Robert Lanza writes an article for PsychologyToday “Is Death an Illusion” expounding something called “Biocentrism” that alleges that Quantum Mechanics somehow makes sense “if you add life and consciousness to the equation, you can explain some of the biggest puzzles of science.” Really?
This guy is somewhat well informed about advanced physics experiments, but when he follows, for instance, a discussion of the entangled photons with a conclusion that somehow our minds are part of what’s affecting the photon behavior, it’s like he’s surrendered his brain to mystic credulity.
Did he ever consider that when photons “know” what their twin will do in the future, that the simple explanation is that “time” doesn’t apply to particles in this state in the way we’re used to? This is an observer-independent explanation – and happens to be the one that the experimenters endorse, as opposed to his supposition that these experiments somehow show some mystical impact of the mind on reality.
If it was our minds influencing the particles in the experiment, what happens to the experiment when it’s your mind versus my mind? Do you suppose the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle can be tricked by one observer measuring position and another observer measuring velocity?
LOL…. Of course not. So I ask, how did this guy become an M.D. while seemingly completely surrendering his critical faculties?
And another thing. His discussion of the twin-slits wave-particle duality experiments is just plain wrong. When many photons pass through two slits they show it’s wave nature in the resulting interference pattern. But when the number of photons is reduced to being something like “one at a time” they pass through, as he says, “like a bullet”, choosing one or the other slit. But he left out the really important detail, that the accumulated impacts of those “bullets” measured over time replicates the interference pattern – meaning, again, that “time” is not meaningfully affecting the photons (else the impact distribution from single photons would be a Gaussian distribution).
These results need not be very profound at all, given that, as Relativity explains, anything moving at the speed of light no longer perceives the passage of time “outside” it’s observer frame (or restated for people who think that by “perceives” I’ve left open the door for observer-dependent reality – time stops outside of your “space-ship” when your “space-ship” is moving at the speed of light. There’s no “perception” about it, except that you have a brain that observes the reality around you). Photons move at the speed of light, so while mind-blowing in its outcomes, it need not imply any scientific misunderstanding of reality that time as we perceive it doesn’t play the same role in the life of particles like this. And these effects need not be reserved to photons. All particles are ultimately a “wave-packet” so should also exhibit light-speed time paradoxes in some circumstances, too.
“Biocentrism” may, thus, be an apt name. Just as ethnocentrism causes one culture to misunderstand another, “biocentrism” may just be the process of (some) “living things” using their consciousness-centric outlook to misinterpret reality, under the guise of scientific-sounding explanations.
“Time is what keeps everything from happening at once,” but that doesn’t mean it exists just because we perceive it. But regardless of whether it really exists, being dead is still being dead. Lanza says, “We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die.” No, we don’t. We believe in death because everyone with any life experience has observed the death of something else.