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Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe Paperback – May 18 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (May 18 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935251740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935251743
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

“I found the attack on physics to be pretty compelling ... Lanza's theories [are] certainly worth debate.”
Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger, SciGuy blog

“What makes this book both interesting and worth the effort of reading it; is the unique perspective Lanza brings to the subject matter as a physician. ... From the way [Lanza] chooses to present his arguments, it's clear he has a solid grasp of esoteric disciplines like quantum theory, special relativity and particle physics. And what makes his presentation more compelling than other efforts I've encountered is his ability and willingness to weave personal experience into the thoughts and ideas presented. His style is conversational and warm which tends to pull you along through the exposition gently. And his sense of wonder and befuddlement at shop worn enigmas like the double slit experiment, Bell's theorem, non-locality and Schrödinger's cat is as infectious as it is delightful ... I very much like what Lanza has to say in Biocentrism.”
Midwest Book Review

Endorsements for Robert Lanza’s essay on which Biocentrism is based:
“For several days now I have read and reread your article and thought about it. Like ‘a brief history of time’ it is indeed stimulating and brings biology into the whole. Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work. Almost every society of mankind has explained the mystery of our surroundings and being by invoking a god or group of gods. Scientists work to acquire objective answers from the infinity of space or the inner machinery of the atom. Lanza proposes a biocentrist theory which ascribes the answer to the observer rather than the observed. The work is a scholarly consideration of science and philosophy that brings biology into the central role in unifying the whole. The book will appeal to an audience of many different disciplines because it is a new way of looking at the old problem of our existence. Most importantly, it makes you think.”
E. Donnall Thomas
Thomas was awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and Director Emeritus of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“It is genuinely an exciting piece of work. I am very familiar with some of the things you say. The idea that consciousness creates reality has quantum support, as you suggest, and also coheres with some of the things biology and neuroscience are telling us about the structures of our being. To put what you are doing in a larger context, it exhibits a dramatic new Copernican reversal. Just as we now know that the sun doesn’t really move but we do (we are the active agents), so you are suggesting that we are the entities that give meaning to the particular configuration of all possible outcomes we call reality. I think this is a great project.”
Ronald Green
Green is the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, and Director of Dartmouth College’s Ethics Institute. Professor Green is a well-known religious studies scholar and former Chairman of the Department of Religion

“Robert Lanza, a world renowned scientist who has spanned many fields from drug delivery to stem cells to preventing animal extinction, and clearly one of the most brilliant minds of our times, has done it again. ‘A New Theory of the Universe’ takes into account all the knowledge we have gained over the last few centuries, and correlates them to our own beings, placing in perspective our biologic limitations that have impeded our understanding of greater truths surrounding our existence and the universe around us. This new theory is certain to revolutionize our concepts of the laws of nature for centuries to come.”
Anthony Atala
Atala is an internationally recognized scientist, and the W.H. Boyce Professor, Chair, and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

“As an astrophysicist, I focus my attention on objects that are very large and very far away, ignoring the whole issue of consciousness as a critical part of the Universe. Reading Robert Lanza’s work is a wake-up call to all of us that even on the grandest scale we still depend on our minds to experience reality. Issues of “quantum weirdness” do have a place in the macroscopic world. Time and space do depend on perception. We can go about our daily lives and continue to study the physical Universe as if it exists as an objective reality (because the probabilities allow that degree of confidence), but we do so with a better awareness of an underlying biological component, thanks to Dr. Lanza. I cannot speak for NASA or other NASA scientists, but personally I look forward to hearing a more detailed explanation of this biocentric view of the Universe from Dr. Lanza.”
David Thompson
Thompson is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. His contributions include the building and flying of prototypes of EGRET, which was launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1991. He is currently with the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, and has received both the Goddard Space Flight Center & NASA Group Exceptional Achievement Awards.

“Yes, it is appropriate to ask whether our perception of space and time is a consequence of our particular neurophysiology. Yes, it is appropriate to ask how it happened that the conditions worked out to be just right for life to appear somehow on earth and then to evolve from the archaea through the eukaryotes to us. ... I’ll bet the book gets a good audience. And I like to see books published that challenge my own ideas and thoughts in ways that make me think, but not ones that simply throw dogma at me. The essay is definitely of the former kind.”
R. Stephen Berry
Berry is James Franck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago. Professor Berry is a member (and recent Home Secretary) of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. He was also former Vice President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and MacArthur Prize “Genius” Fellow.

“Science has a token of freedom that motivates scientists to study all logical possibilities that may explain the world. Robert Lanza has come up with an innovative approach to investigate reality from the viewpoint of biology. His article demands an answer to the question of whether scientists have exhausted all possible tools for studying nature. Can science bring biology into grand unified theory? A solution is suggested that involves a new concept, biocentrism. Lanza goes beyond the individual human attribute calling for interconnectedness among all living creatures forming the fundamental basis for understanding reality. A book that expands upon this unique approach is warranted, not only to alert society, but to call on it to test this novel new hypothesis.”
Gunther Kletetschka
Kletetschka is a geophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is also a Research Professor of Physics at Catholic University of America and leading scientist working on the James Web Space Telescope.

“It’s a masterpiece—truly a magnificent essay. Bob Lanza is to be congratulated for a fresh and highly erudite look at the question of how perception and consciousness shape reality and common experience. His monograph combines a deep understanding and broad insight into 20th century physics and modern biological science; in so doing, he forces a reappraisal of this hoary epistemological dilemma. Not all will agree with the proposition he advances, but most will find his writing eminently readable and his arguments both convincing and challenging. Bravo.”
Michael Lysaght
Lysaght is Professor of Medical Science and Engineering at Brown University and Director of Brown’s Center for Biomedical Engineering.

About the Author

Robert Lanza
“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 20 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 B.A. and M.D. 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.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 25 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Occasionally a person can read a book that parallels his/her most recent thoughts on a given subject matter. This was such a book for me. The author, in a clear and convincing manner, shows that evolution did not in time create consciousness. Instead, consciousness has always been in existence and was present during the 'big bang'. Being so, this phenomenon leaves us with a series of interesting questions. What was the original level of consciousness? Was it primitive or advanced? Did this consciousness guide the process of evolution itself? Is there an end point that it is aiming towards, or have we already reached it? Other intriguing factors include the anomaly that reality itself is solely created by the presence of an observer, space and time are nothing more than meaningless human guidelines and are simply tools of the mind, the universe, without an observer, would merely exist in an undetermined state of wave probability, the universe is fine-tuned for life because consciousness and life created it that way, and that there is no absolute reality that exists independent of life.

If you want a mind opening text that is easy to read and challenges your 'rock solid' view of particle physics this is the book for you. The answers of the questions of 'why and how' are out there and this book is a step towards finding the final answers to our age old queries.
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By Ruth Freese on Dec 17 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are some interesting bits in this book regarding quantum weirdness and the nature of space. However, the author uses the fact that there is stuff going on that the brightest scientists out there don't understand to jump immediately to his conclusion, which is that the universe must have been created by life, for life, and in fact kind of exists in a fuzzy non-state when it's not being directly observed by consciousness. He could have just as easily stated that, since we don't know some things it therefore leads us to the conclusion that the universe was created by God, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, dancing fairies, and a small herd of pink unicorns. There is a huge conceptual gap between his assertion that we don't really understand the nature of space, time, and quantum mechanics, which is true, and his assertion that therefore it must be consciousness that somehow is responsible for everything. The author just blithely assumes that it's obvious that if it isn't A then it must be B and doesn't give us any reason why it should be B and not C,D,E,F, or G...or Z...

BTW, if you are interested in the nature of space, time, and quantum weirdness, there are some excellent books out there by real physicists (Stephen Hawking, for example) which will really make your head hurt and are well worth your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guru Meditation on Feb. 11 2014
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says a whole lot of nothing in a lot of words. Its mostly an autobiography to be honest. The "insight" it provides could have just as easily been posted in a twitter update.
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By renkma on Aug. 23 2014
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This is a great book! Whether you buy into Biocentrism or not, Lanza holds your interest. He is funny, witty, and is able to translate physics and his incredible intelligence into lamens terms. For anyone that is interested in physics, this is worth a read, if only to learn about a very interesting theory.
I for one am still on the fence - much of what is offered is creepily plausible - and perhaps I am just too conditioned of an organism but I am one that IS convinced that the moon is still there if I am not looking at it. But a great read for sure!!!!!
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By Brandon Noseworthy on July 7 2014
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Awesome book. Mind blowing and easy to understand.
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By O D Kenzie on June 29 2014
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I am happy with the speed of response at which it arrived. It is as advertised. It is a great read, and defines quantum physics in lay mans terms
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By vo cao on March 11 2014
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The concept made sense but the presentation was boring. "The Tao of physics" came out 40 years earlier but still beat this book hands down.
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A book worthy of reading aloud, especially if you have a science teacher husband, as I do. I will read this one again.
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