ThePhysics of Immortality

John Clark (
Sun, 23 Aug 1998 15:01:03 -0400

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From: John Clark <> To: <>

Hara Ra <> On Sunday, August 23, 1998

>Would someone briefly summarize Tipler's argument here?

>the local library doesn't carry The Physics of Immortality
>and I don't want to buy the book to find out.

I sent this to the list in March of 1996

I just finished reading Frank Tipler's book "The Physics of immortality" today. I had put off reading it for long time because I didn't think it would be any good, I was wrong it's quite good, but I wish he had spent less time trying to justify existing religious beliefs.

Tipler thinks that the universe will be able to perform an infinite number of calculations between now and the final singularity at the end of the Big Crunch. With this much computer power it would be easy to emulate every human being who ever lived and do it for an infinitely long subjective time. I have never taken the idea of an infinite mind very seriously, and I'm not sure I do yet but one thing I am sure of is that Tipler's critics were being unfair when they labeled it Pseudo Science. His ideas might be completely wrong but they are not silly because it's possible to prove it wrong. Tipler's Omega Point Theory makes a bunch of predictions, practical predictions that should be able to be tested for in the next 4 or 5 years. Tipler himself states that every one of these predictions must turn out to be correct or the entire theory is dead in the water.

*Tipler predicts that the temperature fluctuations of the cosmic background black body radiation must be less than 6 * 10^-5: This prediction looks good, the observed value is around 5 * 10^-6.

Tipler makes some other predictions that he doesn't know how to test for but there is no reason to think that it would be impossible
for anyone to figure out a way.

I was really surprised that this outrageous philosophical theory was a Scientific theory too and could have so many testable consequences.

John K Clark

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