The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of New Biology. Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and that of other leading edge scientists, have examined in great detail the processes by which cells receive information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. Dr. Lipton’s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.
“Bruce Lipton’s book is the definitive summary of the new biology and all it implies. It is magnificent, profound beyond words, and a delight to read. It synthesizes an encyclopedia of critical new information into a brilliant yet simple package. These pages contain a genuine revolution in thought and understanding, one so radical that it can change the world.”
—Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Magical Child and Evolution’s End
The Biology of Belief was written to convey “ground-breaking work in the field of new biology.” The author, Dr. Bruce Lipton, certainly has the educational and professional background to deliver this new information. He taught at two medical schools and performed some of his cell research at Stanford University. However, some readers may be disinterested in reading this book simply because the information ‘should be presented in a medical or peer-reviewed journal if the information is accurate and credible.’ I can appreciate this view, but on the other hand, the medical world may not be prepared to accept the information Dr. Lipton includes in these pages.
Lipton begins his treatment of the subject on the right foot: discussing his background, his research, and how and why he became so interested in cellular research. He also discusses at length his dissatisfaction with the dominant paradigm in his profession. It is widely accepted in the scientific community that DNA pretty much rules the roost, so to speak. It is “biology’s Central Dogma…The dogma is so fundamental to modern biology it is essentially written in stone, the equivalent of science’s Ten Commandments. The dogma, also referred to as ‘The Primacy of DNA,’ is a fixture of every scientific text” (61). This is the paradigm that Lipton argues against.
In order to solidify his point with his readers, later in the book, Lipton has to explain the foundation of his subject, so he discusses at length DNA, cellular proteins, cell biology, and a new field of scientific inquiry called epigenetics. While the average reader may look at this information and think, “that just sounds like reading a science textbook,” in a way, it is. However, Lipton has to talk about it (and does so using language that most readers will easily understand) in order to get to the topic in Chapter 3: the cell membrane. DNA enthusiasts believe that the true “brain” of each individual cell is the nucleus of that cell. The nucleus contains all genetic material, so this makes sense. But Lipton contends that the cell membrane is the actual “brain” of every living cell. This shift in thinking is foundational in Lipton’s premise: that we have the power to actually change our biology simply by believing that we can.
Lipton’s journey towards understanding the new biology next took him into the world of physics—specifically, quantum physics, or quantum mechanics as it is commonly called. Quantum mechanics has been around since the days of Einstein’s famous equation: E = mc2. Lipton avoided this field of study as much as possible when he was a biology student because “…almost all of my peers avoided it like the plague. Quantum physics was shrouded in mystery—we biology majors were convinced that it was very, very ‘weird’ science. We thought only physics majors, masochists, and outright fools would risk five credits on a course whose premise was, ‘Now you see it, now you don’t’” (95).
Quantum mechanics deals with matter at the sub-atomic level. Remember learning about atoms in school? Quiz question: atoms are made up of what? If you answered protons, electrons, and neutrons, you are correct! If not, most people probably didn’t either. It has probably been a while since you even thought of the word “atom.” Do you remember what protons, electrons, and neutrons actually are? If you said positively, negatively, or neutrally charged particles, you were correct again. If not, well, life goes on. The point is this: atoms are simply small bits of energy, and everything in our universe is made up of atoms. So, at the atomic level, human beings, along with everything else, is composed of energy.
Yes, energy. “Einstein revealed that we do not live in a universe with discrete, physical objects separated by dead space. The Universe is one indivisible, dynamic whole in which energy and matter are so deeply entangled it is impossible to consider them as independent elements” (102). Lipton argues that the current medical educational system and profession is “…trained to view the body only as a physical machine that operates in accordance with Newtonian principles…However, because of their Newtonian, materialistic bias, conventional researchers have completely ignored the role that energy plays in health and disease” (102). Because our biology is based on energy at the atomic level, human beings have the power to manipulate their biology for their own good by learning to manipulate that energy. Case in point: the placebo effect.
In order to avoid giving away the rest of the story, I will conclude my review here. While it is true that Lipton’s arguments would be “easier to believe” had his findings and conclusions been published in a medical or scientific journal, he uses recent, documented scientific research to back up his claims and conclusions. Overall, Lipton proved his point and piqued my curiosity. The book is well written and follows a thought process that is easy to follow. Oh, and another thing, you do not need to brush up on physics or cell biology to get through this book.
I would suggest this book to anyone, whether you are a skeptic or a believer in alternative healing methods. In a world that requires major medical innovations, alternative healing methods may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Dr. Bruce Lipton may, by the final page, make you a believer.
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