Have you ever looked up at the night sky, sparkling with shining stars, and marveled how it can be possible that we live on a planet that revolves around a sun that looks like just another twinkling star when seen from afar? When you stop to really think about it, it’s truly mind-bogglingly amazing that we’re alive on this planet that has just enough water and air and is just the right temperature to support our form of life.
I just read Robert Lanza’s thought-provoking book, Biocentrism, which raises the question of how our universe developed in such a way that it is perfect to support life. The odds against such a thing happening purely by chance are astronomically high. The concept of “fine-tuning” has been utilized in the past as an argument in favor of the existence of God, based on the notion that because fundamental physical constants are perfectly positioned to support life, some organizing effect behind the scenes must be going on to have created such a remarkably unlikely situation.
We tend to assume that chaos is the order of the day, as most of us are familiar with in our daily lives. We don’t expect our homes and gardens to tidy and organize themselves, but rather we come to learn that order takes effort, whereas chaos naturally unfolds. So taking a long, hard look at just how organized our universe seems to be leads us to wonder how, exactly, we ended up on a planet that happens to be just the right distance from our sun in a universe that naturally tends to be supportive of life.
Lanza asserts, as the subtitle of his book Biocentrism states, that life and consciousness are the keys to understanding the true nature of the universe. Just how this occurs, Lanza says, has much to do with the extraordinary effects consciousness has been proven to have in the quantum realm. Since experiments conducted in quantum physics have determined that human observers influence behavior of quantum particles in such a manner that results can be shown of a decision before it is made, Lanza suggests this indicates that life itself is the deciding factor in the “Goldilock’s Universe” we find ourselves living in.
The word “biocentrism” was originally intended to convey a sense of reverence for all life, as opposed to focusing primarily on human life, and Lanza’s definition has taken that meaning a bit farther to suggest that biological consciousness is the fundamental consciousness at work in providing us with this particular universe. I respect Lanza’s premise that there exists sufficient evidence supporting the connection between microscopic quantum descriptions of reality and macroscopic classical reality, though it seems clear to me that consciousness must be more than merely biological or bio-centric. We likely do experience the most biologically friendly universes in the multiverse of all possible realities. As another book on the subject of the multiverse, Quantum Jumps, asserts, consciousness extends beyond our ability to fully comprehend it, and is worthy of a ‘centrism’ of its own in terms of being the ultimate creative force in establishing physical reality.
I am enthusiastically supportive of Lanza’s premise in Biocentrism that consciousness is at the center of creating the physical world.
Lanza’s breezy writing style makes this book about fairly heavy topics easy to read… so this book delving into physics, neuroscience, and the nature of reality is something you can sit down and read in a weekend… and you will definitely be challenged to see the world in a whole new way.
The video version of this blog post can be found on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/bivHwDrAPwY