teoria de que uma futura Teoria do Todo será mais produto da área de Biologia que da Física, pois êle suspeita que existia a vida antes das estruturas estudadas pela Fisica, portanto antes do Big Bang. Êle está chegando no mesmo caminho que cheguei, apesar dos métodos tão diferentes. O problema é que no meu trabalho forneço modêlos, dou nome às coisas, estou expondo milhares de evidencias, apresento uma linha racional de causas e efeitos, enquanto no trabalho dêle estou buscando mas quase nada disso estou vendo. Não estou querendo competir, muito pelo contrario, unir esforços, trocar informações, idéias. Porem, como estou ainda no inicio do estudo de sua obra, é cêdo para opiniões.

The Biocentric Universe Theory: Life Creates Time, Space, and the Cosmos Itself

Stem-cell guru Robert Lanza presents a radical new view of the universe and everything in it.

by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman


From the May 2009 issue; published online May 1, 2009


The farther we peer into space, the more we realize that the nature of the universe cannot be understood fully by inspecting spiral galaxies or watching distant supernovas. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves.

This insight snapped into focus one day while one of us (Lanza) was walking through the woods. Looking up, he saw a huge golden orb web spider tethered to the overhead boughs. There the creature sat on a single thread, reaching out across its web to detect the vibrations of a trapped insect struggling to escape. The spider surveyed its universe, but everything beyond that gossamer pinwheel was incomprehensible. The human observer seemed as far-off to the spider as telescopic objects seem to us. Yet there was something kindred: We humans, too, lie at the heart of a great web of space and time whose threads are connected according to laws that dwell in our minds.

Is the web possible without the spider? Are space and time physical objects that would continue to exist even if living creatures were removed from the scene?

Figuring out the nature of the real world has obsessed scientists and philosophers for millennia. Three hundred years ago, the Irish empiricist George Berkeley contributed a particularly prescient observation: The only thing we can perceive are our perceptions. In other words, consciousness is the matrix upon which the cosmos is apprehended. Color, sound, temperature, and the like exist only as perceptions in our head, not as absolute essences. In the broadest sense, we cannot be sure of an outside universe at all.

For centuries, scientists regarded Berkeley’s argument as a philosophical sideshow and continued to build physical models based on the assumption of a separate universe “out there” into which we have each individually arrived. These models presume the existence of one essential reality that prevails with us or without us. Yet since the 1920s, quantum physics experiments have routinely shown the opposite: Results do depend on whether anyone is observing. This is perhaps most vividly illustrated by the famous two-slit experiment. When someone watches a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through the slits, the particle behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave that can inhabit all possibilities—including somehow passing through both holes at the same time.

Some of the greatest physicists have described these results as so confounding they are impossible to comprehend fully, beyond the reach of metaphor, visualization, and language itself. But there is another interpretation that makes them sensible. Instead of assuming a reality that predates life and even creates it, we propose a biocentric picture of reality. From this point of view, life—particularly consciousness—creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us.

Quantum mechanics is the physicist’s most accurate model for describing the world of the atom. But it also makes some of the most persuasive arguments that conscious perception is integral to the workings of the universe. Quantum theory tells us that an unobserved small object (for instance, an electron or a photon—a particle of light) exists only in a blurry, unpredictable state, with no well-defined location or motion until the moment it is observed. This is Werner Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle. Physicists describe the phantom, not-yet-manifest condition as a wave function, a mathematical expression used to find the probability that a particle will appear in any given place. When a property of an electron suddenly switches from possibility to reality, some physicists say its wave function has collapsed.

What accomplishes this collapse? Messing with it. Hitting it with a bit of light in order to take its picture. Just looking at it does the job. Experiments suggest that mere knowledge in the experimenter’s mind is sufficient to collapse a wave function and convert possibility to reality. When particles are created as a pair—for instance, two electrons in a single atom that move or spin together—physicists call them entangled. Due to their intimate connection, entangled particles share a wave function. When we measure one particle and thus collapse its wave function, the other particle’s wave function instantaneously collapses too. If one photon is observed to have a vertical polarization (its waves all moving in one plane), the act of observation causes the other to instantly go from being an indefinite probability wave to an actual photon with the opposite, horizontal polarity—even if the two photons have since moved far from each other.

In 1997 University of Geneva physicist Nicolas Gisin sent two entangled photons zooming along optical fibers until they were seven miles apart. One photon then hit a two-way mirror where it had a choice: either bounce off or go through. Detectors recorded what it randomly did. But whatever action it took, its entangled twin always performed the complementary action. The communication between the two happened at least 10,000 times faster than the speed of light. It seems that quantum news travels instantaneously, limited by no external constraints—not even the speed of light. Since then, other researchers have duplicated and refined Gisin’s work. Today no one questions the immediate nature of this connectedness between bits of light or matter, or even entire clusters of atoms.

Before these experiments most physicists believed in an objective, independent universe. They still clung to the assumption that physical states exist in some absolute sense before they are measured.

All of this is now gone for keeps.

The strangeness of quantum reality is far from the only argument against the old model of reality. There is also the matter of the fine-tuning of the cosmos. Many fundamental traits, forces, and physical constants—like the charge of the electron or the strength of gravity—make it appear as if everything about the physical state of the universe were tailor-made for life. Some researchers call this revelation the Goldilocks principle, because the cosmos is not “too this” or “too that” but rather “just right” for life.

At the moment there are only four explanations for this mystery. The first two give us little to work with from a scientific perspective. One is simply to argue for incredible coincidence. Another is to say, “God did it,” which explains nothing even if it is true.

The third explanation invokes a concept called the anthropic principle,? first articulated by Cambridge astrophysicist Brandon Carter in 1973. This principle holds that we must find the right conditions for life in our universe, because if such life did not exist, we would not be here to find those conditions. Some cosmologists have tried to wed the anthropic principle with the recent theories that suggest our universe is just one of a vast multitude of universes, each with its own physical laws. Through sheer numbers, then, it would not be surprising that one of these universes would have the right qualities for life. But so far there is no direct evidence whatsoever for other universes.

The final option is biocentrism, which holds that the universe is created by life and not the other way around. This is an explanation for and extension of the participatory anthropic principle described by the physicist John Wheeler, a disciple of Einstein’s who coined the terms wormhole and black hole.

Even the most fundamental elements of physical reality, space and time, strongly support a biocentric basis for the cosmos.

According to biocentrism, time does not exist independently of the life that notices it. The reality of time has long been questioned by an odd alliance of philosophers and physicists. The former argue that the past exists only as ideas in the mind, which themselves are neuroelectrical events occurring strictly in the present moment. Physicists, for their part, note that all of their working models, from Isaac Newton’s laws through quantum mechanics, do not actually describe the nature of time. The real point is that no actual entity of time is needed, nor does it play a role in any of their equations. When they speak of time, they inevitably describe it in terms of change. But change is not the same thing as time.

To measure anything’s position precisely, at any given instant, is to lock in on one static frame of its motion, as in the frame of a film. Conversely, as soon as you observe a movement, you cannot isolate a frame, because motion is the summation of many frames. Sharpness in one parameter induces blurriness in the other. Imagine that you are watching a film of an archery tournament. An archer shoots and the arrow flies. The camera follows the arrow’s trajectory from the archer’s bow toward the target. Suddenly the projector stops on a single frame of a stilled arrow. You stare at the image of an arrow in midflight. The pause in the film enables you to know the position of the arrow with great accuracy, but you have lost all information about its momentum. In that frame it is going nowhere; its path and velocity are no longer known. Such fuzziness brings us back to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which describes how measuring the location of a subatomic particle inherently blurs its momentum and vice versa.

All of this makes perfect sense from a biocentric perspective. Everything we perceive is actively and repeatedly being reconstructed inside our heads in an organized whirl of information. Time in this sense can be defined as the summation of spatial states occurring inside the mind. So what is real? If the next mental image is different from the last, then it is different, period. We can award that change with the word time, but that does not mean there is an actual invisible matrix in which changes occur. That is just our own way of making sense of things. We watch our loved ones age and die and assume that an external entity called time is responsible for the crime.

There is a peculiar intangibility to space, as well. We cannot pick it up and bring it to the laboratory. Like time, space is neither physical nor fundamentally real in our view. Rather, it is a mode of interpretation and understanding. It is part of an animal’s mental software that molds sensations into multidimensional objects.

Most of us still think like Newton, regarding space as sort of a vast container that has no walls. But our notion of space is false. Shall we count the ways? 1. Distances between objects mutate depending on conditions like gravity and velocity, as described by Einstein’s relativity, so that there is no absolute distance between anything and anything else. 2. Empty space, as described by quantum mechanics, is in fact not empty but full of potential particles and fields. 3. Quantum theory even casts doubt on the notion that distant objects are truly separated, since entangled particles can act in unison even if separated by the width of a galaxy.

In daily life, space and time are harmless illusions. A problem arises only because, by treating these as fundamental and independent things, science picks a completely wrong starting point for investigations into the nature of reality. Most researchers still believe they can build from one side of nature, the physical, without the other side, the living. By inclination and training these scientists are obsessed with mathematical descriptions of the world. If only, after leaving work, they would look out with equal seriousness over a pond and watch the schools of minnows rise to the surface. The fish, the ducks, and the cormorants, paddling out beyond the pads and the cattails, are all part of the greater answer.

Recent quantum studies help illustrate what a new biocentric science would look like. Just months? ago, Nicolas Gisin announced a new twist on his entanglement experiment; in this case, he thinks the results could be visible to the naked eye. At the University of Vienna, Anton Zeilinger’s work with huge molecules called buckyballs pushes quantum reality closer to the macroscopic world. In an exciting extension of this work—proposed by Roger Penrose, the renowned Oxford physicist—not just light but a small mirror that reflects it becomes part of an entangled quantum system, one that is billions of times larger than a buckyball. If the proposed experiment ends up confirming Penrose’s idea, it would also confirm that quantum effects apply to human-scale objects.

Biocentrism should unlock the cages in which Western science has unwittingly confined itself. Allowing the observer into the equation should open new approaches to understanding cognition, from unraveling the nature of consciousness to developing thinking machines that experience the world the same way we do. Biocentrism should also provide stronger bases for solving problems associated with quantum physics and the Big Bang. Accepting space and time as forms of animal sense perception (that is, as biological), rather than as external physical objects, offers a new way of understanding everything from the microworld (for instance, the reason for strange results in the two-slit experiment) to the forces, constants, and laws that shape the universe. At a minimum, it should help halt such dead-end efforts as string theory.

Above all, biocentrism offers a more promising way to bring together all of physics, as scientists have been trying to do since Einstein’s unsuccessful unified field theories of eight decades ago. Until we recognize the essential role of biology, our attempts to truly unify the universe will remain a train to nowhere.

Adapted from Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, by Robert Lanza with Bob Berman, published by BenBella Books in May 2009.


Outro Artigo:

Teoria quântica, múltiplos universos, e o destino da consciência humana após a morte (Biocentrismo, Robert Lanza)


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