Dr. Robert Lanza, a stem cell researcher and an expert in regenerative medicine, wrote a book called “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Key to Understanding the Nature of the Universe”. In it he claims that life does not end when the body dies, and it can last forever. (http://www.anonews.co/life-after-death/)
Lanza also brings out the old creationist argument that the universe appears to be fine tuned for life, implying that intelligence existed prior to matter. I like to remind him that 99.999…% of the universe is actually very hostile to life. So much for fine tuning.
Lanza is not an expert in Quantum Mechanics nor Astrophysics, which properties he contorts to “prove his point”. He invented “biocentrism”, a “political or ethical stance which asserts the value of non-human life in nature” (Wikipedia), a concept that “biology should replace physics as the foundation science in our understanding of the universe.” Why? Because “Biology is the central driving science in the universe, and an understanding of the other sciences [is] reliant on a deeper understanding of biology. Biocentrism states that life and biology are central to being, reality, and the cosmos -- consciousness creates the universe rather than the other way around. It asserts that current theories of the physical world do not work, and can never be made to work, until they fully account for life and consciousness. While physics is considered fundamental to the study of the universe, and chemistry fundamental to the study of life, biocentrism claims that scientists will need to place biology before the other sciences to produce a theory of everything”. (Wikipedia).
This “theory”, a belief, grabbed out of thin air, is not falsifiable according to its critics. Lanza claims that it will be when future experiments, such as quantum superposition, will support the theory. So it is NOT a theory so far, but a speculation.
Next he claims that life, outside the body, can last forever. So far we do not know whether the universe is finite or not. There is no proof that the universe will last forever. Now there are speculations that parallel worlds exist. (Notice I use the word “speculation” rather than “theory” since a theory is based on observation and repeatable experiments while a speculation is not based on anything but just a thought or wishful thinking). The reason some scientists think so is the fact that “no physical laws exist [that] forbid the existence of parallel worlds.” That can also be said for the existence of God, not a logical argument. The same goes for the speculation of Andrei Linde, a professor at Stanford University, who Lanza quotes to support his “theory“, and who states “Space consists of many inflating spheres, which gives rise to similar spheres, and those, in turn, produce spheres in even greater numbers, and so on to infinity.” Theoretical physicist Laura Houghton argues that the anomalies of the microwave background exist due to the fact that our universe is influenced by other universes existing nearby. Lovely speculation among other ones trying to explain the same anomalies differently or scientists who simply and honestly state: “We don’t know yet.”
Next Lanza automatically assumes that a “soul” does exist. I have pointed out with observations and research (www.origin-of-religion.com), that the notion of a soul or spirit is a manmade concept and is also a speculation, not a theory or fact. Quoting Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as proof of Consciousness (Awareness) leaving the body is a speculation already thoroughly debunked, since neuro-science has already established that self-awareness is a brain function and that this awareness dies when the brain dies, as observed in Alzheimer’s patients. In that case must the awareness be restored upon death? A very illogical speculation. Babies, when they die, live with their primitive awareness forever? What about mentally defective persons?
Dr. Stuart Hameroff offers another “explanation”: consciousness resides (attributed to Sir Roger Penrose) ”in the microtubules of the brain cells, which are the primary sites of quantum processing”. All right, I am not familiar enough to know whether that is correct but will accept this as a fact because it is not my field of knowledge. Then follows a great SPECULATION, touted as fact, that “upon death, this information is released from your body, meaning [next speculation] that your consciousness goes with it”. Hameroff argues that “our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity in these microtubules”(Orchestrated Objective Reduction). Eh, another great speculation, no hint of any reality, another example of “I am smarter than you, so you better believe me”.
Hameroff and some of his peers state: “Consciousness, or at least proto-consciousness [?????] is theorized [I say: speculated] to be a fundamental property of the universe, present even at the first moment of the universe during the big bang”. More gobbledygook: “In one such scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property [it is?] of physical reality [eh?] accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity”. Hameroff also stated “the quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed [you say so?], it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large”. About NDEs, he explains “if a patient is not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul”. Possible yes, anything is possible. It is possible that this quantum information is food for aliens who rule the universe, or any other dreamed up phenomena. Sounds familiar to the arguments of theists who claim that the energy, as it leaves the body cannot be destroyed. Which is true, but can not explain why the DATA should be preserved when energy changes into another form. When computers shuffle their “0”s and “1”s around they retain their structure but the data is lost.
Conclusion: It is amazing that very well educated people and not only theists can be so illogical when it comes to believing in immortality. I understand, at 79 years of age, the wish to live forever. I would wish that as well, but science and reality must be faced with courage, as neuro-science has already found out that when the brain develops in the womb, slowly self-awareness (consciousness) develops (we all experienced that; fact, not speculation) and that when the brain deteriorates, so does awareness (observed in Alzheimer’s patients). Do away with wishful thinking. Face the truth and live the best life you can, supporting the rest of humanity. Every human being defied enormous odds to become aware, even if for only a short time, to observe this incredible universe. Make the best of it.