Critique of Lanza’s Biocentricism Principles
- What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. An “external” reality, if it existed, would by definition have to exist in space. But this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.
- Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.
- The behavior of subatomic particles, indeed all particles and objects, is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.
- Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.
- The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. The “universe” is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.
- Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.
- Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life.
In my view, biocentrism is almost on the right track. Lanza is right that space and time are not absolute realities, but I think he may be wrong that they are tools of the human and animal mind. I think that individual cognitive bias, especially in assuming the quality of awareness and agency outside of the individual, is fantastically underestimated. If living organisms were not here to make geological time seem slow, I see no particular reason to assume that time and space would not also be the ‘tools’ used by the mineral kingdom, or in the astrophysical scale. Why assume that organic life is what the universe is all about? Left to their own devices inorganic minerals like zinc and manganese do this:
Speed it up to a rate of a thousand years a second and you’ve got something more like sparks or even…feelings within the Earth’s crust.
For his #2, I agree that they are different sides of the same coin, but I would not say that they cannot be divorced from the other. The multisense continuum is a syzygy where interior realism and exterior realism are identical in some sense, overlapping in some sense, orthogonal in some sense, and elaborated to separate and idiopathic extremes in another sense. We don’t have to have a doctrine where every phenomenon must translate meaningfully into the other side of the coin. Fiction and fact influence each other, but they can influence themselves independently of each other as well.
#3 I think is pulling from initial enthusiasm over the Copenhagen interpretation and applying it in the familiar new age way. I’m not saying there is no truth to that, and yes, in most general sense, all descriptions of the universe are inextricably linked to the presence of an ‘observer’, but my conjecture continues to be that we have got Quantum Mechanics completely inside out. The interpretation I suggest is that the further we get into the microcosm, the more our measurements are solipsistically reflecting the instruments being used, so that what we assume are exotic particle-waves appearing and disappearing, making two opposite choices at once, being in two places at once, etc are not objective realities at all but rather the end of our ability to detect objects in space and the beginning of subjects ability to construct experiences through time. It’s that simple. Shocking, but I think it deserves serious consideration.
4. Eh, again, this ‘probability state’ is a figment of the mathematical imagination. Probability is great for a posteriori analysis but it is literally nonsense as a concrete reality. Probabilities, potentials, emergent properties, “information”,…these are all 21st century figments of hypertrophied empiricism. No superposition of bytes ever did anything to anything by itself. What Lanza should do here is connect the ‘different sides of the same coin’ notion up to matter and see that matter and consciousness are literally different aspects of the same thing (and that thing is the very capacity to experience the symmetry of matter and consciousness…’sense’ or perception and participation.) Once you aren’t chained to living organisms being the only source of experience, and biological time being the only scale that experiences can occur through, then there is no reason to think that there has ever been a universe without consciousness – they are, in fact, the same thing.
5. I see where he is coming from and agree in the sense that the universe cannot be explained only as a bottom-up emergence from nothingness, it requires the contrary principle as well – which would be something like a continuous recovery of everythingness from diffracted or masked states (I have been calling it ‘solitropy‘ or ‘wholes through holes’…trans-rational or elliptical algebras).
6. I agree, only I don’t discriminate against non animals. Everything senses or makes sense to something, and with solitropy, it is possible that if the entire universe collapsed into a singularity (again?), it would still retain exactly the same totality of sense that it has ever had. There is only one thing, and it is an experience, and it divides itself into experiences of un-division.
7. Yes, space is a form of understanding and not primitively real, but the experience of acoustics – cymatics, vibration, the tangible aesthetics of inanimate substances should be a clue that space awareness is not limited to animals. Crystalized minerals, whirling solar systems, etc have been exploring space with matter for billions of human years (even if its just been a long summer’s day on those geological scales). What Lanza does not consider is that the universe might be a worthwhile spectacle without any animal life at all. He has the right idea about the realism of the universe being much more profoundly localized than we currently assume, and even in a round about way that life is the fundamental thing that we as living organisms should concern ourselves with, but if we really want to connect all of the dots, I think that we need to see it isn’t biology that makes the universe go round, it’s sense.