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Frank Jennings Tipler III (born February 1, 1947 in Andalusia, Alabamamarker) is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane Universitymarker.


Tipler is the son of Frank Jennings Tipler Jr., a lawyer, and Anne Tipler, a homemaker. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1969 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker (attending from 1965-1969). In 1976, Tipler obtained his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Parkmarker in the field of global general relativity for his proof that if a time machine could be created its use would necessarily result in the formation of singularities, using the techniques of Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose.

Source: Tipler went on to be hired as a postdoctoral researcher by physicists John A. Wheeler, Abraham Taub, Rainer Sachs and Dennis Sciama. He eventually became a professor of mathematical physics in 1981 at Tulane University, where he has taught since.

Academic work

The Omega Point

In his controversial 1994 book The Physics of Immortality, Tipler claims to provide a mechanism for immortality and the resurrection of the dead consistent with the known laws of physics, provided by a computer intelligence he terms the Omega Point and which he identifies with God. The line of argument is that the evolution of intelligent species will enable scientific progress to grow exponentially, eventually enabling control over the universe even on the largest possible scale. Tipler predicts that this process will culminate with an all-powerful intelligence whose computing speed and information storage will grow exponentially at a rate exceeding the collapse of the universe, thus providing infinite "experiential time" which will be used to run computer simulations of all intelligent life that has ever lived in the history of our universe. This virtual reality emulation is what Tipler means by "the resurrection of the dead." In more recent works, Tipler says that the existence of the Omega Point is required to avoid the violation of the known laws of physics.

According to George Ellis's review of Tipler's book in the journal Nature, Tipler's book on the Omega Point is "a masterpiece of pseudoscience ... the product of a fertile and creative imagination unhampered by the normal constraints of scientific and philosophical discipline", and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating flaws in Tipler's thesis. On the other hand, David Deutsch (who pioneered the field of quantum computers), endorses Tipler's physics of the Omega Point as being correct. However, while in his 1997 book The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch incorporates the concept of Tipler's Omega Point as a central feature of the fourth strand of his "four strands" Theory of Everything, he doesn't therein support Tipler's identification of the Omega Point with God. However, Deutsch does agree that the society near the Omega Point would have unlimited computational resources available to them (i.e., finite at any given time, with additional resources continuously coming online) and would hence be able to perfectly emulate any environment, including the ability to resurrect life.

His 1986 book, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (with John D. Barrow) reviews the intellectual history of teleology, the large number of physical coincidences which allow sapient life to exist (see anthropic principle), and then investigates the ultimate fate of the universe. This was the first book to describe the Omega Point Theory.

Tipler's 2007 book The Physics of Christianity analyzes the Omega Point Theory's pertinence to Christian theology. In the book, Tipler identifies the Omega Point as being the Judeo-Christian God, particularly as described by Christian theological tradition. In this book Tipler also analyzes how Jesus Christ could have performed the miracles attributed to him in the New Testament without violating any known laws of physics, even if one were to assume that we currently don't exist on a level of implementation in a computer simulation (in the case that we did, then according to Tipler such miracles would be trivially easy to perform for the society which was running the simulation, even though it would seem amazing from our perspective).

Tipler's writings on scientific peer review have been cited by William A. Dembski as forming the basis of the process for review in the intelligent design journal Progress in Complexity, Information and Design of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, where both Tipler and Dembski serve as fellows.

The quantum gravity Theory of Everything (TOE)

In his 2005 paper in the journal Reports on Progress in Physics, Tipler maintains that the correct quantum gravity theory has existed since 1962, first discovered by Richard Feynman in that year, and independently discovered by Steven Weinberg and Bryce DeWitt, among others. But, according to Tipler, because these physicists were looking for equations with a finite number of terms (i.e., derivatives no higher than second order), they abandoned this qualitatively unique quantum gravity theory since in order for it to be consistent it requires an arbitrarily higher number of terms. Tipler writes "They also did not realize that the correct quantum gravity theory is consistent only if a certain set of boundary conditions are imposed ...", which includes the initial Big Bang, and the final Omega Point, cosmological singularities. Tipler says that the equations for this theory of quantum gravity are term-by-term finite, but the same mechanism that forces each term in the series to be finite also forces the entire series to be infinite (i.e., infinities that would otherwise occur in spacetime, consequently destabilizing it, are transferred to the cosmological singularities, thereby preventing the universe from immediately collapsing into nonexistence). Tipler writes that "It is a fundamental mathematical fact that this [infinite series] is the best that we can do. ... This is somewhat analogous to Liouville's theorem in complex analysis, which says that all analytic functions other than constants have singularities either a finite distance from the origin of coordinates or at infinity."

In the same aforestated journal article, Tipler combines the above theory of quantum gravity with an extended Standard Model in order to form what he maintains is the correct Theory of Everything (TOE) describing and unifying all the forces in physics.

Out of 50 articles, Tipler's said paper was selected as "[one of] the very best articles published in Reports on Progress in Physics in 2005. Articles were selected [...] for their outstanding reviews of the field. They all received the highest praise from our international referees and a high number of downloads from the journal Website."




See also


External links

* 56 kbs .wmv
* Broadband .wmv
* Broadband .mov
* PowerPoint file of the topics of discussion
* Listen to the interview (.mp3)
* " How Did This Universe Begin? in RealMedia format. See transcript.
* " Will This Universe Ever End? in RealMedia format. See transcript.
* " Will Intelligence Fill the Universe? in RealMedia format. See transcript.

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