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In this episode we have the extraordinary theory of Biocentrism to consider: the hypothesis that the space, time and matter arose from life, and not the other way around. This theory obviously flies completely in the face of material science’s Darwinian view that life and consciousness evolved slowly out of ever more complex systems of matter.

Now we’ve heard in multiple interviews on the show so far that similar theories like Panpsychism, the hypothesis that consciousness is fundamental to the physical world, are hugely increasing in popularity and not only among philosophers but also among physicists, perhaps because many of the anomalies coming out of quantum experiments can be explained in a panpsychist model. But this is the first time as far as I know that a scientist has argued that life itself is fundamental to the physical world. Perhaps to many scientists it would sound absurd, but as the theory has been popularised by award winning Stem Cell biologist Robert Lanza, it seems important that we give this theory a closer look.


Given our physics slant on Chasing Consciousness, we are extremely lucky to be speaking today with Robert Lanza’s co-author on the new book about the theory “The Grand Biocentric Design, How life creates reality”, physicist and author Matej Pavšič.

Matej Pavšič has been a theoretical physicist at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia for over 40 years, working on Mirror Particles, Brane Spaces, and Clifford algebra and spaces among other areas. He’s published more than hundred scientific papers and 3 books including  "The Landscape of Theoretical Physics: A Global View" (Kluwer Academic, 2001) and "Stumbling Blocks Against Unification" (World Scientific, 2020). And the Biocentrism book mentioned above.

What we discuss in this episode:

00:00 Intro

06:00 Niels Bohr - Measurement ‘creates ‘ the world quote

10:00 The wave particle duality - real vs perceived

15:10 The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics

18:00 Hugh Everett - The wave function is relative to the observer

20:00 The risk of Woo when talking about Quantum Entanglement

22:30 Einstein’s General theory of Relativity

25:30 A universe fine tuned for life - Hierarchical levels of representation and the hard problem

35:23 Risk of Solipsism avoided by the Many Worlds interpretation

37:00 Mystical experiences may connect to wave function of the universe

38:31 Hawking and Wheeler - The past is not fixed until measurement

39:45 Matej’s theory: The Big Bang could have been caused by a vacuum instability in the quantum field

40:30 The book has been criticised by scientists for being over-simplified for the general public

44:30 Testability of Biocentrism via Quantum Mechanics

46:00 Weak Biocentrism paper, accounting for the observer effect while keeping the physical world

49:00 Quantum Suicide and the impossibility of being dead from the first person point of view

53:00 Why is consciousness so controversial in modern physics?

55:12 Difficulty of applying different laws at the classical and quantum level


Matej Book ‘stumbling blocks against unification’

Matej book ‘The landscape of theoretical physics: a global view’

Last Part of the book: the Horizon - Quantum Mechanics and its relation to consciousness

Niels Bohr quote - ‘“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.”

Richard Feynman quote -“no one really understand quantum mechanics”

Rupert Everett - The Many Worlds from interpretation of quantum mechanics

Robert Lanza, Dmitriy Podolskiy and Andrei Barvinsky paper - reduction of quantum gravity in the presence of observers: Intro article and Scientific Paper: