Biocentrism is a philosophical theory that claims that life and consciousness are the fundamental aspects of reality, and that everything else, including the physical universe, is a product of our perception. According to biocentrism, biology is the primary science, and physics is secondary. This theory was developed by Robert Lanza, a renowned scientist and author, who published his book “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe” in 2007.
However, biocentrism has been met with skepticism and criticism from many scientists and philosophers, who argue that it lacks empirical evidence, contradicts established laws of physics, and suffers from logical flaws. In this article, we will examine some of the main arguments for and against biocentrism, and explore why it is not a credible or plausible theory of reality.
The Quantum Enigma
One of the main pillars of biocentrism is its reliance on quantum mechanics, the branch of physics that deals with the behavior of subatomic particles. Biocentrists claim that quantum experiments show that the mere act of observation by a conscious being influences the outcome of physical events. For example, they cite the famous double-slit experiment, which demonstrates that particles can behave as waves or particles depending on whether they are observed or not.
However, this interpretation of quantum mechanics is highly controversial and not widely accepted by physicists. There are many other possible explanations for the quantum phenomena that do not involve consciousness, such as the Copenhagen interpretation, the many-worlds interpretation, or the decoherence theory. Moreover, there is no clear definition of what constitutes an observation or a conscious being in quantum mechanics, and no evidence that human consciousness has any special role or power in influencing physical reality.
The Anthropic Principle
Another argument that biocentrists use to support their theory is the anthropic principle, which states that the fundamental constants and laws of nature are finely tuned to allow for the existence of life in the universe. Biocentrists suggest that this fine-tuning implies a conscious design or purpose behind the universe, and that life and consciousness are essential for its existence.
However, this argument is also flawed and based on a logical fallacy known as the inverse gambler’s fallacy. This fallacy occurs when one assumes that a rare or improbable event must have a special cause or explanation, without considering the possibility of chance or coincidence. For example, if one wins a lottery, one might think that it was due to fate or luck, rather than acknowledging that it was a random outcome among millions of possibilities.
The same fallacy applies to the anthropic principle. Just because we live in a universe that supports life does not mean that it was designed or intended for us. It could be simply a coincidence among countless other possible universes with different constants and laws. In fact, some physicists have proposed the multiverse theory, which suggests that there are an infinite number of parallel universes with varying physical properties, and that we happen to live in one that is compatible with life.
The Biological Bias
A third criticism of biocentrism is its biological bias, which assumes that life and consciousness are unique and exclusive to living organisms. Biocentrists tend to elevate life as the sole determinant of reality, while ignoring or dismissing the possibility of other forms or sources of consciousness, such as artificial intelligence, alien life forms, or non-biological entities.
This bias is not only arrogant and anthropocentric, but also inconsistent and contradictory. If biocentrism claims that consciousness creates reality, then it should also acknowledge that any form of consciousness could potentially do so. Moreover, if biocentrism claims that biology is the primary science, then it should also explain how life originated from non-living matter in the first place.
Alternatives to Biocentrism
While biocentrism may offer an interesting perspective on reality, it is not a scientific or philosophical theory that can withstand rigorous scrutiny or testing. It is more of a speculative and metaphysical idea that appeals to intuition and emotion rather than reason and evidence. Therefore, it is important to consider other alternative theories that can provide more comprehensive and coherent explanations for the nature of existence.
One such alternative is panpsychism, which posits that consciousness is an intrinsic property of all matter and energy in the universe. Unlike biocentrism, panpsychism does not place life as the exclusive source of consciousness but rather recognizes that consciousness might exist at all levels of reality, from subatomic particles to galaxies. Panpsychism also does not contradict physics but rather complements it by providing a possible solution for the hard problem of consciousness.
Another alternative is materialism, which asserts that everything in the universe can be reduced to physical matter and energy. Materialism does not deny the existence of consciousness but rather explains it as a natural and emergent phenomenon that arises from the complex interactions of physical systems, such as the brain. Materialism also does not conflict with quantum mechanics but rather accepts it as a valid and accurate description of the physical world.
In conclusion, biocentrism is a theory that claims that life and consciousness are the keys to understanding the true nature of the universe. However, this theory is not supported by empirical evidence, contradicts established laws of physics, and suffers from logical flaws. Therefore, biocentrism is not a credible or plausible theory of reality, and it can be debunked by alternative theories that offer more holistic and rational views of existence.