Book Reviews by Stephen P. Smith, Ph.D. (Part VI)

Review of Robert Lanza & Bob Berman's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

Abstract: Lanza`s book is not a rigorous scientific treatment, but the science he refers to is rigorous. Neither is his book a comprehensive philosophical development. Rather, Lanza has a colloquial style that is typical of good popular books, and his book can be understood by non-experts. See:

Review of Douglas R. Hofstadter's Book by Stephen P. Smith: I Am a Strange Loop

Abstract: There is little science to be found in Hofstadter's analogical arguments. His book is mostly weak philosophy. He (page xvii) writes: "Although I hope to reach philosophers with this book's ideas, I don't think I write much like a philosopher". Then he writes (page 325): "Philosophers who believe that consciousness comes from something over and above physical law are dualists, etc., etc." Physical laws are found necessary, but Hofstadter's own strange loop implies that laws in isolation are insufficient to explain consciousness. There is only a leap of faith! Moreover, it is caricature mode thinking that is found dualistic. The strange loop can be better advanced by bringing it in line with philosophy, and in particular, the philosophies of C.S. Peirce and Edmund Husserl. It is the Trinitarian logic offered by Hegel that is non-dual, and it is Brouwer's intuitionist mathematics that is non-dual. See:

Review of Bruce H. Lipton's Book by Stephen P. Smith: The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles

Abstract: I found Lipton's "The Biology of Belief" very readable, and worth reading. He is brave to say what he believes. Lipton describes "smart" cells, some perhaps living in a petri dish. Their collective properties are found smart. Lipton also presents his ground breaking ideas on epigenetics, a body of study that looks at the impact the environment has on controlling our genes. Further, Lipton also deals with cell membrane, quantum mechanics plus more. See:

Review of Steve McIntosh's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution

Abstract: Steve McIntosh's "Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution" brings a new perspective to integral philosophy. McIntosh breaks new ground beyond Ken Wilber. McIntosh takes the primary values and translates them into feeling, thought and will, thereby providing an overall structure upon which Wilber's plurality of lines (the psychorgraph model) may find their expression. McIntosh adheres to his view of development and evolution as a dialectical spiral, driven by a cosmogenetic organizing principle. The interpenetrating forces of differentiation and integration can be seen functioning in the whole and its parts. McIntosh moves away from Darwin's evolution that is seen empty of purpose. See:

Review of Henry P. Stapp's Book by Stephen P. Smith: Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer (The Frontiers Collection)

Abstract: Stapp gives a very deep and scientific account of his ideas, that must now be taken serious. He is far from a New Age quantum guru here, even as he ventures into philosophy. Stapp finds agreement with Whitehead`s ontology, and with this revelation Stapp`s theory is now found more far reaching than what even Stapp is willing to admit. For example, Stapp makes heavy reference to an agent that carries intention and causal efficacy, but I am afraid that even Stapp`s very mature quantum mechanics is unable to define this agent into existence. I need only follow Whitehead to the logical conclusion. See: