The Christian Transhumanist Podcast

Explore Christianity and Transhumanism, diving deep into the relationship between religion, technology, and the future of the human race—with provocative guests from the leading edges of science and theology.

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Ep 19: Frank Tipler & The End of the Universe


What does physics say about the ultimate future? Professor Tipler explains the Omega Point Theory, how life can exist all the way to the end of time, and what Christianity has to say about all of this.

Frank Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, a professor of Mathematics & Physics at Tulane University, and the author of The Physics of Immortality & The Physics of Christianity.

  • A photo of Micah and Frank Tipler
  • New! Micah's explanation of the Omega Point Theory
  • Tipler's books: The Physics of Immortality (start here), The Physics of Christianity, and The Anthropic Cosmological Principle with John Barrow
  • Theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg defends the Omega Point Theory
  • Physicist David Deutsch defends the Omega Point Theory in The Fabric of Reality
  • Tipler's field: Global general relativity, a field founded by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose
  • Freeman Dyson on the possibility of life continuing forever in the universe
  • John Wheeler
  • Is the universe open or closed? What does that mean?
  • Teilhard de Chardin and the Omega Point. Micah's article on Teilhard for Motherboard: The priest who believed in God and the Singularity
  • Key distinction: The Technological Singularity, which we frequently discuss on this podcast, is a hypothetical point in the next few decades, where computer processing power exceeds the processing power of the human brain. The Ultimate Singularity discussed by Tipler is a point where the values in physics go to infinity, such as hypothetically might appear in the center of a black hole, or at the beginning of the Big Bang, or (in Tipler's cosmology) at the ultimate end of the universe.
  • How will the universe end? Some people's thoughts
  • Tipler's paraphrase of Romans 8:31: "If the Laws of Physics be for us, who can be against us?"
  • Extremophiles: organisms that live in hot springs, as an example of how life could adapt to conditions near the ultimate end of the universe
  • Our (current) brains run out of storage space in about 1000 years
  • Therefore, we need a change of substrate in order to live forever
  • 1 Corinthians 15 discusses the future "spiritual body", which Tipler suggests is an informational body, i.e., a human upload
  • Heaven & hell in the distant future. Hell is the persistent and permanent rejection of life. Dorothy Sayers, hell is closed from the inside.
  • Exodus 3:14 — "I will be what I will be" — God names himself after the ultimate future
  • In Tipler's cosmology 3 singularities (points of infinite density) encompass the beginning, middle, and end of all possible universes.
  • Wolfhart Pannenberg on miracles. Miracles are "wonders", executed by God through the laws of physics God decreed. There are not violations of the laws of physics (i.e., God's decrees).
  • John 3:16 reveals the Christian understanding that God decrees things, and absolutely abides by them.
  • Exodus 14:21 — the parting of the Red Sea happened with a great wind. The Bible does not see a contradiction between a miracle and the laws of physics.
  • The whole universe is tied together by love
  • Peter Abelard on God maximizing universes to maximize love
  • The book The Great Chain of Being, by Arthur Lovejoy, is the definitive take on this idea. Here's a great drawing of the Great Chain of Being, circa 1579.
  • Moral law and physical law are ultimately joined.
  • The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are ultimately one.

Ep 19: Frank Tipler & The End of the Universe
Micah Redding
2016-06-03 13:01:00