Frank J. Tipler

Frank Jennings Tipler (born February 1, 1947) is an American mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.[2] Tipler has written books and papers on the Omega Point based on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's religious ideas, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. He is also known for his theories on the Tipler cylinder time machine. George Ellis has argued that his theories are largely pseudoscience.[3]

Frank Jennings Tipler
BornFebruary 1, 1947 (age 72)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
University of Maryland, College Park (PhD)
OccupationMathematical physicist
EmployerTulane University
Known forOmega Point Theory


Tipler was born in Andalusia, Alabama, to 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 a bachelor of science degree in physics.[2] In 1976 he completed his PhD with the University of Maryland.[4][5] Tipler was next hired in a series of postdoctoral researcher positions in physics at three universities, with the final one being at the University of Texas, working under John Archibald Wheeler, Abraham Taub, Rainer K. Sachs, and Dennis W. 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]

The Omega Point cosmology

The Omega Point is a term Tipler uses to describe a cosmological state in the distant proper-time future of the universe that he maintains is required by the known physical laws. According to this cosmology, it is required for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent that intelligent life take over all matter in the universe and eventually force its collapse. During that collapse, the computational capacity of the universe diverges to infinity and environments emulated with that computational capacity last for an infinite duration as the universe attains a solitary-point cosmological singularity. This singularity is Tipler's Omega Point.[6] With computational resources diverging to infinity, Tipler states that a society far in the future would be able to resurrect the dead by emulating all alternative universes of our universe from its start at the Big Bang.[7] Tipler identifies the Omega Point with God, since, in his view, the Omega Point has all the properties of God, claimed 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 arose after the publication of his 1994 book The Physics of Immortality. In that book (and in papers he had published up to that time), Tipler 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 1986 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle as a generalization of the anthropic principle thus:

Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and, once it comes into existence, will never die out.[10]

One paraphrasing of Tipler's argument for FAP runs as follows. For the universe to logically exist, it must contain observers; otherwise it would be logically meaningless to state whether the universe does or doesn't exist. Our universe obviously exists. If the last observer in our universe died and there were no more observers, then the universe would no longer exist. It is inconsistent with the laws of physics for the universe to stop existing; therefore, there must be an "Omega Point" that sustains life forever.[11]


Tipler's Omega Point ideas have received vigorous criticism by physicists and skeptics.[12][13][14] Some critics 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 Gardner dubbed the Final Anthropic Principle, (FAP), the "completely ridiculous anthropic principle" (CRAP).[15] Oxford-based philosopher Nick Bostrom writes that the final anthropic principle is "pure speculation" with no claim on any special methodological status, despite attempts to elevate it by calling it a "principle", but considers the Omega Point hypothesis to be an interesting philosophical hypothesis in its own right.[16] Philosopher Rem B. Edwards called it "futuristic, pseudoscientific eschatology" that is "highly conjectural, unverified, and improbable".[17] A review in the New York Times described Tipler's "final anthropic principle" argument as "rather circular".[11]

Physicist David Deutsch defends the physics of the Omega Point cosmology, and incorporates it as a central feature of the fourth strand of his "four strands" concept of fundamental reality;[18] although he is highly critical of Tipler's theological conclusions[19] and what Deutsch states are exaggerated claims that have caused other scientists and philosophers to reject his theory out of hand. While much of the physics in Tipler's Omega Point work is correct, scientists resoundingly reject Tipler's claim that the laws of physics require a conscious observer in the future light-cone of every spacetime point. Scholars are also skeptical of Tipler's argument that if an immortal entity with advanced technology exists in the future, such a being would necessarily resemble the Judeo-Christian God.[20] Researcher Anders Sandberg pointed out that he believes the Omega Point Theory has many flaws, including missing proofs.[21]

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",[22] and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating what he thought to be flaws in Tipler's thesis.[23] Physicist Sean M. Carroll thought Tipler's early work was constructive but that now he has become a "crackpot".[24] In a review of Tipler's The Physics of Christianity, Lawrence Krauss described the book as the most "extreme example of uncritical and unsubstantiated arguments put into print by an intelligent professional scientist".[25]

Selected writings


  • Tipler, Frank J; John D. Barrow (1986). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-851949-2.
  • ——— (1994). The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-19-851949-2.
  • ——— (2007). The Physics of Christianity. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-51424-8.


See also


  1. ^ a b Rooney, Terrie M, ed. (1997). Contemporary Authors. 157. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-7876-1183-5.
  2. ^ a b c d Tipler, Frank J (2007). "Biography". Tulane University.
  3. ^ Ellis, George Francis Rayner (1994). "Piety in the Sky" (PDF). Nature. 371 (6493): 115. Bibcode:1994Natur.371..115E. doi:10.1038/371115a0.
  4. ^ Tipler 1976.
  5. ^ "Dissertation Abstracts International". 37 (6): B2923.
  6. ^ Tipler et al. 2007.
  7. ^ a b Tipler 1989.
  8. ^ Tipler 1997, p. 560
  9. ^ Tipler, Frank J (June 1986), "Cosmological Limits on Computation", International Journal of Theoretical Physics, 25 (6): 617–61, Bibcode:1986IJTP...25..617T, doi:10.1007/BF00670475 (first paper on the Omega Point Theory).
  10. ^ Barrow, John D.; Tipler, Frank J. (1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-282147-8. LCCN 87028148.
  11. ^ a b Johnson, George (1994). "The Odds on God". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Polkinghorne, John (1995). "I am the Alpha and the Omega Point". New Scientist (1963): 41.
  14. ^ Baker, Richard G (1995). "Fossils Worth Studying" (PDF). Science. 267 (5200): 1043–44. Bibcode:1995Sci...267.1043E. doi:10.1126/science.267.5200.1043. PMID 17811443.
  15. ^ Gardner, M., "WAP, SAP, PAP, and FAP," The New York Review of Books 23, No. 8 (May 8, 1986): 22–25.
  16. ^ Bostrom, Nick (2002). Anthropic bias: observation selection effects in science and philosophy. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-93858-7. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Edwards, Rem Blanchard (2001). What caused the big bang?. Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-1407-7. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  18. ^ Deutsch, David (1997). "The Ends of the Universe". The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes—and Its Implications. London: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0-7139-9061-4.
  19. ^ Mackey, James Patrick (2000). The critique of theological reason. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-77293-8.
  20. ^ Shermer, Michael (2003). How we believe: science, skepticism, and the search for God. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-8050-7479-6.
  21. ^ Sandberg, Anders, My Thoughts and Comments on the Omega Point Theory of Frank J. Tipler, SE: Aleph.
  22. ^ Ellis, George (1994). "Review of The Physics of Immortality" (PDF). Nature. 371 (6493): 115. Bibcode:1994Natur.371..115E. doi:10.1038/371115a0.
  23. ^ Shermer, Michael (1997). Why People Believe Weird Things. W.H. Freeman. ISBN 978-0-7167-3090-3.
  24. ^ Carroll, Sean (Jan 5, 2009), "The Varieties of Crackpot Experience", Cosmic Variance (blog), Discover Magazine.
  25. ^ Krauss, Lawrence (May 12, 2007), "More Dangerous Than Nonsense" (PDF), New Scientist: 53, archived from the original (PDF) on November 1, 2011.


External links

Bekenstein bound

In physics, the Bekenstein bound is an upper limit on the entropy S, or information I, that can be contained within a given finite region of space which has a finite amount of energy—or conversely, the maximal amount of information required to perfectly describe a given physical system down to the quantum level. It implies that the information of a physical system, or the information necessary to perfectly describe that system, must be finite if the region of space and the energy is finite. In computer science, this implies that there is a maximal information-processing rate (Bremermann's limit) for a physical system that has a finite size and energy, and that a Turing machine with finite physical dimensions and unbounded memory is not physically possible.

Upon exceeding the Bekenstein bound a storage medium would collapse into a black hole.

Dyson's eternal intelligence

Dyson's eternal intelligence concept (the Dyson Scenario), proposed by Freeman Dyson in 1979,

proposes a means by which an immortal society of intelligent beings in an open universe

may escape the prospect of heat death by extending subjective time to infinity even though expending only a finite amount of energy.

Bremermann's limit can be invoked to deduce that the amount of time to perform a computation on 1 bit is inversely proportional to the change in energy in the system. As a result, the amount of computations that can be performed grows logarithmically over time. Therefore, any arbitrary amount of computation can be performed in a finite, albeit exponentially growing, time span.

The intelligent beings would begin by storing a finite amount of energy. They then use half (or any fraction) of this energy to power their thought. When the energy gradient created by unleashing this fraction of the stored fuel was exhausted, the beings would enter a state of zero-energy-consumption until the universe cooled. Once the universe had cooled sufficiently, half of the remaining half (one quarter of the original energy) of the intelligent beings' fuel reserves would once again be released, powering a brief period of thought once more. This would continue, with smaller and smaller amounts of energy being released. As the universe cooled, the thoughts would be slower and slower, but there would still be an infinite number of them.In 1998 it was discovered that the expansion of the universe appears to be accelerating rather than decelerating due to a positive cosmological constant, implying that any two regions of the universe will eventually become permanently separated from one another.

Frank J. Tipler has cited Dyson's writings, and specifically his writings on the eternal intelligence, as a major influence on his own highly controversial Omega Point theory.

Tipler's theory differs from Dyson's theory on several key points, most notable of which is that Dyson's eternal intelligence presupposes an open universe while Tipler's Omega Point presupposes a closed/ contracting universe. Both theories will be invalidated if the observed universal expansion continues to accelerate.

Eddington number

In astrophysics, the Eddington number, NEdd, is the number of protons in the observable universe. The term is named for British astrophysicist Arthur Eddington, who in 1938 was the first to propose a value of NEdd and to explain why this number might be important for physical cosmology and the foundations of physics.

International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design

The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID) was an organization that described itself as "a cross-disciplinary professional society that investigates complex systems apart from external programmatic constraints like materialism, naturalism, or reductionism." It was founded and led by figures associated with the intelligent design movement, such as William A. Dembski and Michael Behe.

Johann Heinrich von Mädler

Johann Heinrich von Mädler (May 29, 1794, Berlin – March 14, 1874, Hannover) was a German astronomer.

John D. Barrow

John David Barrow (born 29 November 1952) is an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and mathematician. Most recently, he served as Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College from 2008 to 2011. Barrow is also a writer of popular science and an amateur playwright.

List of quantum gravity researchers

This is a list of (some of) the researchers in quantum gravity.

Jan Ambjørn: Expert on dynamical triangulations who helped develop the causal dynamical triangulations approach to quantum gravity.

Giovanni Amelino-Camelia: Physicist who developed the idea of doubly special relativity, and founded Quantum-Gravity phenomenology.

Abhay Ashtekar: Inventor of the Ashtekar variables, one of the founders of loop quantum gravity.

John Baez: Mathematical physicist who introduced the notion of spin foam in loop quantum gravity (a term originally introduced by Wheeler).

Julian Barbour: Philosopher and author of The End of Time, Absolute or Relative Motion?: The Discovery of Dynamics.

John W. Barrett: Mathematical physicist who helped develop the Barrett–Crane model of quantum gravity.

Martin Bojowald: Physicist who developed the application of loop quantum gravity to cosmology.

Steve Carlip: Expert on 3-dimensional quantum gravity.

Louis Crane: Mathematician who helped develop the Barrett–Crane model of quantum gravity.

Bryce DeWitt: Formulated the Wheeler–DeWitt equation for the wavefunction of the Universe with John Archibald Wheeler.

Bianca Dittrich: Mathematical physicist known for her contributions to loop quantum gravity and spin foam models, currently working on coarse-graining of spin foams.

Fay Dowker: Physicist working on causal sets as well as the interpretation of quantum mechanics.

David Finkelstein: Physicist who has contributed much quantum relativity and the logical foundations of QR.

Rodolfo Gambini: Physicist who helped introduce loop quantum gravity; coauthor of Loops, Knots, Gauge Theories and Quantum Gravity.

Gary Gibbons: Physicist who has done important work on black holes.

Brian Greene: Physicist who is considered one of the world's foremost string theorists.

James Hartle: Physicist who helped develop the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction for the universe.

Stephen Hawking: Leading physicist, expert on black holes and discoverer of Hawking radiation who helped develop the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction for the universe.

Laurent Freidel: Mathematical physicist known for his contributions to loop quantum gravity and spin foam models, in particular the Freidel-Krasnov model.

Christopher Isham: Physicist who focuses on conceptual problems in quantum gravity.

Ted Jacobson: Physicist who helped develop loop quantum gravity.

Michio Kaku: Physicist one of the foremost leading String theorist and also known for the Popular Science.

Renate Loll: Physicist who worked on loop quantum gravity and more recently helped develop the causal dynamical triangulations approach to quantum gravity.

Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara: Physicist who works on loop quantum gravity and spin network models that take causality into account.

Leonardo Modesto: Physicist who works on Nonlocal Quantum Gravity a unitary and finite theory of quantum gravity in the quantum field theory framework.

Roger Penrose: Mathematical physicist who invented spin networks and twistor theory.

Jorge Pullin: Physicist who helped develop loop quantum gravity, co-author of Loops, Knots, Gauge Theories and Quantum Gravity.

Carlo Rovelli: One of the founders and major contributors to loop quantum gravity.

Lee Smolin: One of the founders and major contributors to loop quantum gravity.

Rafael Sorkin: Physicist, primary proponent of the causal set approach to quantum gravity.

Andrew Strominger: Physicist who works on string theory.

Leonard Susskind: Leading physicist, who is considered to be one of the three fathers of string theory.

Frank J. Tipler: Mathematical physicist who incorporates quantum gravity into his ideas of a Judeo-Christian God.

Bill Unruh: Canadian physicist engaged in the study of semiclassical gravity and responsible for the discovery of the so-called Unruh effect.

Cumrun Vafa: Leading physicist, developer of F-theory, known for Vafa-Witten theorem and Gopakumar-Vafa conjecture.

Robert Wald: Leading physicist in the field of quantum field theory in curved spacetime.

Anzhong Wang: Physicist, major contributor to Horava-Lifshitz gravity; String theory and applications to cosmology.

Paul S. Wesson: Physicist, cosmologist and writer, known as founder of the "Space-time Consortium" and his work on Kaluza-Klein theory.

John Archibald Wheeler: Pioneer in the field of quantum gravity due to his development, with Bryce DeWitt, of the Wheeler–DeWitt equation.

Edward Witten: Leading mathematical physicist, does research in string theory and M-theory.

Omega Point

The Omega Point is a spiritual belief and a scientific speculation that everything in the universe is fated to spiral towards a final point of divine unification. The term was coined by the French Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955). Teilhard argued that the Omega Point resembles the Christian Logos, namely Christ, who draws all things into himself, who in the words of the Nicene Creed, is "God from God", "Light from Light", "True God from true God", and "through him all things were made". In the Book of Revelation, Christ describes himself thrice as "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end". The idea of the Omega Point is developed in later writings, such as those of John David Garcia (1971), Paolo Soleri (1981), Frank Tipler (1994), and David Deutsch (1997).

Omega Point (disambiguation)

Omega Point is an idea in philosophy (eschatology) advanced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Omega Point may also refer to:

Omega Point (album), an album by Spear of Destiny

An idea in cosmology advanced by mathematical physicist Frank J. Tipler

Omega point (geometry), a boundary point in hyperbolic geometry

Point Omega, a 2010 novel by Don DeLillo

The Omega Point, a series of space opera novellas by George Zebrowski

Omega Point (band), a progressive metal band from Baltimore, MD

The Omega Point: Beyond 2012, a novel by Whitley Strieber

"Omega Point", a track by Apollo 440 from their album Millennium Fever

Predictions and claims for the Second Coming of Christ

The Second Coming is a Christian concept regarding the return of Jesus to Earth after his "first coming" and his believed ascension to heaven about two thousand years ago. The belief is based on messianic prophecies found in the canonical gospels and is part of most Christian eschatologies. Views about the nature of Jesus' Second Coming vary among Christian denominations and among individual Christians.

A number of specific dates have been predicted for the Second Coming. This list shows the dates and details of predictions from notable groups or individuals of when Jesus was, or is, expected to return. This list also contains dates specifically predicting Jesus' Millennium, though there are several theories on when the Millennium is believed to occur in relation to the Second Coming.

Proton-to-electron mass ratio

In physics, the proton-to-electron mass ratio, μ or β, is simply the rest mass of the proton divided by that of the electron. Because this is a ratio of like-dimensioned physical quantities, it is a dimensionless quantity, a function of the dimensionless physical constants, and has numerical value independent of the system of units, namely:

μ = mp/me = 1836.15267389(17).The number enclosed in parentheses is the measurement uncertainty on the last two digits. The value of μ is known to about 0.1 parts per billion.


Resurrection is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects.

The resurrection of the dead is a standard eschatological belief in the Abrahamic religions. As a religious concept, it is used in two distinct respects: a belief in the resurrection of individual souls that is current and ongoing (Christian idealism, realized eschatology), or else a belief in a singular resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. Some believe the soul is the actual vehicle by which people are resurrected.The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity. Christian theological debate ensues with regard to what kind of resurrection is factual – either a spiritual resurrection with a spirit body into Heaven, or a material resurrection with a restored human body. While most Christians believe Jesus' resurrection from the dead and ascension to Heaven was in a material body, a very small minority believes it was spiritual.There are documented rare cases of the return to life of the clinically dead which are classified scientifically as examples of the Lazarus syndrome, a term originating from the biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus.

The Physics of Immortality

The Physics of Immortality may refer to:

The Physics of Immortality (book), 1994 book by Frank J. Tipler

a 2007 album by The Redding Brothers


In philosophy, theophysics is an approach to cosmology that attempts to reconcile physical cosmology and religious cosmology. It is related to physicotheology, the difference between them being that the aim of physicotheology is to derive theology from physics, whereas that of theophysics is to unify physics and theology.

Why People Believe Weird Things

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time is a 1997 book by science writer Michael Shermer. The foreword was written by Stephen Jay Gould.

Zeno machine

In mathematics and computer science, Zeno machines (abbreviated ZM, and also called accelerated Turing machine, ATM) are a hypothetical computational model related to Turing machines that allows a countably infinite number of algorithmic steps to be performed in finite time. These machines are ruled out in most models of computation.

More formally, a Zeno machine is a Turing machine that takes 2−n units of time to perform its n-th step; thus, the first step takes 0.5 units of time, the second takes 0.25, the third 0.125 and so on, so that after one unit of time, a countably infinite (i.e. ℵ0) number of steps will have been performed.

The idea of Zeno machines was first discussed by Hermann Weyl in 1927; the name refers to Zeno's paradoxes, attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea. Zeno machines play a crucial role in some theories. The theory of the Omega Point devised by physicist Frank J. Tipler, for instance, can only be valid if Zeno machines are possible.

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