Wednesday, February 10, 2010
What's out there is in here
Anything Beyond the Universe? New Theory Changes Our Destiny
Robert Lanza, Huffington Post: Loren Eiseley once wrote: 'While I was sitting one night with a poet friend watching a great opera performed in a tent under arc lights, the poet took my arm and pointed silently. Far up, blundering out of the night, a huge Cecropia moth swept past from light to light over the posturings of the actors. 'He doesn't know,' my friend whispered excitedly. 'He's passing through an alien universe brightly lit but invisible to him. He's in another play; he doesn't see us. He doesn't know. Maybe it's happening right now to us.'"
Like the moth, we can't see beyond the footlights. The universe is just life's launching-pad. But it won't be rockets that take us the next step The long-sought Theory of Everything was merely missing a component that was too close for us to have noticed. Some of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or the idea that we're close to understanding the Big Bang rests in our innate human desire for completeness and totality.
But most of these comprehensive theories fail to take into account one crucial factor: We're creating them. It's the biological creature that fashions the stories, that makes the observations, and that gives names to things. And therein lies the great expanse of our oversight, that until now, science hasn't confronted the one thing that's at once most familiar and most mysterious -- consciousness. Until we understand ourselves, we'll continue to blunder from light to light, unable to discern the great play that blazes under the opera tent.
Image source here.