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Physics of Immortality

  1. Sep 3, 2006 #1
    I just read the preface of this book and it sounds pretty interesting, but seeing that it was written in 1994 (I think) I am sure there must be some problems with his claims. Has anyone heard of this book? Would you care to tell me any problems with what it say's?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2006 #2


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    Nutty professor

    Sounds like total garbage to me.

    "Last month, for example, Frank Tipler, a professor of physics at Tulane University, published a book with the fascinating title The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God, and the Resurrection of the Dead (Doubleday, 1994). Normally a sane and sober scientist, Tipler, who is a reviewer for Nature and co-author (with astrophysicist John Barrow) of the respected 1986 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, in this latest work seems to have lost his bearing. Tipler, of course, demurs and insists that his mathematical model of the end of the universe proves irrefutably not only the existence of God but also the fact that every human being who has ever lived will be resurrected from the dead in the far distant future. According to Tipler, there is no other possibility. Then, asked to reduce his "Omega Point" theory to one sentence, Tipler replied: "God, who is a personal being who created the universe out of nothing, exists, loves us, and will one day resurrect us all to live in heaven forever." If this sounds to you more like theology than science then you are in good company. Needless to say, it will come as no surprise to learn that Tipler is also a Roman Catholic as well as a physicist. Most reviewers of Tipler's book claim he is daft and deluded or like a wily fox, out to sell theology in a new way. If you have the stamina, training, expertise, and patience to follow Tipler's arguments point by painful point you may be persuaded that some of his arguments are sound. Nevertheless, you will really need God's wisdom and the help of many of his angels merely to follow Tipler's arguments and conclude that everything that has ever lived will be resurrected as it formerly was.

    http://www.csicop.org/sb/9412/nutty.html [Broken]
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  4. Sep 3, 2006 #3


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    Frank Tipler is, I believe, a great cosmologist, but an even greater embarassment to his colleagues for using his scientific credentials to further his religious views.

    For that matter, Fred Hoyle was also at some time a respected physicist.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2006
  5. Sep 3, 2006 #4


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    You are talking about Paul Tipler - a much more sane physicist. And I like his (Paul's) text on Modern Physics - but that's the only one I'm reasonably familiar with.
  6. Sep 3, 2006 #5
    It seems that it isn't worth the read then. I do a lot of debating against creationists, even though I never heard his name during a debate I just didn't want to have the "huh?" moment.

    His book intrigued me because I saw in there some actual science to back up whatever he said. I just glanced at it really.

    Well thanks for the heads up.
  7. Sep 4, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Okay, it sounds pretty bad, but even the highly biased csicop admits that it's not all bad. Anyway, I heard this guy on NPR recently. I only caught the last few minutes of the interview and was wondering if this was as bad as it sounded. Any time that I hear someone described as bold, courageous, trail-blaizing... the red flag goes up.
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  8. Sep 4, 2006 #7
    - this is not more "weird" than the Hypothesis by Crick (nobel prize winner for discovering DNA) that "DNA came from outer space"... or the myth of "Bible Codes"...I have read the book (3 times) and although i can't judge the accuracy or not..i think that he made several hypothesis about the behavior of Universe, as "proofs" he gave some bounds for "Higgs Boson" or other particle HOwever i don't know if they have been refuted or disproved..since "his" model is just one among all the possible models for the end of Universe...
  9. Sep 4, 2006 #8


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    No, you can't compare Crick's outer space theory with F. Tipler's God theory.

    It is by no means improbable that some organic material may traverse large tracts of the universe by meteorite.

    The main flaws with Crick's idea is that
    a) It is a non-explanation of life (whether life originated here or elsewhere doesn't answer the most important question: HOW can life develop?)
    b) He hasn't got much empirical evidence for it.

    Crick's idea is speculative proto-science, Tipler's idea is mysticism.
  10. Sep 4, 2006 #9
    the only thing wrong with Tipler's ideas is the Judeo X-ian memetic baggage- and he's read too much Aquinas- his physics are fine [as is acknowledged by everyone]

    the only real points I would make are:

    1: "Big Cruch" cosmology is not necissary for an Omega Point computation- ANY universal computer with unlimited time is in principle an omega point-ALL universal quantum computers are Omega Points by definition- and any universal computer or quantum computer at least as powerful as the human brain [ 10^15 bits at 10^16 ops/sec ] is capable of computing any possibble life experience of any possible human or human equivalent consciousness- which is a PRACTICAL Omega Point

    2: instead of Judeo x-ian god/civilization performing ancestral reconstructions- I think it will be bored 'teenager' analogues and silly little meme cults- the resurrected are more likely to end up contracted as patrt of performace art exhibits or grammar-school equivalent social studies projects- not Jahova/Yaweh/Allah and the faithful- if you get ressurected by a religion it will more likely be a fashionable new age cult-slash- pyramid scheme-slash- reality show-
  11. Dec 23, 2006 #10
    I've recently purchased Tipler's physics of immortality book over Amazon and am currently waiting for it. I hope that I do get something from reading it as I haven't seen anything but criticism of it since pressing the "confirm order" button.

    All I want is a good book which will enlighten me about topics such as the Omega Point and Total Creativity, I find such topics very interesting and viable philosophies regarding the existence of complex systems such as life. It seems Tipler has gotten carried away with the whole god concept. I like the hypothetical notion that all existence is working towards greater godlike reach and wisdom, however I don't want to take it literally.

    If anyone can reccomend some good books on The Omega Point and Total creativity then PLEASE let me know.

    I've already discussed my beliefs on this topic in this recently locked thread:
  12. Dec 23, 2006 #11
    ha ha ha ha....

    This reminds me of a lecturer I had whilst studying Genetics at Wollongong University in Australia.

    His name was Ted Steele and he wrote a book called "Lamarck's Signature". It's regarding his research into lamarckian inheritance of immune responses: i.e. antibodies that we produce to fight infection may have been concieved in a previous generation. Steele used this book as a text in his subjects so I bought it: Not that I needed it, I wanted to help the guy out, and it was a pretty good read if only to assist me in understanding DNA translation and protein synthesis.

    Anyway, being lamarckian his theories were quite anti-establishment and I think this went to his head, nothing was more evident of this than a quote in the book describing Ted Steele as the "Bad Boy of Biology", and if you missed it, the book was written by him, Ted Steele himself.

    What a laugh! My friend and I thought of him as "Bad Boy" for the rest of the year.

    He managed to get himself fired from the uni for some reason, it seems he was just too bad for the establishment to handle.

    Here is a link about the book: http://home.wxs.nl/~gkorthof/kortho39.htm
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2006
  13. Dec 23, 2006 #12

    There is two things science, or perhaps physics can never do.
    1) It can not prove the existence of god.
    2) physics cannot tell us anything about the truth( or the final say)

    It is perahaps the only rational reason why the believe in a god is not insaint. It is in the lack of answers that doubt emerges, and religion begin
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2006
  14. Dec 24, 2006 #13
    Of course, let's not forget that one of the great cosmologists, Georges LemaƮtre, was a Jesuit priest and that his "theory of the primeval atom" also supported his Catholic beliefs. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2006
  15. Dec 25, 2006 #14


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    I like this (Freudian?) slip near the end of that article :
    Hehe, that's a good comparison, likening these brains to rapidly rotating pools of goop that suck any intelligent thought into oblivion. :biggrin:
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  16. Dec 25, 2006 #15

    but i guess thats where you miss the point
    the whole concept of religion has been messed with by westerners
    and the word has been screwed up beyond repair
    actually religion in the east or should i say in religions like hinduism and buddhism etc. ave completely different meanings

    whatever you see about hinduism i just the social and ritualistic part of it
    but when you gte into the matter hinduism and buddhism and al arent what they sound like
    the main goal of such "religions" is to find answers to questions such as who we are and what were we and how we became rather than how we should behave and worship the almighty
    that follows
    a serious read of texts by ancient budhist scholars and indian scholars such as Vishishtva dvaita philosophy etc. give details of the formation of universe and of evolution of life and how that ultimately reaches to god
    the definition of god as you reach the finale changes and isnt the same as what you had begun at
    try doing some research on such stuff before you can put forth such opinions
    im currently into doing research on some ancient texts and how they explain the formation of the universe and other theories and i find then very interesting and relevent

    and hence physics can explain god
    but not as you interpret it
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  17. Dec 25, 2006 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    The subject is "The Physics of Immortality". We need to avoid religion and philosophy discussions.
  18. Dec 26, 2006 #17
    so isnt religion and philosophy part of physics
  19. Dec 26, 2006 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    No. Physics has its roots in philosophy, but in the modern context [and in particular in this context] they are worlds apart.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
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