Consciousness Update- Who are we NOW!

Highoooo good reader (I look forward to addressing you as ‘loyal sirs’ in the future), doldrum has set into this bleak December Tuesday and the life giving sphere we call Earth (greeks Gaia) spins faster than ever. Strange times are upon us. I saw a man beat up a sick old lady for a train fare this morning in broad daylight, the sight was awful. As with all terrible calamities of the post-Jesus days, there was some good that came from the aforementioned beating, since it permitted me reason to reflect a moment before the busy day of insurance work in my 3×3 cubicle (think “masturbation box” skit from the Jerky Boys), which needless to say makes any college living room fridge look accommodating.

A link on the site of formidable debater and miserable political prude Adriana Huffington led me to an article by Robert Lanza which immediately caught my attention. I don’t consider myself an intellectual by any stretch, but among the various apocalyptic playoff articles concerning global warming near the birthday of baby Jesus and updates regarding celebrity twitter accounts, I found this to be the most attractive. NOTE: Christian Holidays Always Bring With Them Predictions of DOOM. Buyer be weary, these times are scary, and believe me you they are trying to scare the living hell out of us (more to come).

Surfing pages like these, as well as others on the blogroll, make it easy to track media attention and stay somewhat aware of what the hell is frothing up halfway across the globe. Global communication and instant updates have enabled us to take a look at one another from every angle, albeit virtually, but nonetheless having vast implications. Madness has ensued, and when the “Apocalyptic Event” or nuclear jihad they are planning to brew up by 2012 happens everyone will hear about it.

Moving to Lanza’s article, I was captivated by the title “Can Science Resurrect God? New Scenario says ‘Yes.’ “Good Lord,” i mumbled impatiently scrolling down the page, trying to get to what was really going on here. This guy is legit. He was mentored by B.F. Skinner (ahemm the father of the behaviorism movement) and Jonas Salk (no cough necessary). From stem cell’s to unified theories on consciousness, the guy has had a hand in a lot of complex biological lab work and field observation.

It is a dangerous and an obviously imposing challenge to posit any sort of close to any kind of “theory of everything,” but since man could observe and record it has been attempted. From Galileo to Newton, Einstein to Weinberg, great scientific minds have stewed over how to connect the mental and physical, to unify the nuclear forces, to tie the strings or build whatever sort of bridge that could be assembled to span the most difficult scientific gap man has faced. Oh what a bold creature man is, to claim to know how everything works.

The article itself really laid no new hard scientific evidence, as is with most scientific articles published in mainstream media outlets. Such articles are meant to be captivating (see the title of Dr. Lanza’s work) and palatable for the average American reader. Lanza asserts that if man is left to go on evolving for millions of more years, then surely he will have developed technology that will grant a mastery over the “space-time” problem, more or less making his existence eternal. At the heart of these future developments, Lanza believes, will be quantum mechanics. “We will be able to recreate information systems to generate any consciousness-based physical reality,” he nonchalantly claims, which he supports by citing the use of stem cells and cloning in today’s world and looking at them as stepping stones to technologies far more powerful.

Biocentrism, Lanza’s school of science and philosophy, is based on the principle that life and consciousness must be taken into account for any theory for everything to come together. In fact, life and consciousness are central to such a theory because the physical world of space and time are merely products of the human mind. In order to truly understand what is at work, we must understand what role we the conscious observer play in the creation and maintenance of the whole. Drawing from Kantian philosophy and Heisenberg’s physics, Lanza has put together a 7 point breakdown of his new idea of how to perceive existence.

Whether it was seven points or a hundred and seventy seven, the matter remains the mystery is still very much mysterious, and science will for at least a quite long time have to compete with religion in the minds of men (at least at this stage in evolution). Perhaps he could be right and more knowledge is to be revealed from devices like the LHC in Europe that will shed light on these complex problems of science, but for now it is just a THEORY. People often subscribe too much to this idea, and let me be the one to warn you THERE ARE OFTEN EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE.

Ultimately, his ideas have encountered both support and disapproval from various members in the scientific community. Deepak Chopra said Lanza’s theory is both “original and exciting,” but I tend to agree with Daniel Dennet who commented, “It looks like an opposite of a theory, because he doesn’t explain how it [consciousness] happens at all.” Whether another scientist likes it or not doesn’t much matter to me, however, and I think it is important to interpret the article from my viewpoint, which is skeptical and attune to rash claims in online/printed publications.

Not saying that Lanza hasn’t done extremely important work in various fields and isn’t a brilliant scientist, I am simply here to make sure the runners remain fixed on the line and no guns are jumped. I thoroughly enjoyed that after inspecting a few outside sources on Lanza’s philosophy, I found one of the core messages in biocentrism to be that the mystery lies in the mind of man, and can be sought through through introspection. This eastern ideology has impacted culture for millenia and caused men to sit in silence for many more years than that. If  fact science could give some credence to these faith based beliefs, it would tie faith and science closer together, not farther apart.

But it is time for bold predictions and theories in my own publication. Hear it first, take it to Vegas, bet it hard: science will not, for at least a few hundred more lifetimes, be able to explain God and dissuade man from faith. And even at that point, no matter how convincing the numbers might be, it is highly unlikely that man will develop into some sort of creature that does not need faith (in at least some sense of the word). The world is a strange place friends, and sometimes I think it is only getting weirder. Man will forever look for help and seek to fashion hope through any way we can find.


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