One of my friends describes HuffPo as “the Journal of Boobs and Woo,” and it keeps topping itself on both fronts. Here’s another stupid lucubration designed to delude the casual reader. Robert Lanza, M.D. (described as “scientist, theoretician, author”), has written a post called “Why you will always exist: time is ‘on demand,” using quantum mechanics to prove that humans have eternal life. Imagine the credulous reader who tunes in, only to be conned into thinking that science shows that he’ll go to heaven.
Here’s Lanza’s logic:
There is no reality external to humans. Postmodern science!
Our entire education and language revolves around a mindset that assumes a separate universe “out there.” It’s further assumed we accurately perceive this external reality and play little or no role in its appearance.
However, starting in the ’20s, experiments have shown the opposite . .
You know where this is going: Quantum Mechanicsville! Scientific experiments prove that observation affects reality.
The observer critically influences the outcome. The experiments have been performed so many times, with so many variations, it’s conclusively proven that a particle’s behavior depends upon the very act of observation. The results of these experiments have befuddled scientists for decades. Some of the greatest physicists have described them as impossible to intuit.
Yeah, our consciousness certainly created the ability of antibiotics to kill bacteria. Surely every time we sequence the DNA of a human, we change the human genome. And who can doubt that the act of watching Saturn with telescopes must surely have created its rings!
Ergo, we live forever because our finitude is simply a mental construct:
Amazingly, if we accept a life-created reality, it all becomes simple to understand, and you can explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. For instance, it becomes clear why space and time — and even the properties of matter itself — depend on the observer. Remember: You can’t see through the bone surrounding your brain. Space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting everything together.
According to current scientific myth, all your struggles and tears are ultimately in vain. After you die and the human race is long gone, it’ll be as if nothing in your life ever existed.
Not so, says biocentrism [JAC: biocentrism is Lanza’s Big Dumb Idea]: Reality isn’t a thing, it’s a process that involves our consciousness. Life is a melody so vast and eternal that human ears can’t appreciate the tonal range of the symphony.
Indeed, for what is true of electrons must surely be true of life itself.
Lanza’s peroration is a string of deepities:
“There’s no way to remove the observer — us — from our perceptions of the world,” said Stephen Hawking. “The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” You, the observer, collapse these possibilities, the cascade of events we call the universe.
Our consciousness animates the universe like an old phonograph. Listening to it doesn’t alter the record, and depending on where the needle is placed, you hear a certain piece of music. This is what we call “now.” The songs before and after are the past and future. In like manner, you, your loved ones and friends (and sadly, the villains too) endure always. The record doesn’t go away. All nows exist simultaneously, although we can only listen to the songs one by one. Time is On Demand.
I have more contempt for this kind of nonsense than I do for creationism, for Lanza uses his stature as a Genuine Scientist to sell complete garbage: the idea that because electrons sometimes seem to behave as waves, and sometimes as particles, we’ll one day be together with Jesus and our dead relatives. (Granted, Lanza doesn’t mention religion, but of course that’s where this stuff is designed to resonate.) Lanza is like a medical doctor who puts a homeopathic nostrum—or a Catholic cracker—in a vial labelled “tetracycline.”
Here’s part of his bio, which proves that all these qualifications and encomiums don’t keep someone from writing complete nonsense when they leave their day job.
Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and a professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has several hundred publications and inventions, and over two dozen scientific books: among them, Principles of Tissue Engineering, which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field. Others include One World: The Health & Survival of the Human Species in the 21st Century (Foreword by President Jimmy Carter), and the Handbook of Stem Cells and Essentials of Stem Cell Biology, which are considered the definitive references in stem cell research. Dr. Lanza received his BA and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, and was part of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, as well as the first to clone an endangered species, to demonstrate that nuclear transfer could reverse the aging process, and to generate stem cells using a method that does not require the destruction of human embryos.
Lanza had a similar post three months ago, “Does death exist? New theory says ‘no’.” It’s his theory, of course.