Biocentrism Debunked – Key Places This View Overreaches

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Biocentrism Debunked

Biocentrism is a concept proposed by scientist Robert Lanza which puts forth the idea that life and consciousness create the universe rather than the other way around. It argues that space and time are not objects or things, but tools of the animal understanding. Lanza claims that we carry space and time around with us “like turtles with shells” meaning space and time are not external to ourselves but rather are part of our biological understanding.

While biocentrism is an interesting idea worthy of debate and consideration, there are several key issues with the theory that skepticism seems well-founded. Here we will analyze and debunk some of the central pillars of biocentrism.

The Evidence for an External Universe

One major flaw in biocentrism is that there is significant evidence that the universe existed long before life and consciousness emerged. We have a detailed understanding of the early universe from physics, that explains the beginning of space and time during the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago. We also know from geologic evidence that planet Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago, while life did not emerge until at least 3 billion years ago.

These scientific models and timelines, built from external evidence independent of human consciousness, directly contradict a key biocentrism principle that space, time and the universe rely on human or biological awareness. There is overwhelming evidence for an external physical universe that does not require consciousness or life of any kind to validate its existence.

Direct Realism vs Biocentric Anti-Realism

Another key philosophical assumption of biocentrism is that our perception of reality is only an interpretation of the world, shaped completely by sensory systems and human consciousness. Biocentrism argues true objective reality is unknowable and does not truly exist external to biological observers.

This is an anti-realist view, conflicting with modern direct or naïve realism, grounded in evidence-based science, that external reality exists independently of subjective human consciousness. Much evidence suggests direct realism is a more reasonable stance, given the many shared perceptions among humans and measuring instruments pointing to an objective, external universe that exists whether we observe it or not.

No Mechanism Identified for Consciousness Creating External Reality

While biocentrism hypothesizes that human consciousness creates space and time, enabling the perception of a physical external universe, no biological or neurological mechanism for this extraordinary process has ever been identified. The theory relies on mental projections and perception solely creating reality without offering any explanation of how this would happen biologically.

In the absence of even speculative neural models of projecting entire universes from our minds, this basic premise of biocentrism seems more philosophical than scientific. It ventures firmly into the realm of metaphysics rather than physics without flooring itself in empirical science or posing potentially testable mechanisms for such an extraordinary hypothesis.

Subjectivity of Perception ≠ Subjectivity of External Reality

Another area where skeptics point of biocentrism is the conflating of subjectivity of perception with subjectivity of reality itself. Our perceptions are indeed subjective and they inform how we relate to the world. However, the external reality being perceived exists whether we observe it or not.

Biology informs our perception and interpretation, but the universe precedes biology. We imprint our own lens and biases onto external reality, but it continues to objectively exist in whatever form, independent of biological observers and our individual or collective perceptions. Conflating perceptual subjectivity with reality being fundamentally subjective proves an unnecessary leap not grounded by empirical evidence.

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

As Carl Sagan famously said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The claim by biocentrism that human consciousness creates the entire external universe is an extraordinary claim indeed. However, the arguments put forth by biocentrism to support this extraordinary claim consist primarily of philosophical conjecturing rather than extraordinary empirical evidence.

Without testable, reproducible evidence pointing clearly to aspects of neurological processes directly creating spatial relationships, masses of elementary particles and entire techno-signatures within an expanding universe, skepticism remains well-founded regarding the overarching biocentric hypothesis. Interesting idea it remains, but without extraordinary empirical evidence, mainstream science continues approaching external reality as objectively real and consciousness a product of biology rather than the creator of it.

Occam’s Razor Slices an Unnecessary Entity

Applying Occam’s razor, the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is most often correct. Biocentrism adds a multitude of extraordinary assumptions that consciousness projects reality and space-time, so cutting such an unnecessary entity from our models aligns better with the principles of parsimony and simplicity found at the heart of Occam’s famous razor.

Framework Lacks Predictive Value

Some hypotheses retain value despite weaknesses because their frameworks predict additional discoveries and insights that later prove true. This adds credibility to the initial idea. Biocentrism lacks this predictive quality – the hypothesis does not lead to confirmed predictions borne out in subsequent discoveries.

While limited aspects of biocentrism echo Kantian philosophy or even strands of Eastern mysticism, as a comprehensive framework about the nature of reality, biocentrism makes no testable predictions. It offers no pathway beyond its own assertions about consciousness truly creating the stars, so lacks the productive dynamic of predicting additional phenomena then empirically confirming these discoveries.

Sometimes a Universe is Just a Universe

While we can admire the creativity it took to conceive of biocentric theory, at its core it seems more an elaborate thought experiment than viable model grounded in evidence-based reality. The theory essentially anthropomorphizes all of existence, projecting our human perceptual habits onto the universe, while offering no testable explanations of neural mechanisms behind this extraordinary hypothesized phenomenon.

In offering such an elaborate extrapolation to elevate human consciousness to some special level outside of biology, it commits the egocentric fallacy of assuming the entire external universe essentially orbits human perception. A thorough analysis shows biocentrism proving scientifically unproductive and philosophically unnecessary. It ventures firmly beyond the realm of testable science without substantially improving explanations of known phenomena or predicting new discoveries. Skepticism seems rightly deserved in such extraordinary projection onto the universe of nothing more than our biology’s perceptual penchants and consciousness concepts.

Sometimes, as the saying goes, a universe is just a universe. While biocentrism spins an elaborate projection of human consciousness as creator of space, time and cosmic structure, evidence and parsimony issues show it little more than an interesting philosophical musing. Objective reality likely exists whether or not we perceive it, much evidence suggests, and there remains little indication human consciousness plays any special external role beyond experiencing our surroundings through the lens of biology and imprinting certain linguistic narratives onto the mysterious existential quality the universe intrinsically possesses all its own.

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