Note: The article below accompanies a short YouTube video introducing the biocentric universe theory. This idea, introduced by the noted biologist Robert Lanza (and incorporating earlier work by the physicist John Archibald Wheeler), suggests that the information-gathering activities of living things are collectively responsible for the observed structure of the Universe, and that we continue to resolve the material world to higher and higher resolutions as we learn what the world is made of and how it works. This first article is a broad overview of the theory; future articles (and videos) will explore its concepts in greater depth.
It’s incredible how our understanding of the Universe has changed over the last 150 years. In 1860, James Clerk Maxwell hadn’t yet figured out how electricity and magnetism are related, so we had no idea what light was or how it worked. We also had no idea what matter was made of; the discovery of electrons was almost 40 years away, and the discovery of the atomic nucleus, nearly 50. And it would be over 60 years before astronomers demonstrated that there were other galaxies in the Universe besides the Milky Way — a watershed moment when humanity realized that the Universe is extremely big, and that we in comparison are very small indeed.
Today, we have probed the Universe to incredible degrees of precision as well as incredible distances. Einstein’s general theory of relativity (1915) accurately describes the Universe over large scales and explains gravity. The math that Einstein worked out has become a part of our everyday lives: The GPS receiver in your car makes calculations that factor in the subtle gravitational flexing of time predicted by relativity, and if it didn’t, GPS simply would not work. Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale of size, the theory of quantum mechanics (QM) is another major triumph in the history of physics. The results of experiment after experiment can be predicted with QM, and everything from transistors to MRI medical instruments probably wouldn’t have been invented if it weren’t for its insights.