Dreams Are More Real Than Anyone Thought Waking reality and dreams are different versions of the same thing

How Your Mind Really Works—Quantum Physics, Mayonnaise & the Mystery of Red

Picture of a brain on a black background

Adapted from The Grand Biocentric Designby Robert Lanza and Matej Pavsic, published by BenBella Books (2020).

You keep staring at the repair man. His words are starting to sink in. The fabulous and expensive generator you bought a few years ago to keep the lights burning during storms and power failures needs a major repair.

“A head gasket?”

You echo the phrase he just used, fearing that it has a pricey ring to it. “What exactly is a head gasket?”

You listen with interest while the mechanic explains the basics of four-stroke engines and why the two big sections of the engine block require a compressive layer that prevents internal gasses and oil from leaking out.

Modern engineering is indeed a marvel. But the real marvel is how your experience of even the very mundane reality of this repairman’s visit can be occurring in the first place. How is it that you can perceive this person in front of you in such 3-dimensional detail, his words (at least mostly) comprehensible, each of you perceiving events subjectively, while also managing to communicate within a seemingly very real shared reality? How does your consciousness work?

Let’s start by coming to a stop at a red traffic light. We all agree the stoplight is “red,” even though we can never prove that the exact visual experience I call “red” is the same as yours. It doesn’t matter because, whatever it is, it stays consistent, and it has since someone thought to name the colors in the first place.

One of the big mysteries of awareness, of course, is why we experience something called “red” to begin with. To understand the problem, consider the fact that light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is a gradient of electromagnetic radiation running from shorter to longer wavelengths. Thus, we might experience the visual spectrum as a gradient of brightness—as a continuum of grays ranging from dark to light. It could be a simple quantitative experience. But, for humans and some other animals, it isn’t. Instead we have a unique qualitative experience.

In 1965, researchers discovered 3 types of cone-shaped cells in the eye that, when stimulated, are subsequently associated with the visual sensations of red, green, and blue. Stimulation of each type of cone is associated with a unique experience. But how and why? A clue comes from the fact that fully two-thirds of these cone-shaped cells are the so-called “L type” responsible for the sensation of red. This lopsided majority suggests, from the outset, that perceiving light in the “red” range of the visual spectrum is of higher priority than perceiving other wavelengths of light—and thus that our perception of colors serves a purpose.

In evolutionary terms, red likely gets extra attention from the brain because it’s associated with alarming, important events like injury, fire, and blood. In life, the sudden presence of that color in your consciousness usually meant either that your bicycle had gone off the road into a field of begonias, or, more worrisome—and, in the early days of humankind, more likely—that blood was pouring down your arm, requiring immediate attention.

This possibility of a life-threatening situation made red the traditional signal of bad news that shouldn’t be ignored. We know this instinctively, which is why no one except a contrarian teenager would dream of painting their bedroom a bright red, at least not if they valued a tranquil environment. This explains why red was universally agreed on as the color for things like warning notices and railroad and, later, automobile stop signals. And why even culturally distinct nations and those antagonistic enough toward the West to want to thumb their noses at new modern conventions didn’t buck this rule. Obviously, the qualitatively attention-getting experience we call “red” is associated with a deep built- in pattern of emotions and neural connections.

A similarly distinct circuitry comprising labyrinthine clusters of cells is connected with the other colors and cones—each associated with separate areas of the brain. When these cell architectures are stimulated via their respective cones in the retina, we have distinctive experiences: blue evokes the vastness of the sky and yields a much calmer feeling than red, and green conveys countless bygone centuries of plants and vegetation and is a comforting invocation of life.

We believe that these three most basic colors and their various combinations must have had unique survival value during early evolution, and thus they are associated with their own functional pathways in the brain. When the complex relational logic associated with these distinct clusters of cells is brought into the actively entangled region of the brain associated with consciousness, we have discrete sensations even if we rarely give a second thought to the components that make up each of these colors, any more than we can discern the ingredients in mayonnaise or a piece of Cap’n Crunch.

This is but a brief sample of the workings of processes acting below our conscious perceptions and decision-making. To understand those of which we are aware, we must return to the cloud of quantum activity that surrounds the brain’s countless neuro-electric occurrences. If it is an observation made in consciousness, then why shouldn’t a subconscious event count, such as when we suddenly find ourselves in a tense mood but are unaware that it’s due to the odd red color of the walls of the club we’ve just entered? After all, the subconscious is often the decisive factor in such events, as it is with many reflex actions.

The answer is that activities at a subconscious level are in a quantum superposition—meaning, all possibilities simultaneously coexist. But the moment their results pop into reality and conscious awareness, a perceptible “choice” is made. This is key because, as explained in our new book The Grand Biocentric Design, there are always many possible chains of brain activities (in many possible Everett branches). But when consciousness hangs up on one of them—subjectively perceived as the awareness of a definite outcome—this can now be mathematically described as a collapse of the wave function.

It might be helpful to recall Schrödinger’s thought experiment involving the most famous cat in the history of physics. In that example, a chain of events began with a radiation source monitored by a Geiger counter. The wave function of the radioactive material was a superposition of two states—one in which there is a decay and one in which there isn’t. Let’s simplify by transferring this situation to a modern lab, omitting the hassles of PETA involvement. If there is a decay, the counter detects a photon and produces a brief click that enters the ears of the lab technician. There the sound is transformed into an electrochemical signal that is transmitted via the nerves to the brain, where the processing of the information begins, first at the subconscious level. Then the information is construed in consciousness as “a click of the Geiger counter,” followed by a cascade of interpretative judgments in the cerebral cortex. This entire sequence of events comprises one possible chain of brain activity, but note that the strictly physical radioactive decay and the neural responses are all inexorably linked in a single outcome! The other chain corresponds to the case in which there was no decay, and that corresponds to a completely different chain of brain activity leading to the awareness in consciousness that the counter has produced no click. There are thus two possibility branches—one ending with the conscious awareness of a click and the other in which there was only silence—and according to quantum theory, both of these were equally real (in superposition) until the moment of perception. But from my first-person’s perspective, I cannot be in a superposition of these two states of awareness, for they are mutually exclusive: Obviously I cannot both hear a click and also not hear it. So I find myself in exactly one of those two states of awareness.

Wave function collapse is thus indeed triggered by my perception of one thing or the other. But what may be news to the reader is that the two branches extend to include the radioactive radium, the instrument, its oscillating speaker, the ear’s vibrating tympanic membrane, and all those countless brain neurons. All are inexorably a part of a single Everett branch and are inseparable.

How different parts of the brain are involved in a superposition and its collapse into a singular experience depends on details of how the brain processes information, so here is where it gets a little bit technical. All of the brain’s neurons process information through electrical and chemical signals. Neurons are electrically excitable, maintaining differences in voltage across their membranes by means of “ion pumps.” The ions in the brain are atoms of sodium, potassium, chlorine, and calcium that are missing electrons, which gives them each a bit of electrical charge. They flow along ion channels embedded in the cell’s membrane which causes changes in the membrane voltage. If the voltage changes by a large enough amount, an all-or-nothing electrochemical pulse called an action potential (also known as a “nerve impulse”) is generated, which zooms along the cell’s axon at anywhere from 70 to 250 miles per hour, to where it can activate synaptic connections with other cells. Thus, all information in the brain is ultimately mediated through ion dynamics.

These ions, as well as the channels through which they enter or leave the cell, are very small. As the physicist Henry Stapp has pointed out: “This creates, in accordance with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, a correspondingly large uncertainty in the direction of the motion of the ion…That means that the issue of whether or not the calcium ion (in combination with other calcium ions) produces an exocytosis (leaves the cell) is a quantum question basically similar to the question of whether or not a quantum particle passes through one or the other slit of a double-slit experiment. According to quantum theory the answer is ‘both.’”

Although Stapp focuses on whether calcium ion channels open or close, there is much more to the mechanism than that. For instance, electrophysiology probes allow us to study the movement of various different types of ions within the cells of the brain. If an electrode is small enough it’s possible to directly observe the electrical activity within individual cells. Thus, we have the ability to capture the entire mechanism involved in the emergence of time—starting from the quantum level (where everything is still in superposition) to the macroscopic events occurring in the brain’s neurocircuitry (see The Grand Biocentric Design, Chapter 11 for more about the brain and the emergence of time).

Talking about calcium channels opening and closing is insufficient, as the equation reduces to merely a cloud of quantum information when you expand the mechanism to include the ion dynamics involved in the whole temporal sequence of events, from changes in ion gradients within the cell to axon firing. The underlying main story involves the quantum information that arises all at once when the process is expanded to include the ion dynamics and their superpositions.

That’s because it is modulation of the ion dynamics at the quantum level that allows all parts of the information system that we associate with consciousness—with the unitary “me” feeling—to be simultaneously interconnected.

This is the key. What is relevant here is that those entangled regions of the brain, which together constitute the system perceived as consciousness, arise as such because a sense of “time” emerges simultaneously throughout all of the spatial algorithms/neurocircuitry responsible for generating a conscious, real-life (spatiotemporal) experience.

It is important to note that the spatial separation between neurons in the brain is meaningless before this process occurs. It’s an all-or-nothing phenomenon.

At any given moment, there is a cloud of quantum activity associated with consciousness. The exact things you experience will change depending on which memories and emotions are recruited into the system at the time, corresponding to different networks of the brain’s neurocircuitry. This spatiotemporal logic can further extend to the rest of the brain, peripheral nervous system, and even to the entire world you observe at the time. Further evidence of this can be found in patients with DID, who have distinct or split identities—two or more selves, as in the famous case of Sybil. Thus, the same brain can have multiple regions that each experience a different “me.” In such cases, a large portion of the neurocircuitry associated with each entangled system may overlap, and the distinctiveness—i.e., the different “me”—may arise because different memories and areas of emotion are recruited at different times. Sybil might be “Peggy” now, “Vicki” tonight, and “Sybil Ann” tomorrow, depending upon the areas of the brain that are entangled at any given moment.

We can actually observe the process, because analogous experiments have been performed that nicely illustrate superpositions. In a 2007 experiment published in the journal Science, scientists shot photons into an apparatus and showed that they could retroactively alter whether these photons behaved as particles or as waves. The photons had to “decide” what to do when they passed a fork in the apparatus. Later on, after traveling nearly 50 meters past the fork, the experimenter could flip a switch … and whether or not they did determined how the particle had behaved at the fork in the past.

This type of “delayed-choice” experiment was first proposed by eminent Princeton physicist John Wheeler (Einstein’s colleague, who also gave us the terms “black hole” and “wormhole”). However, according to Wheeler himself, the retroactive interpretation of the delayed-choice experiment is somewhat misleading. Instead, the experiment simply shows that the logic of what occurs at the fork (i.e., what happened in the apparatus in the past) depends on whether the second beam splitter is on or off—in other words, that nothing is collapsed until the second choice/observation is made in the present.

Whichever way you interpret it, the 2007 experiment and others like it seriously call into question whether there is a “fixed past.” Indeed, since the 1960s, theoretical physicists like Wheeler have expressed the firm conviction that the past does not arise until the relevant objects are being observed in the present (more about this in The Grand Biocentric Design, Chapter 12). Indeed, Stephen Hawking said, “the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”

Similar quantum effects in the brain strongly suggest that decisions, and even the mere fact of awareness, cause an entire cascade of quantum consequences that can even seemingly “overwrite” previous configurations. The important point here is that what’s in your consciousness now collapses the spatiotemporal logic of what happened in the past.

Before wrapping up, one final can of worms deserves mention—namely the problem that arises as we attempt to describe someone’s consciousness by reference to the activity of neurocircuitries in her brain. Although we don’t have space to go into it here, life offers different, hierarchical levels of representation. On the highest level there is a representation or “picture” of the world as perceived by consciousness, which can be either thought of as a delocalized state (the experience of absolute oneness) or the state that I experience as being centered in my brain. Within this highest-level picture are lower-level pictures or representations associated with other observers.

The “hard problem of consciousness” arises when we do not take into account and distinguish between these different levels of representation. Within the standard materialistic paradigm in which matter is primary, the hard problem is our inability to understand how experience, or perception, or feeling, can arise from insentient material objects such as molecules and brain tissue, or even the electrical pulses within them. However, within an alternative biocentric paradigm in which consciousness is fundamental—an axiom in which the “outside” world (and thus matter) is a representation in consciousness—the problem of how to derive consciousness from matter does not exist.

Thus, we see that biocentrism offers an explanation of how the mind is unified with matter and the world by showing how modulation of ion dynamics in the brain at the quantum level allows all parts of the information system that we associate with consciousness to be simultaneously interconnected.

Lanza’s new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out his theory of everything.

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Further Reading

New Book - The Grand Biocentric Design
Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's The Grand Biocentric Design Book Cover

What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from? 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 Pavsic to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike.

"quite thrilling ... its notions are exciting ones, and they do a sound job of linking them to observable, replicable experiments. Fans of revolutionary science—or just big, cerebral questions—will enjoy this ambitious work. A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics."
—Kirkus Reviews

"a masterpiece”
—Anthony Atala, W. Boyce Professor, Wake Forest University

“paradigm-shattering”
—Lucian Del Priore, Robert R. Young Professor, Yale University

“It’s fabulous—I couldn’t put it down!”
—Ralph Levinson, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

“Robert Lanza is one of the most creative and brilliant scientists I have ever known”
—Kwang-Soo Kim, Professor, Harvard University

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”
—Deepak Chopra

Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of science and cutting-edge physics, all with a very serious purpose: to find the long-overlooked connection between the conscious self and the universe around us.”
—Corey Powell, ex editor-in-chief, Discover magazine

“Will machines ever achieve consciousness? Are plants aware? Is death an illusion? These are some of the big questions tackled in Beyond Biocentrism, which serves up a new, biology-based theory of everything that is as delightful to read as it is fascinating.”
—Pamela Weintraub, ex editor-in-chief of OMNI Magazine

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism Book Cover
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism takes you on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe‒our own‒from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. It will shatter your ideas of life-time and space, and even death…you will never see reality the same again.
 
“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… Most importantly, it makes you think.”
—Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

The Most Amazing Things About Animal Consciousness

Picture of a psychedelic mouse

Adapted from The Grand Biocentric Designby Robert Lanza and Matej Pavsic, published by BenBella Books (2020).

“We patronize [the animals] for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err.” —Henry Beston

It’s natural to be people-centric when exploring consciousness. We’re all drawn toward the familiar. But we’re just beginning to understand our own human consciousness, making it surely even harder to probe that of, say, an octopus. But subjective experience and the exquisite and varied processes that facilitate perception are indeed also enjoyed by creatures very different from us. They may possess neural architecture quite distinct from the structures of the human brain, architecture that is nonetheless clearly designed to enable consciousness to be centered or localized within it. The neural structures of an organism’s consciousness are evolved to impart singular experiences tailored for specific situations and habitats.

As to how conscious experience manifests in nonhuman life forms, one broad difference might be familiar thanks to a recent development in primary education—an emphasis on “mindfulness,” a practice dating back to ancient meditative traditions that (based on data showing its effectiveness at improving concentration) some teachers have now been trained to suggest to students. Those just now hearing the term may take it to suggest time spent in thought, but the practice of mindfulness actually involves the opposite. The idea is to be attentive to immediate sensory experiences rather than ruminating about this or that. If students can simply observe whatever they see or hear, paying attention to the unending details unfolding in the present moment rather than daydreaming, they will be sharper, keener, and derive more benefit from the here and now, including the classroom experience. Bottom line: the huge brains we’ve been given can be as much a distraction as a gift. This kind of being “in the moment” is the type of consciousness that, as far as we know, most corresponds to that of other conscious organisms.

By “other conscious organisms” we mean animals—including birds and insects—that have brains, sense organs, and appendages that allow them to locomote and move around in space, as well as animals and plants that do not actively move, but that can store memories and respond to their spatial environment. Mindfulness might bring us more into sync with the experiences enjoyed by nonhuman animals, but the differences in our conscious experiences obviously run far deeper than the unique human penchant for daydreaming. Some organisms utilize sensory inputs that are entirely absent from our own awareness, or if present, have through time slowly degraded until they now play negligible roles in daily life. Once we begin to take a look at animal consciousness, we find ourselves in an almost endless exploration of strange new worlds. Remember—as explained in my new book The Grand Biocentric Design—reality exists relative to a particular observer: animal consciousness, like human consciousness, involves the collapse of wave function. And the unique physiological setups of other animals allow their choices and wave function collapses to unfold along pathways that diverge from ours in wonderfully creative and useful ways.

For example, everyone who has ever had a dog knows where most of a canine’s attention is centered. On smells, of course. Just check out that nose! It starts just below the eyes like ours does, but then extends halfway to Florida. Is it any surprise that 90 percent of Rover’s attention is on environmental chemistry?

But our dog’s consciousness diverges from ours in ways more dramatic than time spent on smells. Dogs have recently been shown to sense magnetic fields!

We’ve long known that bees, birds, termites, ants, hens, mollusks, many bacteria, homing pigeons, chinook salmon, European eels, salamanders, toads, turtles have magnetotactic abilities, in some cases caused by their central nervous systems responding to chains of magnetosomes, which are tiny specks of iron-rich minerals like magnetite surrounded by membranes of fatty acids and, typically, more than twenty proteins. This architecture is so wondrous, and produces a sensitivity so acute, that some animals create a mental plot of subtle variations in our planet’s magnetic field, providing an internal road map of their location.

The fact that dogs might also exhibit this kind of magnetic talent was suspected long before it was proven because of their curious preference for relieving themselves with their bodies aligned north-south. No matter what biome or environment a creature inhabits, nature’s innovativeness in meeting its challenges and conferring advantages seems virtually limitless. Take, for example, the detection of infrared, or heat.

Bats, of course, are most famous for a different sensory ability, one that’s even more alien to us. This is their sonar mechanism, in which they chirp a continuous series of sounds and then detect sonic reflections that reveal the distance to some flying prey or a cave wall they wish to avoid. They can even get information about a target’s movement by discerning the echo’s Doppler shifts, similar to the pitch changes we perceive when a car horn or ambulance siren is moving toward or away from us. These sophisticated talents are impressive enough, but echolocation abilities reach astonishing perfection in toothed whales and dolphins, whose sound pulses can penetrate soft tissue to provide them with an X-ray-like mental image of the object of interest.

Dolphins have still more up their little sleeves. They have the ability to reproduce the echoes of their own sonar signals, so that when they have found something interesting, like a delicious school of juicy fish, they can replicate the sounds to “tell” other dolphins what they’ve discovered. In doing this, they don’t employ the kind of clumsy, symbolic, one-word-at-a-time process we humans use for communication. Instead, they actually create a visual picture of what they just saw in the minds of other dolphins, perhaps even “bolding” or “highlighting” aspects they wish to emphasize.

So far, we’ve mostly explored the ways animal consciousness can operate by detecting what to us are invisible emanations. But what about mechanisms for detecting more straightforward, tangible stimuli—like actual substances hitting us? One such mechanism gives rise to what we experience as sound.

To settle that old barroom argument over which organism has the best hearing (What? Maybe you don’t go to the right bars…), the answer is the moth. Moths can detect even higher-pitched sounds than bats can—which is saying something, since the latter is the creature they’re most desperately trying to evade. The bat comes in at number two, and after that the keenest hearing belongs to the owl, then the elephant and the dog, followed by cats. The worst hearing? Probably snakes, whose consciousness is naturally and understandably more attuned to ground vibrations than fluctuations in air pressure.

Through it all, it’s good to remember that though the animal body is the instrument of sense perception—like a big neuron antenna—all sensory data is ultimately processed in the brain. The brain receives nothing but impulses, a ditdit ditditditdit ditditdit of electrical signals carried from the senses to the nerves. The brain receives broken-down information and has to put this disjointed mass of data back together, which it does according to very specific laws. It reassembles sensory data according to the rules of time and space—the logic of the brain.

As explained in The Grand Biocentric Design, time and space are projections created inside the mind, where perception, feeling, and experience begin. They are the tools of life, the representations of intellect and sense.

Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste are our familiar human sense “instruments.” Various animal species share various of these five senses in various wattage intensities, and as we’ve seen, may also employ other senses we might find hard to intuit.

In biological terms, the logic expressed in the circuitry of the brain is linked to the logic of the peripheral nervous system. They are coordinated. The differences in wattage and instrumentation among animal species circumscribe the universe distinctly for each.

Animals and humans are able to discern multiple sense perceptions as existing alongside one another at the same time, observing them as objects existing outside us and as occurring in space. A human being, for example, might perceive the scent of lilacs bursting from bright spring clusters poking through a chain-link fence from a fertile backyard into an alley where trash cans overflowing with ripe garbage reek in the pale light of an overcast sky while a plane roars overhead. And yet for all these conscious sense-mediated experiences—a potpourri of unending sensations—we humans sometimes place ourselves in a radio-static mode, attuned to no sense whatsoever, lost in the internal world of our thoughts until we suddenly realize a friend has been speaking . . . and wonder if that “mindfulness” business might not be such a bad idea.

Lanza’s new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out his theory of everything.

Find me on Facebook button

Further Reading

New Book - The Grand Biocentric Design
Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's The Grand Biocentric Design Book Cover

What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from? 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 Pavsic to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike.

"quite thrilling ... its notions are exciting ones, and they do a sound job of linking them to observable, replicable experiments. Fans of revolutionary science—or just big, cerebral questions—will enjoy this ambitious work. A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics."
—Kirkus Reviews

"a masterpiece”
—Anthony Atala, W. Boyce Professor, Wake Forest University

“paradigm-shattering”
—Lucian Del Priore, Robert R. Young Professor, Yale University

“It’s fabulous—I couldn’t put it down!”
—Ralph Levinson, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

“Robert Lanza is one of the most creative and brilliant scientists I have ever known”
—Kwang-Soo Kim, Professor, Harvard University

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”
—Deepak Chopra

Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of science and cutting-edge physics, all with a very serious purpose: to find the long-overlooked connection between the conscious self and the universe around us.”
—Corey Powell, ex editor-in-chief, Discover magazine

“Will machines ever achieve consciousness? Are plants aware? Is death an illusion? These are some of the big questions tackled in Beyond Biocentrism, which serves up a new, biology-based theory of everything that is as delightful to read as it is fascinating.”
—Pamela Weintraub, ex editor-in-chief of OMNI Magazine

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism Book Cover
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism takes you on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe‒our own‒from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. It will shatter your ideas of life-time and space, and even death…you will never see reality the same again.
 
“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… Most importantly, it makes you think.”
—Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

The Origin of Life and Creation

Picture of a bright light in the dark blue sky

Adapted from The Grand Biocentric Designby Robert Lanza and Matej Pavsic, published by BenBella Books (2020).

“Who,” Loren Eiseley once asked, “whimsically conceived that the plot of the world should begin in a mud puddle and end—where and with whom?”

As a young boy growing up Catholic, I was taught that “God” did it. From some hidden celestial vantage point, I was being scrutinized and watched by the Supreme Creator, perhaps almost as narrowly as I, as a medical student with a microscope, would one day scrutinize the cells growing in a petri dish. If, indeed, God had made the world, then who made God?

Of course, science tells us the universe popped into existence one day in a huge explosion humorously called the “Big Bang.” After finishing college and medical school I began to ask, in my new sophistication, less naive questions: If, indeed, the universe arose from the Big Bang, then what happened before it?

In all directions, the current scientific paradigm leads to insoluble enigmas, to ideas that are ultimately irrational. But since World Wars I and II there has been an unprecedented burst of discovery. Although still unbalanced by this sudden growth, our worldview will soon catch up with the facts, and the old physiocentric paradigm will be replaced with a new biocentric one that can address some of the core questions asked since the beginning of civilization.

Growing up during this period, I encountered the opposition to such new ways of thinking. As a boy, I lay awake at night and imagined my life as a scientist, peering at wonders through a microscope. But the reality was far from this dream. My school was separated into three classes of opportunity -- A, B and C. I was placed in C-class, a repository for those destined for manual, trade labor. My best friend was in A-class -- why him and not me? It was a challenge, especially after an exchange with his mother. "Do you think I could become a scientist?" I asked. "If I tried hard, could I be a doctor " "Good gracious," she responded, explaining that she'd never known anyone in the C class to become a doctor, but that I'd make an excellent carpenter or a plumber.

The next day I decided to enter the science fair, which put me in direct competition with the A-class. My friend's parents took him to museums and created an impressive display for his rocks. My project—animals—included souvenirs from my various excursions: insects, feathers, and bird eggs. It won me second place behind my friend's project on rocks. Even in fifth grade I was convinced that life—not material and rocks—was the cornerstone of existence. It was a complete reversal of the natural scheme of things taught in our schoolbooks—that is, atoms and physics at the base of the world, followed by chemistry, and then biology and life.

Science fairs were a way to show up those who labeled me for my family's circumstances. Once, after my sister was suspended, the principal told my mother that she wasn't fit to be a parent. By trying earnestly, I tried to improve my situation. I applied myself to an ambitious attempt to alter the genetic makeup of white chickens and make them black. It was before the era of genetic engineering and my biology teacher said it was impossible; my chemistry teacher was blunter, saying, "Lanza, you're going to hell." Before the fair a friend predicted I'd win. "Ha-ha," the whole class laughed. When I won, the principal had to congratulate my mother in front of the whole school.

During my scientific career, I continued to encounter this kind of intolerance to new ideas. Can you clone a species using eggs from another? Can you generate stem cells without destroying embryos? Of course, scientists are no different from the rest of our species. We evolved in the forest roof to collect fruit and berries, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that this skill set hasn't served us well in understanding the nature of existence.

We open our eyes, and things appear to be magically hovering "out there" in some invisible matrix. In the nineteenth century, scientists called it the "ether," followed by the "spacetime" of Einstein, and then "string theory" with new dimensions blowing up in different realms. Indeed, unseen dimensions (up to a 100) are now envisioned everywhere, some curled up like soda straws at every point in space.

When science tries to resolve its conflicts by adding and subtracting dimensions to the Universe like houses on a Monopoly board, we need to examine our dogmas. We believe an external world exists independent of the perceiving subject. Philosophers and physicists from Plato to Hawking have debated this idea. Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, said, "Not so." When we measure something, we're forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We're not "measuring" the world; we're creating it. At the legendary debates, Einstein presented ingenious ideas supporting the idea of a "real world out there," but Bohr shot them all down and gradually won over the physics community. But today most people still believe there's a real world out there.

This something-nothingness issue is ancient, and of course predates biocentrism, which explains why one view and not the other must be correct. Take the seemingly undeniable logic that your kitchen is always there, its contents assuming its familiar forms whether or not you're in it. At night you leave for the bedroom. Of course, the kitchen is still there, unseen, all through the night. Right? But consider: the refrigerator, stove and everything else are composed of a shimmering swarm of matter/energy. Quantum theory tells us not a single one of those particles actually exists in a definite place. Rather, like Bohr said, they merely exist as a range of probabilities that are unmanifest. In the presence of an observer—that is, when you go back in to get a drink of water—each one's wave function collapses and it assumes an actual position, a physical reality.

According to the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum physics, there are an infinite number of universes—known as the multiverse—associated with each possible observation. Biocentrism extends this idea, suggesting that life has a non-linear dimensionality that encompasses the multiverse. Experiments show that measurements an observer makes can even influence events that have already happened in the past. Regardless of the choice you make, it'll be you (the observer) who experience the outcomes and histories that result.

Ideally, our concepts of nature should adapt to this evolving scientific knowledge. What happened before the Big Bang? Or if god made the world, then who made god? According to biocentrism, these are ultimately irrational questions, because space and time are simply tools of our understanding and don't exist in any absolute sense. Before and after are relative concepts tied to us, which includes the totality of existence in the multiverse. Imagine what might be possible, especially if we're able to recreate information systems to generate any consciousness-based reality fathomable.

What does it all really mean?

First and foremost, biocentrism shows that the fundamental ground-state of the universe is not empty space, nor dumb, random colliding particles that proceed purely by random accident. It replaces that view with the knowledge that the basis of the universe is conscious life. And it’s infused with exquisite underlying intelligence. So it means that the cosmos is not dumb, and if this isn’t good news, what is?

It also means that the supposed yawning endless emptiness of the cosmos is not real. We can easily accept this development too. Who among us is attached to nothingness?

So the Lonely Hearts Club aspect of the cosmos vanishes. And the Big Bang, that classical-science “explanation” for the genesis of everything, defaults to a hollow, meaningless oddity, a non-clarification, since the notion of everything arising mysteriously from “nothing” was never a thesis for which your Middle School teacher would have given you a passing grade. Eiseley once said that scientists “have not always been able to see that an old theory, given a hairsbreadth twist, might open an entirely new vista to the human reason.” Cosmic evolution turns out to be the perfect case in hand. Amazingly, it all makes sense if you assume that the Big Bang is the end of the chain of physical causality, not the beginning. The observer is the first cause, the vital force that collapses not only the present but the cascade of spatio-temporal events we call the past. Stephen Hawking was right, “the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”

Next, Mind or consciousness become the essence or matrix of the cosmos, which, again, means that life is central to everything. Talk about “beginnings” loses all appeal, since time never existed outside of consciousness to begin with. If we must inquire about origins, we might think of consciousness as being eternal.

Speaking of which, if consciousness is everywhere and never discontinuous, then there’s no death to experience. Sure, that dead dog in the road isn’t going to get back up and again put his muddy paws on your pants. But in terms of awareness, you have never NOT experienced consciousness and its myriad sense experiences, nor will the parade of experiences ever cease. You can count on this. So biocentrism has handed you the “no death” card. It’s not likely you’ll ever want to trade it in for anything else. If you’re bummed out by the fact that experiences may not always unfold as witnessed through your present eyes in your present body, well, you get what you pay for.

Another possible bonus is that, once you’ve clearly realized that all experiences occur strictly in the Mind, so that the blue skies and pretty flowers are not physically located “out there” but strictly inside your skull, the ensuing sense of Oneness produces a profound peace and serenity. Whether “peace of mind,” is something you’ve coveted or not, is another story, but many attest that it is a worthy endpoint of itself.

Future possibilities also perform their alluring hula dances. With time and space now firmly seen as being “internal” properties of your own perceptions, technological biocentric developments may well allow travel through time, or in ways that would be impossible if those dimensions were true external barriers.

But above and beyond all this, we will finally have a worldview that not only unites all of us more intimately than could be achieved by any government program, but a scientific model that – given the centuries of hard-won breakthroughs outlined in The Grand Biocentric Design– finally makes sense.

Lanza’s new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out his theory of everything.

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Further Reading

New Book - The Grand Biocentric Design
Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's The Grand Biocentric Design Book Cover

What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from? 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 Pavsic to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike.

"quite thrilling ... its notions are exciting ones, and they do a sound job of linking them to observable, replicable experiments. Fans of revolutionary science—or just big, cerebral questions—will enjoy this ambitious work. A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics."
—Kirkus Reviews

"a masterpiece”
—Anthony Atala, W. Boyce Professor, Wake Forest University

“paradigm-shattering”
—Lucian Del Priore, Robert R. Young Professor, Yale University

“It’s fabulous—I couldn’t put it down!”
—Ralph Levinson, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

“Robert Lanza is one of the most creative and brilliant scientists I have ever known”
—Kwang-Soo Kim, Professor, Harvard University

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”
—Deepak Chopra

Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of science and cutting-edge physics, all with a very serious purpose: to find the long-overlooked connection between the conscious self and the universe around us.”
—Corey Powell, ex editor-in-chief, Discover magazine

“Will machines ever achieve consciousness? Are plants aware? Is death an illusion? These are some of the big questions tackled in Beyond Biocentrism, which serves up a new, biology-based theory of everything that is as delightful to read as it is fascinating.”
—Pamela Weintraub, ex editor-in-chief of OMNI Magazine

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism Book Cover
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism takes you on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe‒our own‒from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. It will shatter your ideas of life-time and space, and even death…you will never see reality the same again.
 
“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… Most importantly, it makes you think.”
—Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

New Book Says Real-Life Time Travel Is Possible

Picture of the palm of a hand holding a neon lighted world globe.

Adapted from The Grand Biocentric Designby Robert Lanza and Matej Pavsic, published by BenBella Books (2020).


In The Wizard of Oz, the Good Witch of the North appears in a floating bubble that mysteriously materializes out of nowhere. Likewise, a recent scientific paper suggests it might be possible to set up bubbles of vacua with their own arrows of time, which could be used to instantaneously travel in space and time, but without the magic wand.

New scientific discoveries require us to rethink our ideas about time travel. “The histories of the universe,” said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking “depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history… There is no way to remove the observer—us—from our perceptions of the world… In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”

If the past and future are indefinite, and we—the observer—collapse this ‘spectrum of possibilities,’ then where does that leave time travel as described in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine and the sci-fi classic Back to the Future (or my favorite, Peggy Sue Got Married)? Until the present is determined, how can there be a past? You cannot just travel into “the past” and “the future” because there is no one past and no one future; it’s a myth based on the old mechanical world view.

Bizarre? Maybe you think this is all a load of cow fertilizer, and that time just exists “out there” ticking away from past to future. But consider an experiment that was published in the prestigious scientific journal Science (315, 966, 2007). Scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened in the past. As the photons passed a fork in the apparatus, they had to decide whether to behave like particles or waves when they hit a beam splitter. Later on—well after the photons passed the fork—the experimenter could randomly switch a second beam splitter on and off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle actually did at the fork in the past. At that moment, the experimenter chose his past.

Of course, we live in the same world. But some critics claim this behavior is limited to the microscopic world. But this ‘two-world’ view (that is, one set of physical laws for small objects, and another for the rest of the universe including us) has no basis in reason and is being challenged in laboratories around the world. From 1997 to 2021, experiments have consistently shown that quantum behavior extends into the everyday realm. For example, in a study published in Science in 2017 ( 356, 1140), scientists beamed entangled particles from a satellite to two locations on Earth 750 miles apart—and the particles were still mysteriously connected. Multiple tests on the ground confirmed that communication between the particles happened instantaneously (“spooky action at a distance,” as Einstein put it). Today no scientist doubts the connectedness between bits of light or matter. They’re intimately linked in a manner suggesting there’s no space between them, and no time influencing their behavior.

For years physicists have known that Newton’s laws, Einstein’s equations, and even those of quantum theory, are all time-symmetrical. Time plays absolutely no role. Thus, many scientists question whether time even exists. In a paper published in Annalen der Physik ( 528, 663, 2016)—which published Albert Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity—Dimitry Podolsky, a theoretical physicist and I explained how the arrow of time—time itself—is directly related to the nature of the observer (that is, us). In his papers on relativity, Einstein showed that time was relative to the observer. Our new paper took Einstein’s idea one step further, arguing that the observer creates it.

Indeed, according to biocentrism—a new theory of everything—time and space are simply tools of the mind. Wave your hand through the air—if you take everything away, what’s left? Nothing! The same thing applies for time. Remember you can’t see through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Time is simply the summation of spatial states—much like the frames of a film—occurring inside the mind. There’s also a peculiar intangibility to space. We can’t pick it up and bring it to the laboratory. Like time, space isn’t an external object. It’s part of the mental software that molds information into multidimensional objects.

Like breathing, we take for granted how our mind puts everything together. Consider dreams: even at night, with your eyes closed, your mind creates spatio-temporal experiences out of electrochemical information. We even think and feel things in our dreams, merging an “outer” 3D world with our “inner” temporal sensations. Life and existence as we know it are defined by this spatial-temporal logic, which traps us in the universe with which we’re familiar.

These mental algorithms are not only the key to consciousness, but why time and space—indeed the properties of matter itself—are relative to the observer. The structure of the universe provides the best support for this biocentrist viewpoint. Scientists have discovered that the universe appears to be exquisitely fine-tuned for the emergence of life. There are over 200 physical parameters within the universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random. These fundamental constants of the universe—constants that are not predicted by any theory—all seem to be carefully chosen, often with great precision, to allow for existence of life and consciousness. Why do the parameters of the universe, which are insanely improbable in terms of life-friendliness, allow for the observer? Answer: Because they are generated by the observer.

At present, our destiny is to live and die in the world of here and now. However, as explained in my new book The Grand Biocentric Design, this may change once we have a full understanding of the algorithms we employ to construct spatio-temporal reality. At some point in the future, we should be able to use this knowledge to recreate information systems to generate any consciousness-based physical reality. For instance, if we changed the algorithms so that instead of time being linear, it was 3-dimensional like space, consciousness would be able to move through the multiverse.

We would be able to walk through time just like we walk through space. Travelers could render new universes simply by defining global vacua that contain them. We could travel back to the Hadean Eon (when the Earth collided with the planet Ttheia to form the Moon) and follow the appearance of life forward in time through the Cambrian and Jurassic periods to man, and beyond us to purely spiritual beings based on completely different information systems like the Prophets in Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine.

After creeping along for 4 billion years, life will finally have the power to escape from its corporeal cage.

For over ten thousand years we have looked up to the sky for answers. We’ve sent spacecraft to Mars and beyond, and continue to build even bigger machines to find the “God particle" or the elusive critical piece of the puzzle that somehow is never solved. We’re like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” who went on a long journey in search of the Wizard, only to return home …

— and find that the answer was inside her all along.

Lanza’s new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out his theory of everything.

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Further Reading

New Book - The Grand Biocentric Design
Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's The Grand Biocentric Design Book Cover

What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from? 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 Pavsic to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike.

"quite thrilling ... its notions are exciting ones, and they do a sound job of linking them to observable, replicable experiments. Fans of revolutionary science—or just big, cerebral questions—will enjoy this ambitious work. A thought-provoking dispatch from the frontier of physics."
—Kirkus Reviews

"a masterpiece”
—Anthony Atala, W. Boyce Professor, Wake Forest University

“paradigm-shattering”
—Lucian Del Priore, Robert R. Young Professor, Yale University

“It’s fabulous—I couldn’t put it down!”
—Ralph Levinson, Professor Emeritus, UCLA

“Robert Lanza is one of the most creative and brilliant scientists I have ever known”
—Kwang-Soo Kim, Professor, Harvard University

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”
—Deepak Chopra

Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of science and cutting-edge physics, all with a very serious purpose: to find the long-overlooked connection between the conscious self and the universe around us.”
—Corey Powell, ex editor-in-chief, Discover magazine

“Will machines ever achieve consciousness? Are plants aware? Is death an illusion? These are some of the big questions tackled in Beyond Biocentrism, which serves up a new, biology-based theory of everything that is as delightful to read as it is fascinating.”
—Pamela Weintraub, ex editor-in-chief of OMNI Magazine

 

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism Book Cover
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism takes you on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe‒our own‒from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. It will shatter your ideas of life-time and space, and even death…you will never see reality the same again.
 
“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… Most importantly, it makes you think.”
—Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

Who is Robert Lanza?

Photo of Robert Lanza, M.D.

Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine and is Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Robert Lanza, M.D. is currently Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, and is Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His current research focuses on stem cells and regenerative medicine and their potential to provide therapies for some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating conditions.

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Beyond Biocentrism

Beyond Biocentrism Book Cover

BEYOND BIOCENTRISM

Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

Biocentrism shocked the world with a radical rethinking of the nature of reality … but that was just the beginning.

Biocentrism / Robert Lanza’s Theory of Everything

Biocentrism Book Cover

BIOCENTRISM

How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

“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.”

– Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe Don’t miss the book that started it all, and shocked the world with its radical rethinking of the nature of reality. In biocentrism, Robert Lanza and Bob Berman team up to turn the planet upside down with the revolutionary view …

Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death Biocentrism shocked the world with a radical rethinking of the nature of reality. But that was just the beginning. “Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”—Deepak Chopra “Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of …

The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from? 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 …

This Blogger’s Book from Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death by Robert Lanza, Bob Berman

This Blogger’s Book from Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Robert Lanza, Bob Berman

This Blogger’s Book from The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality by Robert Lanza, Matej Pavšič

Robert Lanza, MD is author of over two dozen scientific books, including “Biocentrism,” a new book that lays out his theory of everything.

“Biocentrism” (BenBella Books) lays out Lanza’s theory of everything.

Robert Lanza has published extensively in leading scientific journals. His new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out a comprehensive scientific argument for his theory of everything.

Lanza’s new book “The Grand Biocentric Design” lays out his theory of everything.

Astellas Executive Interview Series – Dr. Bob Lanza

Meet AIRM’s Chief Scientific Officer: Dr. Robert Lanza
Regenerative medicine could revolutionize medicine, and provide therapies for the world’s most deadly conditions. [Read More]

Lanza receives the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Robert Lanza Who\'s Who Archivement Award graphic

Lanza’s new book released

Dr. Robert Lanza Who's Who Archivement Award graphic

THE GRAND BIOCENTRIC DESIGN: How Life Creates Reality
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. [Read More]

Lanza’s new paper published in leading physics journal

Image of space bubbles.

Observers determine the structure of spacetime itself
The paper—published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (one of the world’s leading journals in cosmology & astrophysics, covering the latest developments and breakthroughs including Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking work on the evolution of the early universe)—was co-authored with Dmitriy Podolskiy and Andrei Barvinsky, one of the world’s leading theorists in quantum gravity & quantum cosmology. The paper shows that networks of observers define the structure of physical reality/spacetime itself. In particular, it reveals the exasperating incompatibility between Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics vanishes if one takes the properties of observers—us—into account. The study also represents a rare case in physics when the presence of observers drastically changes the behavior of observable quantities themselves not only at microscopic scales but also at very large spatio-temporal scales. Observers determine the value of both the gravitational constant and the effective cosmological constant.

JCAP paper [Read More]
Big Think [Read More]

Lanza and Podolskiy’s paper is the cover story of Annalen der Physik, which published Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity

Magazine cover image of Annalen der Physik

On Decoherence in Quantum Gravity

In his papers on relativity, Einstein showed that time was relative to the observer. This new paper takes this one step further, arguing that the observer creates it. The paper shows that the intrinsic properties of quantum gravity and matter alone cannot explain the tremendous effectiveness of the emergence of time and the lack of quantum entanglement in our everyday world. Instead, it’s necessary to include the properties of the observer, and in particular, the way we process and remember information.

Wired [Read More]
Discover Magazine [Read More]

First report of the long-term safety/efficacy of pluripotent stem cells in humans with any disease

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“For a nice two decades scientists have dreamt about using human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases … that day has finally come…scientists have used human embryonic stem cells to successfully treat patients suffering from severe vision loss”

Wall Street Journal [Watch Video]

“In a report published in the journal Lancet, scientists led by Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, provide the first evidence that stem cells from human embryos can be a safe and effective source of therapies for two types of eye diseases”

Time magazine [Read More]

In a cloning first, Lanza and colleagues create stem cells from adults

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“Advancement Could Lead to Treatment for Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease”

Wall Street Journal [Read More]

“After years of failed attempts, researchers have finally generated stem cells from adults using the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996. The process could provide a new way for scientists to generate healthy replacements for diseased or damaged cells in patients”

Time magazine [Read More]

“First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man’s Skin”

NPR [Listen to the Story]

Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking’s Stem Cell Special

Dr. Lanza Featured on Stephen Hawking\'s Stem Cell Special

“Since my 20s, I haven’t had to deal with the distractions that come from being able bodied. I’ve led a life of the mind. Stem cells may give you that same freedom, allowing you to pursue your wildest dreams without ever having to worry about the limitations of your body.”

“Dr. Robert Lanza is one of the pioneers of stem cell therapies. He is already using them to help patients regenerate damaged body parts.”

Premiere: Science Channel special, Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, Feb. 3 at 10/9c.

Lanza urges students to persevere, keep challenging boundaries of science

Il Leone di San Marco Award Photo

“I believe [Lanza’s] passionate advice to fledgling scientists to be persistent and not take ‘no’ for an answer will inspire students to stay true to their goals and dreams; it will inspire them to contribute in their classes and their communities, knowing that one day their ideas and inventions will become part of larger endeavors that positively impact humanity,” – Gregory Lamontagne, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, CCRI

Cloning & Stem Cells: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Lanza receives the Il Leone di San Marco award in Medicine

Il Leone di San Marco Award Photo

Past honorees in other fields have included Dion, Susan Lucci, Tony Danza, Paul Giamatti, Paul Sorvino and Rudy Giuliani
 
Dr. Lanza received this year’s prestigious Il Leone di San Marco award in Medicine (along with Regis Philbin, who received the award in Entertainment). For 34 years, the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee has acknowledged outstanding Americans in fields such as the Performing Arts, Entertainment, Medicine, Journalism, Literature, Playwriting, Government, Science, Academia or Business. Past honorees have included Stanley Tucci, Paul Giamatti, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello, Armand Assante, Tony Danza, Susan Lucci, Dion DiMucci, Phil Ramone, Bart Giamatti, and Rudy Giuliani. Dr. Lanza was one of four people who received this year’s Il Leone di San Marco Award for their “many talents and great accomplishments” who represent the best in Italian-American culture.

Dr. Lanza featured in The Pennsylvania Gazette

Article selected as one of Longreads 10 Best Stories
Robert Lanza has racked up a slew of scientific accolades for his pioneering work on cloning and stem cells. And then there’s the private island stocked with dinosaur fossils, the Good Will Hunting comparisons … and his “theory of everything.”

The Pennsylvania GazetteSixteen miles outside Boston, in the back corner of an unfinished basement, a teenage boy lowers his syringe to a chicken egg and takes aim. It’s 1969 and this is Robert Lanza’s first time experimenting with embryos. He isn’t yet a well-known scientist. He hasn’t achieved all those cloning and stem-cell firsts, hasn’t been called genius or renegade. He doesn’t wave to worry about being killed on his way to work. Journalists haven’t come up with the “real-life Good Will Hunting” analogy or suggested that he open his own Jurassic Park. He hasn’t worked with B.F. Skinner and Jonas Salk, hasn’t told off the former dean of Penn’s medical school. He doesn’t have a private 10-acre island and a house filled with dinosaur bones. That will all come later. Today he’s still just a kid, and he wants to win the school science fair. … Robby, the scrawny kid from Stoughton, Massachusetts, will become Bob Lanza—one of the most prominent and controversial figures in his field.

Further Reading – Biocentrism

Image of Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism Book Cover
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Biocentrism takes you on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe‒our own‒from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. It will shatter your ideas of life-time and space, and even death…you will never see reality the same again.
 
“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… Most importantly, it makes you think.”
—Nobel Prize Winner E. Donnall Thomas

Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death “Beyond Biocentrism is an enlightening and fascinating journey that will forever alter your understanding of your own existence.”—Deepak Chopra “Beyond Biocentrism is a joyride through the history of science and cutting-edge physics, all with a very serious purpose: to find the long-overlooked connection between …

“Biocentrism” and “Beyond Biocentrism” (BenBella Books) lay out Lanza’s theory of everything.

Videos

Dr. Lanza / Barabara Walter's Interview Thumbnail Poster
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Robert Lanza - Barbara Walter's Interview Caption

New breakthroughs in stem cells and tissue engineering are the key to extending life.


Robert's Creatures Video Thumbnail Poster
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Beyond Invention - Robert's Cloned Creatures Caption

Can humankind reverse the tide of extinction? This video includes biographical material on Lanza.


Dr. Lanza's Stem Cells Offer Hope for Blind Video Thumbnail Poster
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Stem Cells Offer Hope for Blind Caption

It’s an experimental breakthrough for macular degeneration. How embryonic stem cells helped two blind people see again.


Graphic image for Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism video
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Rethinking Our Insanely Improbable Universe


 
Speaking with the authority of a distinguished scientific career, Robert Lanza presents the case for abandoning the “dumb universe” paradigm…


Graphic image for Dr. Robert Lanza's Biocentrism video
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Lanza on Biocentrism

Robert Lanza’s talk on biocentrism at the Science & Nonduality Conference.



From physicist Scott M. Tyson’s book The Unobservable Universe

“…Dr. Lanza’s writings provided me with the pieces of perspective that I had been desperately seeking.”

Book Cover of The Unobservable Universe“I downloaded a digital copy of [Biocentrism] in the privacy of my home…Now, mind you, my motivation was not all that pure. It was my intention to read the book so I could more effectively refute it like a dedicated physicist was expected to. I consider myself to be firmly and exclusively entrenched in the cosmology camp embodied by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Lisa Randall, Brain Greene, and Edward Witten…The book had the completely opposite effect on me. The views that Dr. Lanza presented in this book changed my thinking in ways from which there could never be retreat. Before I had actually finished reading the book, it was abundantly obvious to me that Dr. Lanza’s writings provided me with the pieces of perspective that I had been desperately seeking. Everything I had learned and everything I thought I knew just exploded in my mind and, as possibilities first erupted and then settled down, a completely new understanding emerged. The information I had accumulated in my mind hadn’t changed, but the way I viewed it did – in a really big way.”

 

MSNBC Publishes Free Online Abridgment of Biocentrism

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Photo of Person Looking into Sky

“The Universe in Your Head”

“Stem cell pioneer Robert Lanza generates controversy on a whole different plane with ‘Biocentrism,’ a book that lays out his theory of everything.” Alan Boyle, MSNBC’s Science Editor

Image of a Glowing Head

“Free Online Abridgment”

“Exclusive online abridgement ‘Biocentrism’: How life creates the universe. Authors say cosmology misses the big picture unless it includes biology.”

MSNBC.com

 

One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century Book Cover

Foreword by President Jimmy Carter. Includes the last works of Carl Sagan and Jonas Salk, and contributions by Director-General of UNESCO, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, President of the European Parliament, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and the Ministers of Health from the United Kingdom, France, Japan, India and Russia, among others. Conclusion by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“This book is as bold and ambitious in scope as its title promises.”
The New England Journal of Medicine

CBS News: The Trouble With Adult Stem Cells. Research Shows Why They Won’t Displace Embryonic Ones

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

by Andrew Moseman
When scientists first created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) three years ago, they were hailed as a game-changing advance for medicine: Scientists hoped the engineered cells could duplicate the talents of embryonic stem cells, which can develop into any kind of cell in the body, while avoiding the destruction of embryos. However, […]

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