One of the most inspiring books I have read in a long time. Consciousness is usually dismissed by many physicists and some psychologists, and all life is reduced to mindless molecules randomly interacting. Robert Lanza and Bob Berman carefully show that this approach misses out on fundamental findings that are conveniently ignored. The case they make for consciousness being primary rather than matter producing consciousness as an emergent property is stunning and persuasive.
The book addresses the issue of the nature of consciousness and reality and unsurprisingly, does not provided an ultimate answer. The authors concede that we are nowhere near knowing what generates the experience of consciousness, what it is that references the visual and other sensory events in the machinery of our brain, yet they tenuously correlate consciousness with other scientific principles. The author's premise is that everything that we know exists does so only through the conduit of the conscious mind without which, nothing exists; not space, not time, not the moon. He supports this biocentrism with reference to relativity and quantum theory and in particular, the dual slit experiments using entangled particles where apparently it is proved that their behaviour is determined by whether they are being measured or not. If he is simply claiming that the sensory and worldly out-there experience we enjoy of the stuff of the universe is generated by the mind, then from childhood, I have always thought that that was obvious, and so the book provides nothing new for me. However, he seems to be saying that if unobserved, then everything, even macroscopic entities, like a chair for example, only exist as probabilistic wave functions and only become defined as objects when observed by the conscious mind. This ignores the fact, I believe, that wave functions collapse when particles themselves interact as in macroscopic bodies, where one particle essentially measures the properties of another. So, for me, reality is created and exists without consciousness but in the untainted, unfiltered entirety of energy and matter of the raw universe. If all sentient beings were to be extinguished instantly across the universe, the unobserved universe would still continue, surely, to exist with as much or as little purpose as consciousness itself. The book did not change my own view if indeed I have interpreted the authors' viewpoints correctly. The book also alludes to the theory that consciousness is a universal entity and that our brains act as receivers or receptacles for this one consciousness which I believe, is an idea incorporated in the 'dust' of Phillip Pullmans "His Dark Materials" trilogy and is a facet of eastern religions such as Buddhism. Perhaps the universe does need three components matter, energy and consciousness (the elusive dark energy).
I enjoyed the book as it is thought-provoking and it is laced with interesting and moving biographical anecdotes.
Balanced merging of Eastern faiths and western physics. Illustrates that our science is not as solid as it likes to think it is and how 'Science' has become the new religion of the west. Very well written and easily read. The author has a grounded view point that helps the reader follow some very difficult points of physics. I also enjoyed the importance of the biological aspect, so often the poor relation to the dominant physics of our ever increasing techno world. Well worth the read.
Very interesting, non-materialistic, yet scientific approach. The author's descriptions of quantum level experiments are detailed enough to be true and free of bias and at the same time rightfully open to interpretations.
Although it's somewhat an interesting read, it's also nonsense. Save yourself some time and money and read this instead: http://nirmukta.com/2009/12/14/biocentrism-demystified-a-response-to-deepak-chopra-and-robert-lanzas-notion-of-a-conscious-universe/