Why are we here? Where did it all come from―the laws of nature, the stars, the universe? Humans have been asking these questions forever, but science hasn’t succeeded in providing many answers—until now.
In The Grand Biocentric Design, Robert Lanza, one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” is joined by theoretical physicist Matej Pavšič and astronomer Bob Berman to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike. What if life isn’t just a part of the universe... what if it determines the very structure of the universe itself? This new, groundbreaking book provides an explanation of how the universe works, and an exploration of the science behind the astounding fact that time, space, and reality itself, all ultimately depend upon us. Reviewers call the book "Paradigm-shattering,” “Thrilling,” “Mind-blowing,” and “a masterpiece.”
For thousands of years we’ve looked to the sky and gods for answers. We landed on the moon—and even flung a piece of metal outside the solar system. But despite the development of super-proton-antiproton-synchrotrons, and now, superconducting-supercolliders that contain enough niobium-titanium wire to circle the earth sixteen times, we have no more of an understanding of why we exist than the first thinkers of civilized consciousness. Where did it all come from? Why are we here?
We’re like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” who went on a long journey in search of the Wizard to get back home, only to find the answer was inside her all along. The farther we peer into space, the more we realize that the secret of life and existence can’t be found by inspecting spiral galaxies or watching distant supernovas. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves.
“We are too content with our sense organs,” Loren Eiseley once said. “It’s no longer enough to see as a man sees — even to the ends of the universe.” Our radiotelescopes and supercolliders merely extend the perceptions of our mind. We see the finished work only. In this world, only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality — to a dandelion in a meadow, or a seed pod, or the sun or wind or rain. Anyway, it’s impressive, and your cat or dog can do it, too.
George Church, Robert Winthrop Professor at Harvard (and on Thomson Reuters short-list for the Nobel Prize) said “The Grand Biocentric Design adds new turf to the physics of making universes, and includes ‘solid evidence’ at last, that observers define the structure of physical reality itself."
The authors show that if life and consciousness are really central to everything else, then countless puzzling anomalies in science enjoy immediate clarification. It’s not just bizarre laboratory results like the famous “double slit experiment” that make no sense unless the observer’s presence is intimately intertwined with the results. On an everyday level, hundreds of physical constants are “set in stone” at precisely the values that allow life to exist. This could merely be an astounding coincidence. But the simplest explanation is that the laws and conditions of the universe allow for the observer because the observer generates them. Duh!
Since the authors’ first two books on this topic were released, new research has emerged that makes the case for biocentrism stronger than ever, allowing them to explain formerly fuzzy aspects of how our biocentric universe actually works.
The questions The Grand Biocentric Design answers are those every one of us has asked, basic questions about life and death, about how the world works and why we exist.
The book recounts the history of astounding physics discoveries that all lead inexorably to the bizarre but reality-shaking conclusion that the basic structure of the cosmos—things like space and time and the way matter holds together—requires observers. It visits the rise of quantum theory, and the discovery of the strange quantum behavior that challenged the idea that an external world exists independent of the perceiving subject. It dives into what Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, meant when he said “we’re not measuring the world; we’re creating it.”
The book explains for the first time, the entire mechanism involved in the emergence of what we experience as time—from the quantum level, where everything is still in superposition, to the macroscopic events occurring in the brain’s neurocircuitry. Along the way, it shows how information that breaks the light-speed limit suggests the mind is unified with matter and the world.
The book recognizes life as an adventure that transcends our commonsense understanding, providing hints about death. It looks at the mind-twisting thought experiment called quantum suicide, which can be used to explain why we are here now despite the overwhelming odds against it—and why death has no true reality. It shows that life has a non-linear dimensionality, like a perennial flower that always blooms.
Throughout The Grand Biocentric Design, the reader will find countless commonsense assumptions turned on their heads. For instance: “the histories of the universe,” said the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, “depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history.” While in classical physics the past is assumed to exist as an unalterable series of events, quantum physics plays by a different set of rules in which, as Hawking said, “the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists as a spectrum of possibilities.”
And while they’re at it, the authors look at physicists’ century-long frustration at that very fact: that quantum mechanics exists via a “different set of rules.” After all, making sense of gravity, among other things, requires finding a way to reconcile Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which accurately describes the macroscopic, large-scale cosmos, with the altogether different rules governing the quantum realm of the tiny. Why can’t science-at-large-scales communicate with science at the subatomic level? Astoundingly, this book arrives at a breakthrough in exactly that quest, a Holy Grail of physics.
That breakthrough comes in the final chapters, where the authors explain how time itself emerges directly from the observer. We learn that time doesn’t exist “out there,” ticking away from past to future as we’ve always assumed, but rather is an emergent property like a fast-growing bamboo stalk, and its existence depends on the observer’s ability to preserve information about experienced events. In the world of biocentrism, a “brainless” observer does not merely fail to experience time—without a conscious observer, time has no existence in any sense.
But this book is not merely an arrow targeted at the shocking revelations in the final chapters. Nor even at the flabbergasting scientific evidence that there is simply no time, no reality, and no existence of any kind without an observer. Instead, it’s an odyssey engineered to inspire as it reveals the workings of the cosmos and our place in it.
You can expect fireworks at the end, as the old paradigm is decisively replaced by the new. But watching this amazing story unfold is a journey that is its own reward, with surprises at every turn.
Ralph Levinson, professor emeritus at UCLA, said it’s “a masterly tour de force that will change your life . . . You will never look at science the same way again."
Based on material provided by the authors and publisher of The Grand Biocentric Design (BenBella Books 2020). Paperback version to be released November 16, 2021
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