Nobody ever accused Frank Tipler of not thinking big. Tipler, professor of physics and mathematics at Tulane University, is known for, in 1974, inventing a time machine based upon general relativity, arguing in 1980 that “Extraterrestrial Intelligent Beings Do Not Exist” [PDF], developing a cosmological model in The Physics of Immortality (1994) in which intelligent life must survive forever to achieve the teleological purpose of the universe, and in 2007’s The Physics of Christianity declaring a research goal to “make Christianity a branch of physics”.
He begins this talk at the Interstellar Research Group meeting in Montréal on 2023-07-10 stating that, as a cosmologist, “anything smaller than a galaxy is really too small to really notice”—so, thinking big. He then argues that the physical theories we presently have in hand: general relativity, quantum mechanics, and the standard model of particle physics, if taken to their logical limits (and nobody does taking things to logical limits better than Frank Tipler), explain most of the apparent mysteries of the origin and ultimate fate of the universe: the asymmetry between matter and antimatter, the low entropy of the early universe, the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and the ability of ultra high energy cosmic rays to propagate over intergalactic distances without scattering by the cosmic microwave background radiation.
His model predicts an energy spectrum of the cosmic background radiation that differs from the standard model of cosmology and presents here, for the first time, experimental results which appear to support his theory of its origin in the early universe.
The same processes that he argues existed in the early universe can provide the descendants of humans (who he believes are the only potentially spacefaring species in the universe) the means to spread the spark of life and intelligence throughout the cosmos. Indeed, the future of the universe cannot be predicted without taking into account their intervention in achieving its destiny: to preserve the unitarity which is a foundation of quantum mechanics, this Godlike future life must halt the accelerated expansion of the universe and reverse it into a cosmic collapse to an Omega Point singularity, allowing infinite subjective time, information processing, and acquisition of knowledge before the final singularity.
How will our distant descendants steer the cosmos toward its destiny? Tipler says “That’s why I’m talking to a room full of engineers. I’m telling you what physics allows; you figure out how to do it.” So, fine, he says, keep plugging away at colonising Mars, building space habitats for trillions of people, developing super-intelligent self-reproducing machines, and launching probes to nearby stars, but don’t forget where it all ultimately is leading.
In my 1995 science fiction story, “Einstein, Heisenberg, and Tipler”, I took note of the risks of annoying the Old One by intruding upon His prerogatives.