Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 26 (Liptonian Quantum Physics — preliminaries)

January 31, 2018

We are now on page 94 and ready to begin Chapter 4. Everyone knows by now that this train will be heading straight for the nearest cliff, but already just the title makes me want to slam on the emergency brake.

Chapter 4


So let’s stop here and clear up a few things before going any further.

The biologist Jerry Coyne recalled once (somewhere on his website) that he was at a conference which included a panel discussion with various speakers. One panel member, who was intent on accommodating spiritual ideas into a scientific context, started off on the kind of rant that spiritual teachers love to use.

“Reality is not what it seems. We all think that this table is solid, but according modern physics…..”

But before he could say that “matter doesn’t really exist” and that “everything is really just energy”, the physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was also on the panel, climbed up on the table and started pounding on it, shouting–

“It is solid!!! It is solid!!!”

This extremely simple physics lesson should be remembered at all times when dealing with spiritual teachers who talk about quantum physics.

And here is my short list of commandments for non-physicists who feel compelled to lecture people on this subject.

  1. If an idea can’t be expressed mathematically, it does not belong in the canon of quantum physics.
  2. Just because physicists are kind enough to translate their knowledge into verbal language, doesn’t mean that you can apply the laws of grammar to it and produce new facts.
  3. If you haven’t at least mastered higher mathematics you shouldn’t be talking about quantum physics.
  4. Unless you’ve mastered calculus, you shouldn’t be spouting off about Newtonian physics either.
  5. A special one for Lipton: if you are incapable of correctly using straight forward concepts like “homolog”, or don’t even understand what an optical illusion is then stay away from physics altogether.

Let me get something else out of the way too before we go any further. Lipton is about to tell us about the book that changed his life and converted him to mystical biology. It is The Cosmic Code, by Heinz Pagels, from 1982. (I’ve already covered this a few years ago.)

Pagels somehow managed to convince Lipton to reject what he understood as “nucleus-centered biology”, and to change him from a godless scientist to a believer in the kind of transcendental mysticism he promises to talk about in the Epilogue.

It is from Pagels that Lipton learned of connections between biology — and above all consciousness — and quantum physics. And now Pagels is probably best known to the public for the role he played in Lipton’s “conversion”.

I haven’t read Pagels’ book, but this is one thing he wrote about connections between quantum physics and consciousness:

“No qualified physicist that I know would claim to find such a connection without knowingly committing fraud.”

The statement is from an affidavit he wrote for a court case against the Transcendental Meditation Movement. He went on:

Individuals not trained professionally in modern physics could easily come to believe… that a large number of qualified scientists agree with the purported connection between modern physics and meditation methods. Nothing could be further from the truth….

The claim that the fields of modern physics have anything to do with the “field of consciousness” is false….

To see the beautiful and profound ideas of modern physics, the labor of generations of scientists, so willfully perverted provokes a feeling of compassion for those who might be taken in by these distortions.

Fraud? False? Distortions? …..But Lipton says that Pagels wrote an entire book to make exactly that claim. It changed Lipton’s life. What is going on?

Clearly, there are two possibilities here.

Either Pagels wrote a book about the mystical dimensions of quantum physics and afterwards had a drastic change of heart;


Pagels wrote a perfectly normal book about physics, and Lipton didn’t understand it.

I doubt anyone has to think too hard about these two options.

Pagels was even prepared to state before a court of law that it is fraudulent to claim that quantum physics supports New Age spiritual teachings. But now Lipton is about to go to great lengths to tell us that Pagels said the exact opposite.


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