Tipler and Uploading

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 22:25:29 -0800 (PST)


On Fri 01 Nov 1996 Damien Broderick <damien@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au> Wrote:

>If I were offered the chance of a lethal injection in
>exchange for the creation of a perfect (or even renovated)
>version of my phenotype, or ten or 100 copies for that
>matter, I would mutter a very rude word and go home.

I agree, preserving my phenotype is not good enough because a few things have
happened to me since the day I was born and I want all that to be preserved

>Frank Tipler's most absurd sophistry in THE PHYSICS OF
>IMMORTALITY is his claim that a perfect atom-for-atom
>emulation of you is continuous with you, hence *is* you,
>even if it's built 100 billion years in the future.
>Oh dear oh dear.

In my opinion that part of Tipler's theory is self evidently true, the
uncertain part for me is if the laws of Physics are such that they allow the
universe to make an infinite, and not just an astronomically large, number of
calculations in a finite amount of time. If the Universe can do that then
everything else will follow naturally, or at least I think so, and to tell
the truth it's a lot more than 100 billion years, resurrection according to
Tipler will happen in 2 * 10^18 years, give or take a few hundred trillion.
I don't see why the length of time is important however, if I'm dead it would
all seem instantaneous to me anyway.

Time will tell if Tipler is absurd or not, but I definitely don't think it's
sophistry because he can in principle be proven false. He makes a bunch of
predictions that we should be able to test 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 universe is closed: I think most would say it's
probably open, Tipler say's they're wrong. We'll see.

* Tipler wrote his book in early 1992 and predicted that the mass of the
Top Quark would be 185 + - 20 GeV: At the time there was a report that it
was at 135 GeV, Tipler said this must be in error and it turned out he was
right. In March 1995 Fermi Lab found the Top Quark at 180 + - 13 GeV.

* Tipler predicts that the Higgs boson must be at 220 + - 20 GeV: If he's
correct then when the CERN Large Hadron Collider goes on line in 1999 it
will find it almost immediately.

* 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 predicts that the Hubble constant must be less than or equal to 45:
30 years ago most thought it was about 200, a year ago most thought it was
85, today people are talking about 55.

* Tipler predicts that at maximum extent just before it starts to contract
the universe must be 70^3 times larger than it is now or larger: This
depends on the density of the universe so we'll have to clear up all the
confusion over "Dark Matter" before we can tell how well he's doing on this

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.

* Tipler predicts that the contraction of the universe will not be symmetrical.

* Tipler predicts that the entire universe is a past light cone: This means
that if you send out a beam of light eventually it will circle the entire
universe and come back and hit you in the back of the head, the time it
takes to this depends on the size of the universe. Tipler says light will
be able to make an infinite number of such trips before the universe
collapses into a singularity.

* Tipler predicts that both density and energy will diverge to infinity
during the big crunch, but the density must not diverge faster than the
cube of the energy.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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