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Biocentrism Posits That Death Is Merely Transport into Another Universe
Apparently, Einstein shared a similar outlook on time as what’s proposed here.
Swiss Engineer Michele Angelo Besso was a close friend of Einstein’s. Upon his death, the father of relativity said, "Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us ... know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
We often think of the afterlife as a spiritual or religious belief, when in a way, its pursuit is also somewhat familiar to science. Robert Lanza, M.D. takes things one step further. He thinks we start out with a wrong assumption, that we have it all backward. It isn’t the universe which is supreme, but life. In fact, life and in particular consciousness are essential to the makeup of the universe, he says. Through the theory of biocentrism, he believes he can prove that space and time do not exist, unless our consciousness says they do.
This is an all-encompassing theory which in Greek means “life center.” Though radical, if one day proven correct, it could have ramifications for the study of physics, biology, consciousness, the brain, and even AI. Consider a blade of grass. Your brain through your eyes tells you its green. But what if a neuroscientist could reconnoiter that part of the brain where the concept registers, and make it indicate red or yellow instead? Lanza reminds us that all reality is sensory information interpreted by our brain.
It’s our consciousness that puts our reality together. For instance, space-time in physics is different from how we experience these, separate concepts in real life. Science treats the space-time continuum as a solid principle. According to Lanza they are “simply tools of our mind.” Death too in his view “cannot exist in any real sense.”
Dr. Robert Lanza in his laboratory, 2009.
Notice how, for instance, when you are a child, days and weeks seem to drag on, while when you get older, they fly by. Time itself hasn’t changed, just our perception of it. Whether the universe actually works the way in which we perceive it isn’t readily known. One of the fundamental laws of Newtonian physics is that energy isn’t created or destroyed, it simply takes another form. The energy trapped in our brain must take another form then, even when a person dies. Meanwhile, our senses tell us that it’s their end. But where does this energy go? In a world with endless space and time, could death really exist? If not, is immortality a phenomenon which occurs within space-time or outside of it?
Dr. Lanza isn’t some newfangled guru. He’s a biotech Zion, and currently, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He’s studying stem cells and their application for treating disease. Previous to this, he did some research on embryonic stem cells and in cloning, both with animals and humans. Lanza is also an adjunct professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina.
In quantum physics, particles can be observed in several different states at the same time. This is called superposition. They in fact, exist in all possible states simultaneously. In terms of predicting what a particle will do, nothing is absolute. Each state has its own range of probability. In Lanza’s view, each corresponds with a different universe.
This coincides with the “many worlds” theory, also known as the multiverse. Each universe is thought to operate with its own physical laws. Anything that can occur does, with one possibility playing out in each realm. Our life, Lanza believes, at one stage or another, is occurring across many universes simultaneously. Yet, your life on one world wouldn’t influence your life in another.
What are the chances that death is a portal into another universe?
What has long plagued particle physicists is that observation affects reality. Consider the famous double-slit test. In this classic experiment, physicists observe a particle passing through two slits in a barrier. When the phenomenon is observed, it behaves like a particle, a little cannonball shooting directly through the slits. If it isn’t observed, it performs like a wave, gliding through both openings at once. This shows that energy and matter are made up of both particles and waves, and that one’s mere observation changes its form.
Such inconsistencies don’t prove the existence of the multiverse, however. Yet, through the scaffolding of biocentrism or this new “Theory of Everything,” the physics begins to take shape. Consciousness is an essential force in the universe, according to this theory, which shows why the properties of energy, matter, space, and time, depend on whether or not a conscious mind is observing them. Lanza uses other research to support his view.
A 2002 study of photons or light particles, showed that they communicated with one another. When one photon was guided to a certain place, it was picked up by a detector. Researchers used a scrambler to force it to remain a particle rather than a wave. After one was sent out and reached its destination, the second photon crossed the same space instantaneously. It was as if it knew where it was going, and the knowledge must have traveled back to it faster than the speed of light. Another supporting factor in an entirely different category, is the Goldilocks principle. This is the theory that the universe was made just right for supporting life.
Photons being smashed at the CERN large hadron collider. By ESO/M. Kornmesser [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Critics argue that unexplained phenomena in physics only occurs on the quantum level. They also point out that there is no direct evidence of the existence of other universes. Several physicists have told Forbes that Lanza’s writings look more like works of philosophy rather than science. The doctor himself states that he is healing a glaring rift, and applying innovative methods from biotech to physics. He also admits his theory lacks a mathematical basis. As such, Lanza’s working on the supporting mathematical structure. Papers are expected to follow in scientific journals.
Another competing theory accounts for inconsistencies in quantum physics by stating that the universe is an illusion. It could be for instance, a projection created by a highly advanced quantum computer. Though still entirely theoretical, biocentrism offers those of us who want to hold onto a comforting afterlife scenario, without giving up a devotion to science, an avenue to explore. In this vein, Lanza wrote, “Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix. Life has a non-linear dimensionality; it's like a perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.”
To learn more about biocentrism, click here:
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.
- Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
- As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
- The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.
Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.
But science loves a good challenge<p>The mystery remained unsolved until 2005, when French scientists <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~audoly/" target="_blank">Basile Audoly</a> and <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~neukirch/" target="_blank">Sebastien Neukirch </a>won an <a href="https://www.improbable.com/ig/" target="_blank">Ig Nobel Prize</a>, an award given to scientists for real work which is of a less serious nature than the discoveries that win Nobel prizes, for finally determining why this happens. <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/spaghetti/audoly_neukirch_fragmentation.pdf" target="_blank">Their paper describing the effect is wonderfully funny to read</a>, as it takes such a banal issue so seriously. </p><p>They demonstrated that when a rod is bent past a certain point, such as when spaghetti is snapped in half by bending it at the ends, a "snapback effect" is created. This causes energy to reverberate from the initial break to other parts of the rod, often leading to a second break elsewhere.</p><p>While this settled the issue of <em>why </em>spaghetti noodles break into three or more pieces, it didn't establish if they always had to break this way. The question of if the snapback could be regulated remained unsettled.</p>
Physicists, being themselves, immediately wanted to try and break pasta into two pieces using this info<p><a href="https://roheiss.wordpress.com/fun/" target="_blank">Ronald Heisser</a> and <a href="https://math.mit.edu/directory/profile.php?pid=1787" target="_blank">Vishal Patil</a>, two graduate students currently at Cornell and MIT respectively, read about Feynman's night of noodle snapping in class and were inspired to try and find what could be done to make sure the pasta always broke in two.</p><p><a href="http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-mathematicians-solve-age-old-spaghetti-mystery-0813" target="_blank">By placing the noodles in a special machine</a> built for the task and recording the bending with a high-powered camera, the young scientists were able to observe in extreme detail exactly what each change in their snapping method did to the pasta. After breaking more than 500 noodles, they found the solution.</p>
The apparatus the MIT researchers built specifically for the task of snapping hundreds of spaghetti sticks.
(Courtesy of the researchers)
What possible application could this have?<p>The snapback effect is not limited to uncooked pasta noodles and can be applied to rods of all sorts. The discovery of how to cleanly break them in two could be applied to future engineering projects.</p><p>Likewise, knowing how things fragment and fail is always handy to know when you're trying to build things. Carbon Nanotubes, <a href="https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/carbon-nanotube-space-elevator" target="_self">super strong cylinders often hailed as the building material of the future</a>, are also rods which can be better understood thanks to this odd experiment.</p><p>Sometimes big discoveries can be inspired by silly questions. If it hadn't been for Richard Feynman bending noodles seventy years ago, we wouldn't know what we know now about how energy is dispersed through rods and how to control their fracturing. While not all silly questions will lead to such a significant discovery, they can all help us learn.</p>
What happens if we consider welfare programs as investments?
- A recently published study suggests that some welfare programs more than pay for themselves.
- It is one of the first major reviews of welfare programs to measure so many by a single metric.
- The findings will likely inform future welfare reform and encourage debate on how to grade success.
Welfare as an investment<p>The <a href="https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/hendren/files/welfare_vnber.pdf" target="_blank">study</a>, carried out by Nathaniel Hendren and Ben Sprung-Keyser of Harvard University, reviews 133 welfare programs through a single lens. The authors measured these programs' "Marginal Value of Public Funds" (MVPF), which is defined as the ratio of the recipients' willingness to pay for a program over its cost.</p><p>A program with an MVPF of one provides precisely as much in net benefits as it costs to deliver those benefits. For an illustration, imagine a program that hands someone a dollar. If getting that dollar doesn't alter their behavior, then the MVPF of that program is one. If it discourages them from working, then the program's cost goes up, as the program causes government tax revenues to fall in addition to costing money upfront. The MVPF goes below one in this case. <br> <br> Lastly, it is possible that getting the dollar causes the recipient to further their education and get a job that pays more taxes in the future, lowering the cost of the program in the long run and raising the MVPF. The value ratio can even hit infinity when a program fully "pays for itself."</p><p> While these are only a few examples, many others exist, and they do work to show you that a high MVPF means that a program "pays for itself," a value of one indicates a program "breaks even," and a value below one shows a program costs more money than the direct cost of the benefits would suggest.</p> After determining the programs' costs using existing literature and the willingness to pay through statistical analysis, 133 programs focusing on social insurance, education and job training, tax and cash transfers, and in-kind transfers were analyzed. The results show that some programs turn a "profit" for the government, mainly when they are focused on children:
This figure shows the MVPF for a variety of polices alongside the typical age of the beneficiaries. Clearly, programs targeted at children have a higher payoff.
Nathaniel Hendren and Ben Sprung-Keyser<p>Programs like child health services and K-12 education spending have infinite MVPF values. The authors argue this is because the programs allow children to live healthier, more productive lives and earn more money, which enables them to pay more taxes later. Programs like the preschool initiatives examined don't manage to do this as well and have a lower "profit" rate despite having decent MVPF ratios.</p><p>On the other hand, things like tuition deductions for older adults don't make back the money they cost. This is likely for several reasons, not the least of which is that there is less time for the benefactor to pay the government back in taxes. Disability insurance was likewise "unprofitable," as those collecting it have a reduced need to work and pay less back in taxes. </p>
What are the implications of all this?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ceXv4XLv" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="3b407f5aa043eeb84f2b7ff82f97dc35"> <div id="botr_ceXv4XLv_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ceXv4XLv-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ceXv4XLv-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ceXv4XLv-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Firstly, it shows that direct investments in children in a variety of areas generate very high MVPFs. Likewise, the above chart shows that a large number of the programs considered pay for themselves, particularly ones that "invest in human capital" by promoting education, health, or similar things. While programs that focus on adults tend to have lower MVPF values, this isn't a hard and fast rule.</p><p>It also shows us that very many programs don't "pay for themselves" or even go below an MVPF of one. However, this study and its authors do not suggest that we abolish programs like disability payments just because they don't turn a profit.</p><p>Different motivations exist behind various programs, and just because something doesn't pay for itself isn't a definitive reason to abolish it. The returns on investment for a welfare program are diverse and often challenging to reckon in terms of money gained or lost. The point of this study was merely to provide a comprehensive review of a wide range of programs from a single perspective, one of dollars and cents. </p><p>The authors suggest that this study can be used as a starting point for further analysis of other programs not necessarily related to welfare. </p><p>It can be difficult to measure the success or failure of a government program with how many metrics you have to choose from and how many different stakeholders there are fighting for their metric to be used. This study provides us a comprehensive look through one possible lens at how some of our largest welfare programs are doing. </p><p>As America debates whether we should expand or contract our welfare state, the findings of this study offer an essential insight into how much we spend and how much we gain from these programs. </p>
Finding a balance between job satisfaction, money, and lifestyle is not easy.
- When most of your life is spent doing one thing, it matters if that thing is unfulfilling or if it makes you unhappy. According to research, most people are not thrilled with their jobs. However, there are ways to find purpose in your work and to reduce the negative impact that the daily grind has on your mental health.
- "The evidence is that about 70 percent of people are not engaged in what they do all day long, and about 18 percent of people are repulsed," London Business School professor Dan Cable says, calling the current state of work unhappiness an epidemic. In this video, he and other big thinkers consider what it means to find meaning in your work, discuss the parts of the brain that fuel creativity, and share strategies for reassessing your relationship to your job.
- Author James Citrin offers a career triangle model that sees work as a balance of three forces: job satisfaction, money, and lifestyle. While it is possible to have all three, Citrin says that they are not always possible at the same time, especially not early on in your career.