Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frank J. Tipler

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Frank Jennings Tipler
BornFebruary 1, 1947 (age 64)
Andalusia, Alabama
EducationPhD (Physics)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Maryland, College Park
OccupationMathematical physicist
EmployerTulane University
Known forOmega Point Theory
The Physics of Immortality
Frank Jennings Tipler (born February 1, 1947 inAndalusia, Alabama[1]) is a mathematical physicist andcosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.[2] Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. It has been labeled aspseudoscience.[3] Tipler is a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society advocating intelligent design.[4]




Tipler is the son of Frank Jennings Tipler Jr., a lawyer, and Anne Tipler, a homemaker.[1] From 1965 through 1969, Tipler attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he completed abachelor of science degree in physics.[2] In 1976 he earned his doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Maryland.[5] Tipler was next hired in a series of postdoctoral researcherpositions in physics at three universities, with the final one being at the University of Texas, working under John Archibald WheelerAbraham TaubRainer Sachs, and Dennis Sciama.[2] Tipler became an Associate Professor in mathematical physics in 1981, and a full Professor in 1987 at Tulane University, where he has been a faculty member ever since.[2]

[edit]Work in physics

[edit]The Omega Point cosmology

The Omega Point is a term Tipler uses to describe a cosmological state in the distant proper timefuture of the universe that he maintains is required by the known physical laws. According to Tipler's Omega Point cosmology, for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent it is required that intelligent life take over all matter in the universe and eventually force the collapse of the universe. During that collapse the computational capacity of the universe diverges to infinity and environmentsemulated with that computational capacity last for infinite duration as the universe goes into a solitary-point cosmological singularity (with life eventually using elementary particles to directly compute on, due to the temperature's diverging to infinity), which singularity Tipler terms the Omega Point.[6] With computational resources diverging to infinity, Tipler states that the far-future society will be able to resurrect the dead by perfectly emulating the entire multiverse from its start at the Big Bang.[7] Tipler identifies the Omega Point final singularity as God since in his view the Omega Point has all the properties claimed for God by most of the traditional religions.[7][8]
Tipler's argument that the Omega Point cosmology is required by the known physical laws is a more recent development that came after the publication of his 1994 book The Physics of Immortality.[citation needed] In that book, and in papers Tipler published up to that time, he had offered the Omega Point cosmology as a hypothesis, while still claiming to confine the analysis to the known laws of physics.[9]
Tipler defined the "final anthropic principle" (FAP) along with co-author physicist John D. Barrow in their highly cited 1986 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle as a generalization of theanthropic principle[10] as follows:
Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and, once it comes into existence, will never die out.
Critics of the final anthropic principle say its arguments violate the Copernican principle, that it incorrectly applies the laws of probability, and that it is really a theology or metaphysics principle made to sound plausible to laypeople by using the esoteric language of physics. Martin Gardnerdubbed FAP the "completely ridiculous anthropic principle" (CRAP).[11] Oxford-based philosopherNick Bostrom writes that the final anthropic principle has no claim on any special methodological status, it is "pure speculation", despite attempts to elevate it by calling it a "principle".[12]Philosopher Rem B. Edwards called it "futuristic, pseudoscientific eschatology" that is "highly conjectural, unverified, and improbable".[13]
Physicist David Deutsch incorporates Tipler's Omega Point cosmology as a central feature of the fourth strand of his "four strands" concept of fundamental reality and defends the physics of the Omega Point cosmology,[14] although he is highly critical of Tipler's theological conclusions[15] and what Deutsch states are exaggerated claims that have caused other scientists and philosophers to reject his theory out of hand.[16] Researcher Anders Sandberg pointed out that he believes the Omega Point Theory has many flaws, including missing proofs.[17]
Tipler's Omega Point theories have received criticism by physicists and skeptics.[18][19][20] George Ellis, writing in the journal Nature, described Tipler's book on the Omega Point as "a masterpiece of pseudoscience ... the product of a fertile and creative imagination unhampered by the normal constraints of scientific and philosophical discipline",[3] and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter ofWhy People Believe Weird Things to enumerating what he thought to be flaws in Tipler's thesis.[21]Physicist Sean M. Carroll thought Tipler's early work was constructive but that now he has become a "crackpot".[22]

[edit]Quantum gravity and the theory of everything

In a Reports on Progress in Physics paper included in the journal's "Highlights of 2005",[23] Tipler combines the Omega Point, a version of quantum gravity, and an extended Standard Model ofsubatomic particles to form what he maintains is the correct theory of everything describing and unifying all the fundamental interactions in physics.[24]

[edit]Intelligent design

Tipler's writings on scientific peer review[25] have been cited by William A. Dembski as having formed the basis of the process for "peer 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 served as fellows.[4]

[edit]Selected writings



[edit]See also


  1. a b Terrie M. Rooney (editor) (1997).Contemporary Authors157. Farmington Hills (MI): Thomson Gale. p. 407.ISBN 0787611832.
  2. a b c d Frank J. Tipler (2007). "Biography".Frank J. Tipler's Tulane University website.
  3. a b George Ellis (1994). "Review of The Physics of Immortality"Nature 371(6493): 115. Bibcode1994Natur.371..115E.doi:10.1038/371115a0.
  4. a b "ISCID Fellows"International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  5. ^ Frank J. Tipler (1976). Causality Violation in General Relativity (PhD thesis). University of Maryland. Bibcode 1976PhDT........61T.
       Source: Dissertation Abstracts International37. p. B2923.
  6. ^ Frank J. Tipler, Jessica Graber, Matthew McGinley, Joshua Nichols-Barrer and Christopher Staecker, "Closed Universes With Black Holes But No Event Horizons As a Solution to the Black Hole Information Problem", March 20, 2000. Published inMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 379, Issue 2 (August 2007), pp. 629-640, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11895.x,Bibcode2007MNRAS.379..629T.
  7. a b Frank J. Tipler, "The Omega Point asEschaton: Answers to Pannenberg's Questions for Scientists", Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, Vol. 24, Issue 2 (June 1989), pp. 217-253, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9744.1989.tb01112.x.
  8. ^ Frank J. Tipler (1997). The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. New York: Doubleday. pp. 560. ISBN 0385467982.
  9. ^ Frank J. Tipler, "Cosmological Limits on Computation"International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 25, No. 6 (June 1986), pp. 617-661,doi:10.1007/BF00670475,Bibcode1986IJTP...25..617T. (First paper on the Omega Point Theory.)
  10. ^ Barrow, John D.Tipler, Frank J. (19 May 1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. foreword by John A. Wheeler. Oxford: Oxford University Press.ISBN 9780192821478LC 87-28148. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  11. ^ Gardner, M., "WAP, SAP, PAP, and FAP,"The New York Review of Books 23, No. 8 (May 8, 1986): 22-25.
  12. ^ Bostrom, Nick (2002). Anthropic bias: observation selection effects in science and philosophy. Psychology Press. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Edwards, Rem Blanchard (2001). What caused the big bang?. Rodopi. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  14. ^ David Deutsch (1997). "The Ends of the Universe". The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes—and Its Implications. London: Penguin PressISBN 0713990619.
  15. ^ Mackey, James Patrick (2000). The critique of theological reason. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521772938.
  16. ^ Shermer, Michael (2003). How we believe: science, skepticism, and the search for God. Macmillan. ISBN 9780805074796.
  17. ^ Anders Sandberg, "My Thoughts and Comments on the Omega Point Theory of Frank J. Tipler"
  18. ^ Gardner, Martin (March / April 2008). "The Strange Case of Frank Jennings Tipler".Book Review, "The Physics of Christianity". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  19. ^ John Polkinghorne (1995). "I am the Alpha and the Omega Point"New Scientist(1963): 41.
  20. ^ Richard G. Baker (1995). "Fossils Worth Studying"Science 267 (5200): 1043–1044. Bibcode 1995Sci...267.1043E.doi:10.1126/science.267.5200.1043.PMID 17811443.
  21. ^ Shermer, Michael (1997). Why People Believe Weird Things. W.H. Freeman.ISBN 0-7167-3090-1.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Richard Palmer, Publisher, "Highlights of 2005"Reports on Progress in Physics;original URL, now dead.
  24. ^ F. J. Tipler, "The structure of the world from pure numbers"Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 897-964, doi:10.1088/0034-4885/68/4/R04,Bibcode2005RPPh...68..897T.
  25. ^ Frank J. Tipler (2003). "Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?". Retrieved 2011-03-14.

[edit]External links

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