9781935251743

Biocentrism : How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781935251743

  • ISBN10:

    1935251740

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/18/2010
  • Publisher: Perseus Distribution Services
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Summary

In recent years quantum theory has forced a sea change in Western natural philosophy, casting doubt on traditional physical explanations of the universe's genesis and structure.

Author Biography


Robert Lanza was taken under the wing of scientific
giants such as psychologist B.F. Skinner, immunologist
Jonas Salk, and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard.
His mentors described him as a “genius,” a “renegade
thinker,” even likening him to Einstein himself.
—US News & World Report cover story

Robert Lanza has been exploring the frontiers of science for more
than four decades, and is considered one of the leading scientists in
the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell
Technology, and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School
of Medicine. He has several hundred publications and inventions,
and twenty scientific books, among them, Principles of Tissue Engineering,
which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field.
Others include One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species
in the 21st Century (with a foreword by President Jimmy Carter), and
the Handbook of Stem Cells and Essentials of Stem Cell Biology, which
are considered the definitive references in stem cell research.

Dr. Lanza received his BA and MD degrees from the University
of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin
Franklin Scholar. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, and was part
of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, as well as
the first to clone an endangered species, to demonstrate that nuclear
transfer could reverse the aging process, and to generate stem cells
using a method that does not require the destruction of human
embryos. Dr. Lanza was awarded the 2005 Rave Award for Medicine
by Wired magazine, and received the 2006 “All Star” Award for Biotechnology
by Mass High Tech.

Dr. Lanza and his research have been featured in almost every
media outlet in the world, including all the major television networks,
CNN, Time, Newsweek, People magazine, as well as the front
pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los
Angeles Times, and USA Today, among others. Lanza has worked with
some of the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel Laureates
Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter. Lanza worked closely with
B.F. Skinner at Harvard University. Lanza and Skinner (the “Father
of Modern Behaviorism”) published a number of scientific papers
together. He has also worked with Jonas Salk (discoverer of the polio
vaccine) and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard.


Bob Berman
“this is a fascinating guy”
—David Letterman
“fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight”
—Astronomy magazine

Bob Berman is the most widely read astronomer in the world. Author
of more than one thousand published articles, in publications such
as Discover and Astronomy magazine, where he is a monthly columnist,
he is also astronomy editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the
author of four books. He is adjunct professor of astronomy at Marymount
College, and writes and produces a weekly show on Northeast
Public Radio, aired during NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Muddy Universep. 3
In the Beginning There Was ... What?p. 11
The Sound of a Falling Treep. 19
Lights and Action!p. 25
Where Is the Universe?p. 33
Bubbles in Timep. 41
When Tomorrow Comes Before Yesterdayp. 47
The Most Amazing Experimentp. 61
Goldilocks's Universep. 83
No Time to Losep. 95
Space Outp. 111
The Man Behind the Curtainp. 129
Windmills of the Mindp. 135
A Fall in Paradisep. 143
Building Blocks of Creationp. 147
What Is This Place?p. 153
Sci-Fi Gets Realp. 163
Mystery of Consciousnessp. 169
Death and Eternityp. 185
Where Do We Go from Here?p. 195
The Lorentz Transformationp. 199
Einstein's Relativity and Biocentrismp. 201
Indexp. 209
About the Authorsp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Introduction

Our understanding of the universe as a whole has reached a dead
end. The “meaning” of quantum physics has been debated
since it was first discovered in the 1930s, but we are no closer
to understanding it now than we were then. The “theory of everything”
that was promised for decades to be just around the corner
has been stuck for decades in the abstract mathematics of string theory,
with its unproven and unprovable assertions.

But it’s worse than that. Until recently, we thought we knew what
the universe was made of, but it now turns out that 96 percent of the
universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy, and we have
virtually no idea what they are. We’ve accepted the Big Bang, despite
the increasingly greater need to jury-rig it to fit our observations (as
in the 1979 acceptance of a period of exponential growth, known as
inflation, for which the physics is basically unknown). It even turns
out that the Big Bang has no answer for one of the greatest mysteries in
the universe: why is the universe exquisitely fine-tuned to support life?
Our understanding of the fundamentals of the universe is actually
retreating before our eyes. The more data we gather, the more
we’ve had to juggle our theories or ignore findings that simply make
no sense.

This book proposes a new perspective: that our current theories
of the physical world don’t work, and can never be made to work,
until they account for life and consciousness. This book proposes
that, rather than a belated and minor outcome after billions of years
of lifeless physical processes, life and consciousness are absolutely
fundamental to our understanding of the universe. We call this new
perspective biocentrism.

In this view, life is not an accidental by-product of the laws of
physics. Nor is the nature or history of the universe the dreary play
of billiard balls that we’ve been taught since grade school.

Through the eyes of a biologist and an astronomer, we will
unlock the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed
to confine itself. The twenty-first century is predicted to be
the century of biology, a shift from the previous century dominated
by physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turning
the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science,
not with imaginary strings that occupy equally imaginary unseen
dimensions, but with a much simpler idea that is rife with so many
shocking new perspectives that we are unlikely ever to see reality
the same way again.

Biocentrism may seem like a radical departure from our current
understanding, and it is, but the hints have appeared all around us
for decades. Some of the conclusions of biocentrism may resonate
with aspects of Eastern religions or certain New Age philosophies.
This is intriguing, but rest assured there is nothing New Age about
this book. The conclusions of biocentrism are based on mainstream
science, and it is a logical extension of the work of some of our greatest
scientific minds.

Biocentrism cements the groundwork for new lines of investigation
in physics and cosmology. This book will lay out the principles
of biocentrism, all of which are built on established science, and all
of which demand a rethinking of our current theories of the physical
universe.

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