If Big Crunch = True, then Reincarnation = True?

  • Thread starter SeventhSigma
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In summary: Quantum information is a newer concept that refers to the ability of matter to store and process information. Classic information is the kind of information that we are familiar with, like the information that is stored in our memories. Quantum information, on the other hand, refers to the ability of matter to store and process quantum information. This type of information is still very new and scientists are still trying to understand how it works.
  • #1
SeventhSigma
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Assumptions:
1. Time has no beginning -- Big Bangs and Big Crunches follow each other infinitely
2. Each time it occurs, there is a different initial configuration of the universe in terms of its matter placement

If this is true, then is reincarnation, by definition, inevitable? The atoms of my body have existed for at least 13.7 billion years, and yet I felt nothing because I hadn't been born yet. But that's an awfully long time to wait just for the chance to assemble into a sentient lifeform.

At any rate, those long periods of nonexistence feel like nothing to the nonexistent (just ask patients who wake up from year-long comas). Would it then be true that if we die, there is a chance we may not be dead forever? If the Big Crunch occurs, followed by yet another Big Bang, eventually -- after some arbitrary number of Bangs/Crunches, we will assemble again as some other sentient lifeform. It may not be the same lifeform, but a lifeform nevertheless.

But, taking it even further, if this is indeed an infinite process, then it implies that eventually we will live out our lives at some point again in the future (even if it's slightly different/arbitrarily close to this current life).

What do you guys think of this?
 
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  • #2
I think this should be in the Philosophy section.
 
  • #3
Not cosmology.
 
  • #4
Sorry if this was in the wrong forum.

When I think Big Bang/etc, I think cosmology, and henceforth I posted it here. But if speculations/hypothetical questions/etc do not belong, then I apologize.
 
  • #5
The Big Bang is in direct accordance with Cosmology the questions on life and it's nature aren't.
 
  • #6
SeventhSigma said:
If this is true, then is reincarnation, by definition, inevitable?
Uh, what? Certainly not. Reincarnation is a claim that we have some sort of supernatural soul (or life essence) that survives our death and is reborn in some other living organism down the line. A cyclical universe says nothing whatsoever about a soul or life essence (though there are other reasons to believe these things don't exist).

But if you want the atoms and molecules that make up your current body to be reassembled into some other life form, you don't need to invoke any sort of exotic theories. That sort of recycling is done all the time right here on Earth. It doesn't mean much, though, because we are not the atoms and molecules that make us up (in fact, the specific atoms and molecules that make us up are replaced all the time!).

We are instead a specific configuration of those atoms and molecules. The concept is similar to a sand castle: a sand castle is an object made of sand. It is in itself not the sand that makes it up, and when the sand castle is destroyed the castle itself didn't go anywhere. The sand castle is not still sitting there on the beach. It just ceased to be, because the sand castle is a configuration of the sand, just as we are a particular configuration of matter.
 
  • #7
There is essence, but it is essence of everything, not just living things. It is called information. The information is not lost, it is only transformed. Information itself is not sentient, so no ghost and other spooky things become of it. I have no idea if this information will survive a Big Crunch, if such thing happens. The laws of physics may change at this moment and the information may be lost. Anyway currently no one expects Big Crunch. It's very hard to imagine such thing with expanding universe.
 
  • #8
Upisoft said:
There is essence, but it is essence of everything, not just living things. It is called information. The information is not lost, it is only transformed. Information itself is not sentient, so no ghost and other spooky things become of it. I have no idea if this information will survive a Big Crunch, if such thing happens. The laws of physics may change at this moment and the information may be lost. Anyway currently no one expects Big Crunch. It's very hard to imagine such thing with expanding universe.
Of course information is lost. Information is stored in the specific configuration of matter. When an organism dies, that information is degraded and lost. This can be linked back to the inexorable increase in entropy: information comes from ordered configurations of matter, while increasing entropy tends to jumble up ordered configurations.
 
  • #9
Chalnoth said:
Of course information is lost. Information is stored in the specific configuration of matter. When an organism dies, that information is degraded and lost. This can be linked back to the inexorable increase in entropy: information comes from ordered configurations of matter, while increasing entropy tends to jumble up ordered configurations.
You talk about classic information, I talk about quantum information, i.e. the quantum state of the particles.
 
  • #10
Upisoft said:
You talk about classic information, I talk about quantum information, i.e. the quantum state of the particles.
That's effectively lost too, through decoherence. But what's more, it can't be meaningfully connected to the superstitious concept of reincarnation.
 
  • #11
Chalnoth said:
That's effectively lost too, through decoherence. But what's more, it can't be meaningfully connected to the superstitious concept of reincarnation.
Are you sure that any quantum system can experience decoherence by itself, i.e. without interacting with another quantum system?
 
  • #12
SeventhSigma, call it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_return" instead of reincarnation, and you have a point.
 
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  • #13
Upisoft said:
Are you sure that any quantum system can experience decoherence by itself, i.e. without interacting with another quantum system?
Any sufficiently complicated quantum system will experience decoherence. You can't get far beyond the particle-in-a-box thought experiment before decoherence starts to occur, in fact.

Life is far beyond the regime where decoherence starts to occur, due to the requirement of having sufficient complexity for imperfect self-replication.
 
  • #14
The 'big crunch' also appears to destroy information from its predecessor universe. So. while we may all be doomed to repeat our lives over and over and over again, clueless, the theory appears to be irrelevant.
 
  • #15
Chalnoth said:
Any sufficiently complicated quantum system will experience decoherence. You can't get far beyond the particle-in-a-box thought experiment before decoherence starts to occur, in fact.

Life is far beyond the regime where decoherence starts to occur, due to the requirement of having sufficient complexity for imperfect self-replication.
I was under impression that total wave-function of the system + environment is unchanged. Sorry, if I'm wrong. May I have an example, I couldn't find any.
 
  • #16
Upisoft said:
I was under impression that total wave-function of the system + environment is unchanged. Sorry, if I'm wrong. May I have an example, I couldn't find any.
Of course the wave function changes. The point of decoherence is that certain components of the quantum wave function become unable to interact with one another to any noticeable degree. That is to say, once the system becomes complex enough, there are components of the system that behave as if they are the only components of the wave function in existence. From the point of view of an observer within the quantum mechanical system (such as us), information about other components of the wave function is lost to the environment.
 
  • #17
Chalnoth said:
Of course the wave function changes. The point of decoherence is that certain components of the quantum wave function become unable to interact with one another to any noticeable degree. That is to say, once the system becomes complex enough, there are components of the system that behave as if they are the only components of the wave function in existence. From the point of view of an observer within the quantum mechanical system (such as us), information about other components of the wave function is lost to the environment.
Again I was not talking about the wave-function of the system, I was talking about the total wave-function of the system + the environment. Does it change? I'm aware that if a quantum system interacts it changes. The system and the environment are both quantum systems, so when they interact they both change. what does not change is their total wave-function. Or so i thought was true. Any counterexample?
 
  • #18
Upisoft said:
Again I was not talking about the wave-function of the system, I was talking about the total wave-function of the system + the environment. Does it change? I'm aware that if a quantum system interacts it changes. The system and the environment are both quantum systems, so when they interact they both change. what does not change is their total wave-function. Or so i thought was true. Any counterexample?
If the total wave function didn't change, nothing would change.

But perhaps what you mean to say is that the information content of the total wave function doesn't change? In a way, sure. The dynamics of the wave function in quantum mechanics are unitary, which is to say that if you know perfectly the wave function at any given time, you can, in principle, calculate the wave function at any other time.

Comparing this concept to reincarnation, however, just makes zero sense.
 
  • #19
Chalnoth said:
If the total wave function didn't change, nothing would change.

But perhaps what you mean to say is that the information content of the total wave function doesn't change? In a way, sure. The dynamics of the wave function in quantum mechanics are unitary, which is to say that if you know perfectly the wave function at any given time, you can, in principle, calculate the wave function at any other time.

Comparing this concept to reincarnation, however, just makes zero sense.

I would agree on that. Unless a hypothetical K dimensional entity in a hypothetical N dimensional space that happens to contain our universe just happens to be at the right place to sort things up. But that is too hypothetical and can only be taken seriously by a religious fanatic or a fiction novelist... well, and maybe few other people.
 

Related to If Big Crunch = True, then Reincarnation = True?

1. What is the Big Crunch theory?

The Big Crunch theory is a cosmological model that suggests the universe will eventually stop expanding and begin to contract, ultimately collapsing in on itself. This is in contrast to the more widely accepted theory of the universe's continued expansion.

2. How does the Big Crunch theory relate to reincarnation?

If the Big Crunch theory is true, it would suggest that the universe is cyclic, meaning it goes through repeated cycles of expansion and contraction. This could potentially provide a framework for the concept of reincarnation, where one's consciousness or soul is reborn into a new body in each cycle.

3. Is there scientific evidence for the Big Crunch theory?

At this time, there is no solid evidence to support the Big Crunch theory. It is based on mathematical models and theoretical physics, but has not been observed or proven through scientific experiments.

4. Is there any other evidence that supports the idea of reincarnation?

There is currently no scientific evidence for reincarnation. However, some anecdotal accounts and religious or spiritual beliefs may suggest the possibility of reincarnation. It is not a scientifically proven concept.

5. What are the implications if the Big Crunch theory and reincarnation are both true?

If both the Big Crunch theory and reincarnation are true, it would suggest that the universe and our existence are part of a larger, cyclical pattern. It may also raise questions about the nature of consciousness and the afterlife. However, without scientific evidence to support these theories, their implications remain speculative.

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