Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Theory Of The Universe

Robert Lanza is a serious scientist. In fact his credentials include: Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He knows a thing or two about biology.

In 2007 he wrote an article entitled: A New Theory of the Universe which appeared in the prestigious American Scholar magazine. He is quoted as saying:

Instead of assuming a reality that predates life and even creates it, we propose a biocentric picture of reality. From this point of view, life – particularly consciousness – creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us.”

Now to some that would appear to be an absolutely astounding proclamation. Particularly to those adherents of  New Atheism, which is headed up by another outspoken biologist, Richard Dawkins. Obviously, as the name New Atheism would imply, they don't care much for Lanza's theories about a bio centric Universe. Dawkins, an esteemed Ethologist and Evolutionary Biologist in fact holds a rather dim view of anything that would belie a Universe of conscious design beyond what might be contained within our brains; as evidenced by this quote:

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."

Now those two statements, each uttered by exceptionally bright and credentialed biologists at the top of their field, could hardly be farther apart in viewpoint. So what are the rest of us poor troglodytes supposed to believe in? This is after all the most important question before all of mankind. We've listened to all the theories, carefully studied our science and biology books, read our Bibles, Torahs or Korans. And still the question persists without a widely agreed upon answer. So, IS consciousness a figment of our biologically induced, chemically transmitted imaginations? IS something, someone really out there? Can we ever know the answers to those questions?

Personally, I like Professor Ervin László's take on the situation. He also knows a thing or two about science and evolution as well. He's the editor of the international periodical World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution.  He has a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne and is the recipient of honorary Ph.D.’s from the United States, Canada, Finland, and Hungary. He was also twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005. This quote from his 2004 book entitled: Science and the Akashic Field seems to sum things up nicely:

"There is much we do not yet understand about the farthest reaches of human consciousness, but one thing stands out: consciousness does not vanish when the functions of the brain and body this interpretation, the perennial intuition of an immortal soul is no longer inconsistent with what we are now beginning to comprehend through science about the true nature of reality."

I think I'll stick with that until proven otherwise.

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