The Biocentric Universe

Ahanu

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Any regular readers of Discover magazine on here?

Science and Technology News, Science Articles | Discover Magazine

I do not grasp the concept of biocentrism in the article entitled The Biocentric Universe in the May 2009 edition.

OK. What I understand from the example of the spider and the web in the first page is that if you take humankind out of the picture, do space and time still exist?

Basically the author is saying that they are biological constructions. What we perceive as time is an illusion. Rather, it is change.

"From this point of view, life--particularly consciousness--creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us" (54).

I understand that Biocentrism is the belief that life creates the universe. What I am particularly confused about is that if I am looking out of the window of my house, how does the world look through the worldview of biocentrism? OK. Space and time are an illusion from this view, but what differences does it make to view the world in this way?
 
I found a good read on Biocentrism in the link below which provided a better explanation, I think . . .

A New Theory of the Universe | The American Scholar

This is a good example 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 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

In classical science, humans place all things in time and space on a continuum. The universe is 15 to 20 billion years old; the earth five or six. Homo erectus appeared four million years ago, but he took three-and-a-half million years to discover fire, and another 490,000 to invent agriculture. And so forth. Time in a mechanistic universe (as described by Newton and Einstein and Darwin) is an arrow upon which events are notched. But imagine, instead, that reality is like a sound recording. Listening to an old phonograph doesn’t alter the record itself, and depending on where the needle is placed, you hear a certain piece of music. This is what we call the present. The music before and after the song you are hearing is what we call the past and the future. Imagine, in like manner, that every moment and day endures in nature always. The record does not go away. All nows (all the songs on the record) exist simultaneously, although we can only experience the world (or the record) piece by piece. If we could access all life—the whole record—we could experience it non-sequentially. We could know our children as toddlers, as teenagers, as senior citizens—all now. In the end, even Einstein admitted, “Now [Besso—one of his oldest friends] has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us . . . know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” That there is an irreversible, on-flowing continuum of events linked to galaxies and suns and the earth is a fantasy.
That is interesting!
 
I have looked at biocentrism and believe I have read the article you refer to on Discover. While it is an interesting and amusing concept to play with for a short time the truth is that the universe is not biocentric. All religions are biocentric and this idea is just an extension of that, as you would expect from that site. A site that sells itself as scientific yet is made up more of pseudo-science than anything else.

Einsteins special theory of relativity does indeed state time can be illusionary yet it remans seated within the fundamental laws of physics. There is not enough energy in the universe to be able to send someone backwards in time. To do that you have to accelerate them to much faster than lightspeed, something physics tells us is impossible.

Biocentrism is nothing more than a kind of collective ego. And it is ridiculous to think that the moons, the planets the stars and galaxies would simply pop out of existence if we were not here to observe them. We are certain that they all existed long before we were a twinkle in a primitive mamillian eye and we can be certain they would still be there after the armageddon so many religionists seem determined to bring about. So its an amusing thought experiment only. It has no evidence to support it what so ever.
 
Iw this a rewriting of "If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, does it make a noise?" ?
 
To do that you have to accelerate them to much faster than lightspeed, something physics tells us is impossible.

Assuming that lightspeed is a constant, that would be true. Watch Joao Magueijo "rip apart the basic theories of physics" below.

Joao Magueijo's Big Bang: Joao Magueijo's Big Bang : Video : The Science Channel

OK. It is only just a clip, but the show was great! He proposed that the speed of light is not a constant.
Biocentrism is nothing more than a kind of collective ego. And it is ridiculous to think that the moons, the planets the stars and galaxies would simply pop out of existence if we were not here to observe them. We are certain that they all existed long before we were a twinkle in a primitive mamillian eye and we can be certain they would still be there after the armageddon so many religionists seem determined to bring about. So its an amusing thought experiment only. It has no evidence to support it what so ever.
Ooo . . . let us take a closer look at thsi so-called heretical science. Now, this is where biocentrism gets really, really confusing for me. If you have your May issue of Discover magazine, please turn to page 54, because I thought Robert Lanza was sharing evidence.

I will include quotes here if you do not have it . . .
"For centuries, scientists regarded Berkeley's argument as a philosophical slideshow 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 possiblities--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.
Some physicists looking at Werner Heisensberg's famous uncertainty principle, which I know nothing about, calls this switch of an electron from "possibility to reality" a collapse. This seems to be where he is proving George Berkeley's observation that "the only thing we can perceive are our perceptions."
What accomplishes this collapse? Messing with it . . . 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 instantaneoussly collapses too. If one photon is observed to have a verticle polarization (its waves all moving in one plane), the act of the 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 sicne moves 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 communitcation between the two happened at least 10,000 times faster than the speed of light. It seems that quantum new 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 phsical states exist in some absolute sense before they are measured.

All of this is now gone for keeps.


 
Oh, search for Joao Magueijo on youtube to see what I am talking about with the speed of light . . .
 
OK. It is only just a clip, but the show was great! He proposed that the speed of light is not a constant.
Any physicist knows that the speed of light is not a constant. The speed of light is at its maximum, (just under 300m m/s)is what has to be overcome and that has never ever been observed. Some radiation (Chernykov radiation from memory), gives the illusion o exceeding lightspeed but that is just an illusion caused by some weird tricks of angularity.

As for Quantum invocations, well, intriguing, mysterious but as yet meaningless and unproven.
 
if you take humankind out of the picture, do space and time still exist?

We are a product of the universe, like a fruit or flower is the product of a plant.
So then if we were all to blow up and become extinct somehow, we would all return again in some way, shape or form.
 

Thankyou for the video.

So the LHC is a giant microscope that takes pictures of empty space . . . That is, it takes pictures of what appears to our senses as nothingness, as the speaker would say. Frank Wilczek says something similar to Robert Lanza 36 minutes into the video! Wilczek says we get distorted images, just like fish in water, and that our senses give us a relatively poor account of reality.
 
We are a product of the universe, like a fruit or flower is the product of a plant.
So then if we were all to blow up and become extinct somehow, we would all return again in some way, shape or form.

. . . or maybe the universe is a product of us . . . :eek:

Tao thinks the idea is silly! I'm a fence-sitter at the moment. It seems that we have two for no. I'm uncertain about how Brian and Citizenzen see this idea.
 
. . . or maybe the universe is a product of us . . . :eek:

Tao thinks the idea is silly! I'm a fence-sitter at the moment. It seems that we have two for no. I'm uncertain about how Brian and Citizenzen see this idea.

Silly? No not silly. Its just so typically pandering to the human ego as to be immediately dubious. As Shawn notes the atoms that constitute us will not cease to exist when mankind is extinguised for ever. I tend to think those atoms are the key to understanding, not our narcisistic navel gazing.
 
hi ahanu

l liked that Lanzo article, he mentions David Chalmers who has been at the forefront of trying to explain the 'gap' in science of 'consciousness' [see the journal of consciousness online for heaps of articles].
It pulls together thoughts of A.N.Whitehead [1920's] panpychism, William James' 'specious moment', Sartres' 'being and nothingness' and Yogananda's [and obviously other eastern philosophies 'maya'] sayings on consciousness.
Agreed the goldilocks/anthropic principle reeks of a human superiority complex but theres no one else here doing the speculations [or have you been talking to your cat?!, or maybe you know who!].
The other video [robert?] plots the discoveries at generation time spaces, the last 1970's so the paradigm shift is coagulating and guys like jose [?] one of the many jig sawing the puzzle.
 
. . . or maybe the universe is a product of us . . . :eek:

The universe provides the components for awareness,

but we still need senses to perceive and a brain to comprehend it.

It is an intricate dance.
 
. . . or maybe the universe is a product of us . . . :eek:
Then it would be some kind of Mobius strip arrangement would it not.
This is totally the chicken and egg argument.
I think that consciousness/spiritual presence is above and beyond the material universe and the whole of the universe is manifested for the purpose of spiritual embodiment.

Awareness is energy.
Everything we see is ultimately energy.
What we conceive of as God is energy.

Now here we are in vessels of animated clay, animated by energy, yet we all start off feeling like we are just an individual, that we are somehow disconnected from God or something greater than ourselves.

We all are driven by a feeling that there must be something more.

Some people have experiences which reveals to them that we are not just individuals, but are a part of a greater unity, a gestalt, a universal awareness.
The ones who do not have such experiences brand those that do, mystics and dreamers, or worse at times.
 
the separation has in part been caused by monotheism in demythologising nature. Any one read Hegel?
 
Tao, are you a scientist ? I practice engineering and science as well. Are there any other scientists on this forum ? I have become more interested in the interface between science and religion and I think it might be interesting to explore this interface on topics of a more technical nature. Some obvious areas are origin of the universe and origin of species. What do you think ?
 
One interesting approach to initiating these sort of discussions could be to upload some peer reviewer articles, from Nature and Science for example. I have electronic access to these journals, but there might be some copyright and permission issues that would have to be explored.
 
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