Aaron Rowe in Wired:
For years, scientists have tried to develop a universal theory of everything. Steven Hawking predicts that such a theory will be discovered in the next 20 years. A new theory asserts that biology, not physics, will be the key to unlocking the deepest mysteries of the universe, such as quantum mechanics.
“The answer to the universe is biology — it’s as simple as that,” says Dr. Robert Lanza, vice president of research and scientific development at Advanced Cell Technology. He details his theory in The American Scholar‘s spring issue, published on Thursday. Lanza says scientists will establish a unified theory only if they radically rethink their understanding of space and time using a “biocentric” approach. His article is essentially a biological and philosophical response to Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, in which he questions how we interpret the big bang, the existence of space and time, as well as many other theories — assertions that might ruffle the feathers of some physical scientists.
But Lanza is used to controversy. The 2005 Wired Rave Award winner has seen plenty in response to his stem cell and cloning work at Advanced Cell. And he’s ready for the scientific row his latest work is likely to engender.
“The urgent and primary questions of the universe have been undertaken by those physicists who are trying to explain the origins of everything with grand unified theories,” says Lanza in his article. “But as exciting and glamorous as these theories are, they are an evasion, if not a reversal, of the central mystery of knowledge: that the laws of the world were somehow created to produce the observer.”