The Biocentric Universe Theory: Life Creates Time, Space, and the Cosmos Itself

Adapted from Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, by Robert Lanza with Bob Berman, published by BenBella Books in May 2009.

The farther we peer into space, the more we realize that the nature of the universe cannot be understood fully by inspecting spiral galaxies or watching distant supernovas. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves.

This insight snapped into focus one day while one of us (Lanza) was walking through the woods. Looking up, he saw a huge golden orb web spider tethered to the overhead boughs. There the creature sat on a single thread, reaching out across its web to detect the vibrations of a trapped insect struggling to escape. The spider surveyed its universe, but everything beyond that gossamer pinwheel was incomprehensible. The human observer seemed as far-off to the spider as telescopic objects seem to us. Yet there was something kindred: We humans, too, lie at the heart of a great web of space and time whose threads are connected according to laws that dwell in our minds.

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Your brain on gratitude: How a neuroscientist used his research to heal from grief

Neuroscientist Glenn Fox has dedicated his life to studying gratitude — how it improves our resilience, lowers stress, and boosts overall health. He’s an expert on the ability of gratitude to help us through tough times.

But on Thanksgiving in 2013, Fox was feeling anything but grateful. That’s because, just a few days before, he’d lost his mother to ovarian cancer.

The day after, going down to Starbucks for coffee and some pastries, “it was like the most intense experience ever. And I just thought, how am I even going to get through this? How am I even going to order?”

Fox was just months away from completing his Ph.D. on the neural bases of gratitude. He knew from his research how therapeutic gratitude can be — and how it could help him in his long journey recovering from grief. What he didn’t know was how to make that happen on a practical level.

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Risa Wechsler: The search for dark matter –and what we’ve found so far

Roughly 85 percent of mass in the universe is “dark matter” — mysterious material that can’t be directly observed but has an immense influence on the cosmos. What exactly is this strange stuff, and what does it have to do with our existence? Astrophysicist Risa Wechsler explores why dark matter may be the key to understanding how the universe formed — and shares how physicists in labs around the world are coming up with creative ways to study it.

Risa Wechsler · Astrophysicist, cosmologist

Risa Wechsler uses computer simulations of the entire universe to explore questions about our existence on the largest scales.

Editor’s note: This talk was recorded at a TED-curated event in partnership with The Kavli Foundation, the Simons Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

Em vez de reduzir danos, maconha pode piorar vício em cocaína e crack, diz estudo brasileiro


Pessoas com dependência em cocaína e crack por vezes associam fumar maconha a uma forma de atenuar a “fissura”, ou ansiedade, por aquelas drogas. Essa associação já foi inclusive endossada no passado por pesquisas científicas e profissionais de saúde como estratégia de redução de danos.

Mas não é o que indicam agora pesquisadores da Universidade de São Paulo (USP) em um artigo publicado em dezembro no periódico internacional Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Acompanhando o histórico de 123 pessoas em etapas de um, três e seis meses — 63 dependentes de cocaína e usuários recreativos de maconha; 24 dependentes de cocaína, apenas; e 36 voluntários saudáveis, sem histórico de uso de drogas, compondo um grupo controle —, os autores afirmam praticamente “descartar” o uso da maconha fumada como estratégia de tratamento para dependentes de cocaína.

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Giant Chinese paddlefish declared extinct after surviving 150 million years

Beijing — Scientists say a giant fish species that managed to survive at least 150 million years has been completely wiped out by human activity. Research published in the Science of The Total Environment this week says the giant Chinese paddlefish, also known as the Chinese swordfish, is officially extinct.

The monster fish, one of the largest freshwater species in the world with lengths up to 23 feet, was once common in China’s Yangtze River. Due to its speed it was commonly referred to in China as the “water tiger.”

A model of a giant Chinese paddlefish is seen on display in Chongqing, China.
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Quem trata animais como filhos pode sofrer transtornos, diz pesquisador

Os distúrbios psicológicos estão entre as possíveis alterações que uma pessoa que trata seus animais de estimação como filhos pode sofrer, disse Raúl Valadez Azúa, especialista da Universidade Nacional Autônoma do México (UNAM). “Quando alguém trata um cachorro como se fosse humano, ele rompe com a interação homem-cão que foi formada há 20 mil anos”, disse Raúl Valadez, pesquisador do Instituto de Pesquisa Antropológica da UNAM, através de comunicado divulgado hoje.

De acordo com o especialista, a introdução de um animal em um esquema que não faz parte de sua essência “afeta sua perspectiva e ele fica incapaz de procriar”, pois não reconhece os membros de sua espécie como seus pares. Ele ressaltou que essa nova tendência tem sido favorecida pelo consumismo e pelo individualismo e é resultado do isolamento pessoal, da insegurança e da cibercomunicação.

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Does Consciousness Pervade the Universe?

Philosopher Philip Goff answers questions about “panpsychism”

One of science’s most challenging problems is a question that can be stated easily: Where does consciousness come from? In his new book Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness,philosopher Philip Goff considers a radical perspective: What if consciousness is not something special that the brain does but is instead a quality inherent to all matter? It is a theory known as “panpsychism,” and Goff guides readers through the history of the idea, answers common objections (such as “That’s just crazy!”) and explains why he believes panpsychism represents the best path forward. He answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

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New theory of quantum mechanics shows matter is not in the eye of the observer

The measurement problems has plagued theoretical physics for nearly 100 years

The mystery of why quantum matter jumps from a wave-like state to a well-defined particle when it is observed has puzzled scientists for nearly a 100 years.

Known as ‘the measurement problem’ it is widely seen as the major complication in quantum theory and has led even well-respected scientists to suggest that the human mind may be having some kind of telepathic influence on the fabric of the universe – our thoughts actually shaping reality around us.

But physicist Jonathan Kerr, who has studied quantum mechanics for 35 years from his cottage in Surrey, believes he has solved the riddle, and the answer is more prosaic than some might have hoped.

He thinks that it is actually impossible to measure anything without a tiny interaction taking place and it is that ‘bump’ that tells the particle where it is in space and fixes its form.

Kerr, the nephew of the late author Judith Kerr, has just published a book on his theory and an article is due to appear in a well-respected peer reviewed journal soon. The idea was first posited by some scientists in the 1990s but it has been an unfinished until now.

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