I recently read Beyond Biocentrism by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman. It’s a book that kept popping up in recent years so I finally checked it out from the public library. What they call biocentrism is really a bundle of ideas, and I’d say that the central idea is that consciousness is fundamental to the universe. There was a sufficient amount of thought-provoking ideas that the book kept my interest and stayed in my mind after I put it down, and it describes a Parmenidean nonduality that really appeals to me (I’m also currently reading The Parmenidean Ascent, which is excellent). So I picked up their recent book The Grand Biocentric Design, which Lanza and Berman have co-authored with the physicist Matej Pavšič.
I’m about halfway through The Grand Biocentric Design and there’s one thing that I can’t get past. In both this book and the previous book, the authors embrace an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which consciousness causes the collapse of the wave function. I have no problem with that by itself, but the issue is that they also embrace the many worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. I don’t see how you can coherently believe in both interpretations. In MWI, there is no such thing as a collapse of the wave function, so it flat-out contradicts the consciousness-causes-collapse (CCC) interpretation. For the most part, they discuss these interpretations in separate chapters, e.g. CCC in chapters where they are making a case for the primacy of the observer in creating reality, and MWI when they are discussing things like quantum immortality. They give no hint (at least in what I’ve read so far) that these two interpretations cannot go together. And given that Pavšič is a physicist and that all three of them have science backgrounds, I think they must be aware of the problem.
Is there something I’m missing, and CCC and MWI can in fact be reconciled?
(image source: Wikimedia Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)