Biocentrism (from Greek: βίος, "bio", "life"; and κέντρον, "kentron", "center") is a term that has several meanings but is commonly defined as the belief that all forms of
lifeare equally valuable and humanityis not the center of existence. Biocentric positions generally advocate a focus on the well-being of all life in the consideration of ecological, political, and economic issues. Biocentrism in this sense has been contrasted to anthropocentrism, which is the belief that human beings and human society are, or should be, the central focus of existence.
Biocentrism also refers to the
philosophicalposition that the attributes of living things form the basis of perception, and thereby form the basis of observable realityitself. [Robert Lanza, [http://www.theamericanscholar.org/archives/sp07/newtheory-lanza.html "A New Theory of the Universe"] , Spring 2007 "The American Scholar"] The biocentric theory proposed by Robert Lanzabuilds on quantum physics by putting life into the equation. [ [http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/03/08/85328.aspx Theory of every-living-thing - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com ] ] His theory places biology above the other sciences in an attempt to solve one of nature’s biggest puzzles, the theory of everything that other disciplines have been pursuing for the last century. [ [http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/news/2007/03/72910 Will Biology Solve the Universe? ] ]
Donald Worsterhas traced today’s biocentric conscience, which is an important part of the recovery of a sense of kinship between man and nature, to the British intelligenciaof the Victorian erareacting against the Christian ethic of dominion over nature.cite book| author = Worster, Donald| title = Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History)| publisher = Cambridge University Press| year = 1994| id = ISBN 0521468345] He points out that Charles Darwinwas the most important spokesperson for the biocentric attitude in ecologicalthought and quotes from his "Notebooks on Transmutation":
If we choose to let conjecture run wild, then animals, our fellow brethren in pain, diseases, death, suffering and famine - our slaves in the most laborious works, our companions in our amusement - they may partake of our origin in one common ancestor - we may be all netted together.Another thread of biocentrism comes from
ethnologicalstudies of species-specific taboos. This is an important contribution to the concept of “sacred ecology” developed by Fikret Berkesfrom his studies on traditional environmental management.cite book| author = Berkes, Fikret| title = Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge| publisher = Taylor & Francis| year = 1999| id = ISBN 1560326956]
Biocentrism as a term has also recently gained prominence in the discussion of
transgenderand transsexual rights. Biocentrism in that case refers to the widely-held belief that a person who was born as a male or a female is more "real" and more valid than the individual who has become man or woman through hormonal, surgical, and cosmetic means.cite paper| author = Trans Programming at the 519| title = The Toronto Trans and Two-Spirit Primer| url = http://www.the519.org/programs/trans/transprimer.pdf| accessdate=2007-02-26] It is this biocentric belief that continues to fuel the debate over the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival's policy to only allow women-born, women-identified women. Trans women are actively excluded because they are not viewed as "real women".Cvetkovich, A. (2001). Don't Stop the Music: Roundtable Discussion with Workers from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. "GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies" Volume 7, Number 1, 2001, pp. 131-151]
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