Robert Lanza essay on biocentrism

Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution.

Robert Lanza essay on biocentrism

Post #1  Postby Pyrrho » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:16 am

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Post #2  Postby skepticNY » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:22 am

Hello Jim Dominic

I think it's a wonderful idea to have a thread dedicated to discussions of consciousness, because I just don't see enough of it on this forum. In truth it seems threads just spontaneously sprout discussions of consciousness.

I would like to post the part of Lanza's article I enjoyed the most. That would be the final two paragraphs (editing and highlighting done by me).

Robert Lanza wrote:Space and time, not proteins and neurons, hold the answer to the problem of consciousness. When we consider the nerve impulses entering the brain, we realize that they are not woven together automatically, any more than the information is inside a computer. Our thoughts have an order, not of themselves, but because the mind generates the spatio-temporal relationships involved in every experience. We can never have any experience that does not conform to these relationships, for they are the modes of animal logic that mold sensations into objects. It would be erroneous, therefore, to conceive of the mind as existing in space and time before this process, as existing in the circuitry of the brain before the understanding posits in it a spatio-temporal order. The situation, as we have seen, is like playing a CD—the information leaps into three-dimensional sound, and in that way, and in that way only, does the music indeed exist.

We are living through a profound shift in worldview, from the belief that time and space are entities in the universe to one in which time and space belong to the living. Think of all the recent book titles—The End of Science, The End of History, The End of Eternity, The End of Certainty, The End of Nature, and The End of Time. Only for a moment, while we sort out the reality that time and space do not exist, will it feel like madness.


*now--what did I do with that Buddha statue*
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
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Post #3  Postby skepticNY » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:21 am

I wanted to post part of the interview with Lanza published on Wired News.
I do this for two reasons. First, It's good to be skeptical of grand theories that are purported by the progenitor as potentially undoing what is known by most scientist to be reality (putting it rather generally). Secondly, I've noticed some of these, as well as from the article, words used almost verbatim on this forum. But, as pointed out, how much of this is new and how much is being retro-fitted.

It's almost like I recognize some of the commentators in the forums at the bottom of the page.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/me ... ss.culture

================================================
Wired News: You call your theory of the universe a biocentric theory. What, exactly, does that mean?

Lanza: This new theory presents a shift in world view with the perspective that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.

WN: I imagine that a lot of physicists will be rather upset by your article. How do you expect them to react?

Lanza: People are not going to be very happy with what this all means. This theory is going to invalidate their (some scientists) entire life's work. I will definitely get crucified.

We've got the scientific structure and framework incorrect. We need a theory that is internally consistent. We can't do this without creating a biological understanding of space and time. This will require restructuring science so that biology is above physics.

WN: Does that mean you think that big physics and astronomy projects should not be funded?

Lanza: Of course they should be funded. I don't think that everything should be changed. What I am saying is that there is a missing piece to the puzzle of how the universe works. The answer is biology. It is as simple as that. The biological picture of space and time must be integrated into our understanding of physics.

WN: Why do you think that there is such a deep misunderstanding of what time and space really are?

Lanza: Our minds are structured to think that way. Even Einstein avoided the question of what space and time are. He simply defined them as what we measure with clocks and measuring-rods. However, the emphasis should be on the "we," not the measuring.

WN: Do you expect that some people will read your article and think you mean that they can sit on a mountaintop and meditate to change the world around them with mind powers?

Lanza: We can't decide that we want to jump off the roof and not get hurt. However much we want, we can't violate the rules of spatiotemporal logic.

WN: In your article, you make the assertion that time and space do not exist. What do you mean by that?

Lanza: There is something very unusual about them. We can't put them in a marmalade jar and take them back to the lab for analysis. Space and time are forms of animal sense perception. Space and time are not objects or things -- they are forms of animal sense perception.

Thousands of articles and books have danced around the desire to toss off the current mechanical world view that has dominated Western culture for hundreds of years. While some imply that time and space may not in fact exist, this article diagrams, for the first time, such a universe -- a universe in which time and space do not exist as physical realities independent of humans and animals.

WN: You seem to disagree with how the world was created.

Lanza: There are serious problems with the current world view. We pride ourselves in our current beliefs and then we (scientists) say, and by the way, we have no idea why the big bang happened.

WN: Can you explain why we should doubt the things that are accepted as the truth in science classes everywhere?

Lanza: For the first time outside of complex mathematics, this theory explains the provocative new experiment that was just published in Science last month. This landmark experiment showed that a choice you make now can actually influence an event that has already occurred in the past.

Scientists continue to dismiss the observer as an inconvenience to their theories. Real experiments show that the properties of matter itself are observer-determined. A particle can go through one hole if you look at it, but if you don't look at it, it can actually go through more than one hole at the same time. Science has no explanation for how the world can be like that.
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
Frank Zappa
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Post #4  Postby skepticNY » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:31 am

Edit: I should preface this post with the idea that Lanza's theory is one he conjured long ago. As shown in the below article.

I find when I sometimes play a hunch it actually gets exhausting. I decided to follow the wording to the article by Lanza to that of a contributor to this forum. I then ran searches on "idealism", Robert Lanza, George Berkeley and Buddhism. Nothing from the "bibliography".

I'll go over some of this tomorrow perhaps, but I wanted to post part of an article I found.  The article is by Victor Stenger from the Humanist 1992. It is written in response to an article by Robert Lanza. The articles title is The Myth of Quantum Consciousness. Lanza's article is titled The Wise Silence also from the Humanist 1992.

Victor Stenger


"In an article in the November/December 1992 issue entitled “The Wise Silence,” Robert Lanza says that, according to the current quantum mechanical view of reality, “We are all the ephemeral forms of a consciousness greater than ourselves.” The mind of each human being on earth is instantaneously connected to each other - past, present and future - as “a part of every mind existing in space and time.”

"In Lanza’s interpretation, quantum mechanics tells us that all human minds are united in one mind and “the entities of the universe - electrons, photons, galaxies, and the like - are floating in a field of mind that cannot be limited within a restricted space or period . . .” Unlike traditional myths, which call on scripture or the utterances of charismatic leaders as their authorities, this latest version of ancient Hindu idealism is supposedly based on up-to-date scientific knowledge. The assertion is made that
quantum mechanics has ruled invalid the materialistic, reductionist view of the universe, introduced by Newton in the seventeenth century, which formed the foundation of the scientific revolution. Now, materialism is replaced by a new spiritualism and reductionism is cast aside by a new holism"

"But even without human involvement, with inanimate instruments doing
the observing, do the rules of quantum mechanics allow for superluminal motion? A careful analysis of the experiments that tested Bell’s theorem shows that the only objects that move faster than light are mathematical creations of our imagination, like the quantum wave function, which are not physical objects. It can be demonstrated that no signal carrying actual information moves faster than the speed of light{.} Neither conventional quantum mechanics nor Einstein’s relativity are violated.

The overwhelming weight of evidence, from seven decades of
experimentation, shows not a hint of a violation of reductionist, local, discrete, non-superluminal, non-holistic relativity and quantum mechanics - with no fundamental involvement of human consciousness other than in our own subjective perception of whatever reality is out there. Of course our thinking processes have a strong influence on what we perceive. But to say that what we perceive therefore determines, or even controls, what is out there is without rational foundation. The world would be a far different place for all of us if it was just all in our heads - if we really could make our own reality as the New Agers believe. The fact that the world rarely is what we want it to be is the best evidence that we have little to say about it. The myth of quantum consciousness should take its place along with gods, unicorns, and dragons as yet another product of the
fantasies of people unwilling to accept what science, reason, and their own eyes tell them about the world."
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
Frank Zappa
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Post #5  Postby skepticNY » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:56 am

Hello Jim Dominic

I have an open question for you.

I have noticed there is in fact a great deal of discussion concerning consciousness on this forum. A lot of woo is tossed around in my opinion. Actually, I see a tremendous amount of woo on this forum in general. Understandable to a certain degree given the topics discussed by skeptics. Be that as it may, there is still an overwhelming amount of noise.

My question; Is part of the reason for the continued discussions on consciousness that appear to me to be both redundant and at times way off topic of particular threads because you favor "alternate theories of consciousness", or a belief in the possibility of mind being separate in some way from the brain?

By the way, I have not even looked at the threads in the Brain, mind and consciousness conference section. :)
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
Frank Zappa
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Post #6  Postby St. Jimmy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:58 pm

skepticNY wrote:
By the way, I have not even looked at the threads in the Brain, mind and consciousness conference section. :)


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Post #7  Postby Xipe_Totec » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:21 pm

Yeah, yeah, yeah..... Like the article, not very much fond of the "life creates universe". I think it's either accidentally misspoken, or intentionally decieving. The propper way should be that life creates life's vision of the universe. Wether that Cecropia moth from the intro is aware of humans or the opera is irrelevant to their existence. It is only relevant to Cecropia's experience of human/opera existence. That said, the idea is not a very interesting tautology. Ofcourse that in interaction with the outside world entities depend on their senses, which limit the scope of percieved reality. It is nothing new to claim that a rose looks different to humans and bees. The claim that a rose somehow is different when looked at by humans or bees is fallacious.

Same goes for the "mind generates space-time relationships".

As for the "decision you make now affects the past" experiment, I'm interested to hear more.
The Government did it.
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Post #8  Postby Pyrrho » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:27 am

skepticNY wrote:Hello Jim Dominic

I have an open question for you.

I have noticed there is in fact a great deal of discussion concerning consciousness on this forum. A lot of woo is tossed around in my opinion. Actually, I see a tremendous amount of woo on this forum in general. Understandable to a certain degree given the topics discussed by skeptics. Be that as it may, there is still an overwhelming amount of noise.

Well, I'm pleased that people feel comfortable enough here to share their thoughts and opinions, even if not skeptical thoughts and opinions.
My question; Is part of the reason for the continued discussions on consciousness that appear to me to be both redundant and at times way off topic of particular threads because you favor "alternate theories of consciousness", or a belief in the possibility of mind being separate in some way from the brain?

I really don't know. Interest in different topics waxes and wanes. Today it's consciousness; tomorrow it may be extraterrestrials.
By the way, I have not even looked at the threads in the Brain, mind and consciousness conference section. :)
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Post #9  Postby skepticNY » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:54 am

Thank you Jim Dominic for your response to my question. I find what you have said to be very enlightening.

I appreciate the work you do to keep the forum running. I also appreciate the fact that you may want to reply with a certain amount of ambiguity to a direct question such as mine.
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout!
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
Frank Zappa
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