Re: SciAm article "Fate of Life in the Universe"
Tue, 19 Oct 1999 15:55:04 -0700

Robin Hanson, <>, writes:
> The 11/99 Scientific American has an article on "The Fate
> of Life in the Universe", by L. Krauss and G. Starkman.
> Abstract: "Billions of years ago the universe was too hot for
> life to exist. Countless eons hence, it will become so cold
> and emplty that life, no matter how ingenious, will perish."
> They cite their preprint:

Lawrence Krauss BTW is the author of the best seller, The Physics of Star Trek.

I missed the SciAm article, but in looking at their preprint it is curious that they don't mention Frank Tipler. Much of their effort seems to be in contradicting Dyson's claim that life could expand forever in an expanding universe, but Tipler already did that in his Physics of Immortality. I can't really judge the merits of the two works, though, the physics is mostly over my head.

They also mention that perhaps wormholes and basement universes could offer life some new avenues of escape, but Tipler claims to have closed those off as well.

Their abstract and some of the statements in their paper can be read to suggest that they are claiming life is ultimately limited in all universe geometries, but I exchanged email with Krauss and he clarified that they are only talking about permanently-expanding universes.

Krauss said that he was "generally aware" of Tipler's work, but he was skeptical of Tipler's idea that a Big Crunch could provide an infinite amount of computation in a finite time.