Dr. Robert Lanza, who was selected by TIME magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people last year, believes science must recognize the importance of human consciousness.
Quantum physics has proven contradictory to classical, Newtonian physics, setting scientists on the search for a “Theory of Everything” to bridge the chasm threatening to swallow any confidence we have in our scientific understanding of the world.
For Dr. Lanza, whose breakthrough stem-cell research has earned him much acclaim, biology will prove more important than physics in this quest. He gives more clout to understanding human beings than to following abstract strings to unseen dimensions.
“The long sought after Theory of Everything is really merely just missing one important component that was too close for us to have noticed,” he said in a taped talk at the Science and Nonduality Conference in 2010. “Science hasn’t confronted the one thing that’s most familiar and most mysterious—and that is consciousness.”
Does It Exist If You Don’t See It?
The famous double-slit experiment in quantum physics is proof for Lanza that consciousness is responsible for the way we see the world around us. It isn’t that the things we observe have fixed characteristics in and of themselves, but rather that we see particular characteristics. It’s about perspective.
He summarizes the double-slit experiment in his 2010 book, “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe”: “It’s conclusively proven that if one ‘watches’ a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through slits on a barrier, it behaves like a particle and creates solid-looking hits behind the individual slits on the final barrier that measures the impacts. Like a tiny bullet, it logically passes through one or the other hole. But if the scientists do not observe the trajectory of the particle, then it exhibits the behavior of waves that allows it to pass through both holes at the same time.”
He extends this principle to daily life. Does your kitchen exist if you’re not in it? He writes: “At night you click off the lights and leave for the bedroom. Of course the kitchen is there, unseen, all through the night. Right? But, in fact, the refrigerator, stove, and everything else are composed of a shimmering swarm of matter/energy. The results of quantum physics, such as the two-slit experiment, tell us that not a single one of those subatomic particles actually occupies a definite place. Rather, they exist as a range of possibilities—as waves of probability.”