March 30, 2013

Why Does Life Exist?

This article is taken from:Why Does Life Exist?

For over 10,000 years we’ve looked to the sky and gods for answers. We’ve sent spacecraft to Mars and beyond, and continue to build even bigger machines to find the “God” particle. We’re like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” who went on a long journey in search of the Wizard to get back home, only to find the answer was inside her all along.

In “2001: A Space Odyssey” astronauts are sent on a quest to Jupiter. At the end, David Bowman finds himself pulled into a tunnel of colored light — beyond space and time — to learn the secrets (but merely finds another riddle). Loren Eiseley, the great anthropologist, summed it up best:

“If the day comes when the slime of the laboratory for the first time crawls under man’s direction, we shall have great need of humbleness. It will be difficult for us to believe, in our pride of achievement, that the secret of life has slipped through our fingers and eludes us still. We will list all the chemicals and the reactions. The men who have become gods will pose austerely before the popping flashbulbs of news photographs, and there will be few to consider — so deep is the mind-set of an age — whether the desire to link life to matter may not have blinded us to the more remarkable characteristics of both.”

Steven Weinberg, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, concedes in his book “Dreams of a Final Theory” that there’s a problem with consciousness, and despite the power of physical theory, the existence of consciousness doesn’t seem derivable from physical laws.

When asked if he believed in God, even Einstein replied “There must be something behind the energy.” According to biocentrism, that something is the human (or animal) mind. It’s you, the observer, who collapses reality. Consciousness is one side of the equation, and matter and energy the other. In these days of experiment and disconnected theory, one point seems certain: the nature of the universe can’t be divorced from the nature of life itself. If they’re split, the reality is gone.

“It will remain remarkable,” said Nobel physicist Eugene Wigner, “in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality.”

Here is the universe: our sense organs perceive atoms and galaxies to some 14 billion light-years, although we can’t see with the eye of reason that the world is for us animals merely a bundle of sensations unified by laws that exist in our understanding. We can’t see the laws upon which nature is built, from the intricate form of a seedpod to the periodicities of the planets and stars. We can’t see the laws that uphold the world, or that if they be removed, then the trees and the mountains, indeed the whole universe, would collapse to nothing.

In this world, only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality — to a dandelion in a meadow, or a seed pod, or the sun or wind or rain. Anyway, it’s impressive, and your cat or dog can do it, too. And even the spider, there on her web, moored outside my window.

The answer to life and the universe can’t be found by looking through a microscope or inspecting spiral galaxies. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves. Our consciousness is why they exist. It unifies the thinking, extended worlds into a coherent experience and animates the music that creates our emotions and purposes — the good and the bad, wars and love. It doesn’t load the dice for you to play the game of life. True, there’s pain and strife everywhere. But as Will Durant pointed out, we need to see “behind the strife, the friendly aid of neighbors, the rollicking joy of children and young men, the dances of vivacious girls, the willing sacrifices of parents and lovers, the patient bounty of the soil, and the renaissance of spring.”

In whatever form it takes, life sings because it has a song. The meaning is in the lyrics.

March 30, 2013

Why Are You Here? A New Theory May Hold the Missing Piece

This nice article is taken from: Why Are You Here?

Why do you happen to be alive on this lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees? And at just the right time in the history of the universe? The surface of the molten earth has cooled, but it’s not too cold. And it’s not too hot; the sun hasn’t expanded enough to melt the Earth’s surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the probability of random physical laws and events leading to this point is less than 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, equivalent to winning every lottery there ever was.

Biocentrism, a new theory of everything, provides the missing piece. Although classical evolution does an excellent job of helping us understand the past, it fails to capture the driving force. Evolution needs to add the observer to the equation. Indeed, Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, said, “When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not ‘measuring’ the world, we are creating it.” The evolutionists are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They think we, the observer, are a mindless accident, debris left over from an explosion that appeared out of nowhere one day.

Cosmologists propose that the universe was until recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other. It’s presented as a watch that somehow wound itself up, and that will unwind in a semi-predictable way. But they’ve shunted a critical component of the cosmos out of the way because they don’t know what to do with it. This component, consciousness, isn’t a small item. It’s an utter mystery, which we think has somehow arisen from molecules and goo.

How did inert, random bits of carbon ever morph into that Japanese guy who always wins the hot-dog-eating contest?

In short, attempts to explain the nature of the universe, its origins, and what’s really going on require an understanding of how the observer, our presence, plays a role. According to the current paradigm, the universe, and the laws of nature themselves, just popped out of nothingness. The story goes something like this: From the Big Bang until the present time, we’ve been incredibly lucky. This good fortune started from the moment of creation; if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, the cosmos would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and stars to have developed. If the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the Sun) wouldn’t have ignited. There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here. Tweak any of them and you never existed.

But our luck didn’t stop with the laws, forces, and constants of the universe. Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, A. afarensis, Kenyanthropus platyops, A. africanus, A. garhi, A. sediba, A. aethiopicus, A. robustus, A. boisei, Homo habilis, H. georgicus, and H. erectus — among other hominid species — all went extinct. Even the Neanderthals went extinct. But alas, not us! Indeed, we happen to be the only species of Hominina that made it.

Our special luck continues in the present time. Asteroids could strike Earth at any time, producing a surface-charring blast of heat, followed by years of dust that would freeze and/or starve us to death. Nearby stars could go supernova, their energy destroying the ozone layer and sterilizing the Earth with radiation. And a supervolcano could shroud the Earth in dust. These are just a few (out of billions) of things that could go wrong.

The story of evolution reads just like “The Story of the Three Bears,” In the nursery tale, a little girl named Goldilocks enters a home occupied by three bears and tries different bowls of porridge; some are too hot, some are too cold. She also tries different chairs and beds, and every time, the third is “just right.” For 13.7 billion years we, too, have had chronic good luck. Virtually everything has been “just right.”

It’s a fascinating story to tell children, but claiming that it’s all a “dumb” accident is no more helpful than saying “God did it.” Loren Eiseley, the great naturalist, once said that scientists “have not always been able to see that an old theory, given a hairsbreadth twist, might open an entirely new vista to the human reason.” The theory of evolution turns out to be the perfect case in hand. Amazingly, it all makes sense if you assume that the Big Bang is the end of the chain of physical causality, not the beginning.

Indeed, according to biocentrism, it’s us, the observer, who create space and time (which is the reason you’re here now). Consider everything you see around you right now. Language and custom say it all lies outside us in the external world. Yet you can’t see anything through the vault of bone that surrounds your brain. Your eyes aren’t just portals to the world. In fact, everything you experience, including your body, is part of an active process occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting it all together.

Theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow recently stated:
There is no way to remove the observer — us — from our perceptions of the world … In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”

If we, the observer, collapse these possibilities (that is, the past and future) then where does that leave evolutionary theory, as described in our schoolbooks? Until the present is determined, how can there be a past? The past begins with the observer, us, not the other way around as we’ve been taught.

The observer is the first cause, the vital force that collapses not only the present but the cascade of past spatio-temporal events we call evolution. “If, instead of identifying ourselves with the work,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “we feel that the soul of the workman streams through us, we shall find the peace of the morning dwelling first in our hearts, and the fathomless powers of gravity and chemistry, and, over them, of life, pre-existing within us in their highest form.”