Physics of the Antichrist,
a Theory of Everything, III of VI:
The Dual Salvation of the Third Person
The Boundary of the
In The Physics of Immortality,
Frank Tipler proposes a two-person God, involving what Christians
would call the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Father, in this case, would
be the Omega Point itself — the purpose of history and the central
person of God. The Holy Spirit represents the Omega Point’s “living
properties,” which generate “the laws of physics and every
entity that exists physically” — that is, it “gives
being to all being… life to all living things” (183).
The definition of these “living
properties” relates to the idea that many worlds exist simultaneously,
branching out at every moment. Each branch can be seen as a path that
a given world follows; the most likely path — that which
adheres to a set of consistent rules, such as the laws of physics —
is called the “phase path.” The Holy Spirit, in this context,
would be a “universal wave function,” a sort of formula that
defines all possible paths. The universal wave function also defines the
“probability” that the state of the universe at one moment
will move on to another particular state at the next moment — essentially
the probability that a potential path will actually be followed.
Applying this to the Many
Worlds Interpretation described by Tipler makes the model unnecessarily
complex. According to this view, proceeding from each moment is every
possible next moment, even every impossible next moment, depending
on how one defines possibility. Furthermore, every momentary state of
the universe can be reached by every possible or impossible history, a
point that Tipler explains thus:
There are also real histories
leading to our presently observed state of the universe… in which
real historical characters — for instance Julius Caesar —
never existed. What happens in such a history is that the physical fields
rearrange themselves over time (more accurately, over the path corresponding
to this strange history) to create false memories, including not only
human memories but also the “memories” in a huge number
of written records and in massive monuments. (176)
This model is inefficient
because it posits completely speculative mechanisms to account for continuous
experience. Some mysterious force would shift fields to cause a person
living in the Julius Caesar–free reality to witness monuments appearing
and to gradually have his memories re-formed to coincide with the monuments.
Yet, in laying out the Many Worlds thus, continuous experience becomes
an arbitrarily true phenomenon — our memories of yesterday could
simply be the result of “rearranged” fields.
Turning toward the future
brings into view another instance of unnecessary complexity. Tipler says
that “there is an infinity of really existing futures which evolve
from the present state” (176). But if each exists, then the probability
of a given point reaching another given point is always one hundred percent
on some path. To have any meaning, “probability” would have
to be seen as just another way of describing the path that we observe
ourselves to be on. From our perspective, it is improbable that tomorrow
gravity will work in reverse, even though in some universe that currently
mirrors ours, it is virtually certain.
At issue, here, is that scientists
have de-privileged human experience. In the model of Many Worlds that
Tipler describes, each entire universe moves along a path of experience.
Each is continually diverging, yet never converges, even when they are
exact replicas. Every you whom you could possibly have become within the
boundaries of this world was, at one point, united in the embryonic you,
yet you experience only one of those histories, and every other you believes
his or her history to be the actual one. Once again, “probability”
seems to be merely just another way of declaring which turns your experience
Much of this complexity clears
up if we envision reality as a connected mesh of snapshots of the universe
and consider ourselves — meaning our continuous awareness —
to be the “paths.” Our experience, in this model, is not an
illusion growing out of the reality that we happen to be following, but
an indication of our souls, which operate at a level of reality independent
from the physical world. “Probability” becomes a more meaningful
term, indicating the ease with which we can make certain moves along the
playing board of life.
Narrowing in on the universe
that we currently inhabit, Tipler defines the Omega Point Boundary Condition,
which says that the wave function for our universe includes all
realities in which life “evolves all the way into the Omega Point”
(181). Thus, this path is defined by the Holy Spirit, which is the force
or set of rules that guides our reality along the correct history for
It would seem that this God
is somewhat limited in that there are realities in which He doesn’t
exist; the boundary condition is less of a margin for the infinite universe
than a guide that we hope it will follow. Nonetheless, what matters, here,
is that Tipler has admitted purpose into science in such a way as to undermine
objections based on probability:
With the Omega Point Boundary
Condition, the existence of life-bearing phase paths is fundamental
to the boundary condition itself; the evolution and continued existence
of life are logically prior. If a phase path did not exist at our current
[position] in which life could continue, the Omega Point would not exist.
No matter how improbable an
event might be, if the Omega Point requires it, it must — by definition
— be absolutely certain to occur. In this construction, one can
say that God is physical reality, at least that in which we exist.
However, if the Many Worlds are seen as points, not continuous realities,
then God — as with our souls — is apart from physical
reality, engulfing even those universe-stepping-stones that do not lead
to the Omega Point. The Omega Point Boundary Condition, the universal
wave function, and the Holy Spirit just define the static worlds that
align with the underlying God, the Father, in some meaningful way.
The Salvation of Christ’s
In his book, even though he
explains how Christ’s Resurrection might be possible, Tipler
rejects it as improbable. He has subsequently found a material
reason that Christ must have been the Son of God, which I’ll address
in the next section. However, even if there were no such reason, Christ
can be seen as logically necessary for the Omega Point.
If we humans ultimately determine
our own “phase paths,” then existential probability is determined
not only by the qualities of the physical world in which we live, but
also by the ways in which we act. Just as gravity is not likely to shift
tomorrow, it is unlikely that everybody will wake up using “dog”
to mean “cat.” It is also unlikely that economics will suddenly
shift such that people pay money to clients for the privilege of rendering
If we consider human activity,
behavior, and tendencies to be, in essence, forces acting on the universe,
then we must also consider those systems that guide us — psychology,
sociology, politics, ethics, theology — to be necessary “laws
of physics” that lead to the Omega Point. In this reading, Christ,
His Resurrection, and His message enabled certain social conditions leading
up to our current state. Included in these social conditions could be
such human “constructs” as ethics that enable free inquiry,
economic principles that generate necessary wealth, or a defined belief
that there is truth to find via scientific investigation of the universe.
It may seem contrary to the
concept of free will that the boundary conditions that lead to God should
have a social component, an ethics. However, just as the laws of physics
do not define all possible worlds, but only those that tend toward the
Omega Point, the ethics of social systems do not define all possible behaviors.
We can choose to live outside of the Holy Spirit’s conditions, but
because conscious choice is involved in this breach of conditions, it
represents a repudiation of God — an emotional, spiritual rejection
of true reality.
The Salvation of Jesus’
Among the physical requirements
for the Omega Point to be reached is that the universe is designed in
such a way as to collapse, with life finding a way to guide this ending.
Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the universe is currently accelerating.
Since we are in the expansion phase of the universe, acceleration would
continue as density decreased, and life would eventually be snuffed out
as all matter dispersed into the void.
In a recent paper titled “The
Omega Point and Christianity,” Tipler explains that the collapse
requires two forces to become balanced during expansion. A Cosmological
Constant pushes the universe outward; the Higgs field permeates space
and, in a way related to energy density, is pulling inward as if toward
a vacuum. If these two forces are not in a natural balance, then something
must happen to bring them to one. Since the only variable would be the
degree to which the Higgs field has reached an “absolute vacuum,”
which cancels the Cosmological Constant, the change must be in the energy
density of the universe.
As it happens, a law of physics
became understood in the 1970s and ’80s that may address this problem.
“Electroweak baryogenesis” is the process whereby energy transforms
into baryons (“heavy” particles like neutrons and protons)
and leptons (particles like electrons and neutrinos). “Quantum tunneling”
provides the massive energy required for this process by drawing from
the many worlds that exist. Tipler suggests that “electroweak quantum
tunneling” created all of the existing baryons toward the beginning
of the universe. Since the Higgs field is lacking in energy density, annihilating
baryons would move it toward absolute vacuum.
Tipler finds potential answers
to this problem in Christianity by defining “miracle” in scientific
terms. Describing the Christian view of a miracle as “a very improbable
event which has religious significance,” Tipler changes wording
so that a miracle is “very improbable according to standard past-to-future
causation from the data in our multiverse neighborhood, but is seen to
be inevitable from knowledge that the multiverse will evolve into the
Omega Point” and that it “never violates any physical law.”
This means that a miraculous event is always physically possible but is
not likely except in cases in which God requires it to happen.
One example would be a male
child born of a virgin. Some geneticists believe that virgin births of
girls who are natural clones of their mothers might be as common as the
births of twins. A male child born in this way, by contrast, would be
so improbable as to happen only once throughout human history. This unique
DNA would represent one of two genetic signatures of the man Jesus, the
other being somehow related to the Immaculate Conception and Jesus and
Mary’s shared lack of original sin.
According to Tipler, these
markers become important, as does the gory method of Jesus’ death,
because they will enable us to identify Him as the man pictured on the
Shroud of Turin (which, interestingly, is only one letter removed from
“Turing,” the name of a test that Tipler uses for intellectual
personality). The blood and flesh that Jesus’ wounds left on the
shroud not only contain information about His physical makeup, but they
also caused the shroud to adhere to Jesus’ body in spots when He
was resurrected, thus enabling the image to form on the linen. And Tipler
suggests that this image indicates that the process whereby Jesus was
resurrected — indeed, the process that enabled all of His physical
miracles — was baryon annihilation through quantum tunneling.
At the moment of the Resurrection,
the particles that made up the versions of Jesus in trillions of worlds
contributed energy to the body existing in our world. By this
method, Jesus disappeared and reappeared. By similar methods, He created
bread and fish, converted water to wine, walked on water, and ascended
into Heaven. And by studying the shroud and Jesus’ DNA, humanity
could develop a technology of extraordinary power, enabling miraculous
techniques, not the least of which would be one to cause the universe
to collapse just right so as to reach the Omega Point.
If Tipler’s scenario
is correct, then it is difficult even to imagine how non-gods could draw
on the resources of worlds that we can detect only mathematically. However,
translating quantum tunneling into the mesh model of Many Worlds might
be a first step in harnessing this potential wellspring of energy because
it makes Tipler’s declaration that the Resurrection “had to
happen” less a statement of probability and more a statement of
If the many universes are
static, with our souls moving fluidly from one to the next, it is clear
that they are so close as to overlap. At the next moment in time, there
is a you in every position to which you could move in that moment —
say an inch in every direction, to make things easy. Likewise, in the
moment that just passed, there is a you in every direction one inch away
from the position that you now inhabit. This means that, at this moment,
there are stationary versions of you two inches away in every direction
to which you could have moved. In fact, there are versions of you in every
position throughout the planet Earth that you could possibly have reached
by now given the laws of physics, society, and the circumstances into
which you were born.
Given the complexity of our
bodies, our society, the movement of the Earth, the galaxy, and the universe,
it seems extremely unlikely that many sets of choices could have placed
every particle of your body in the same physical state and location at
this precise moment. But what if Jesus’ Resurrection “had
to happen” in the sense that every potential path of the universe
placed every particle of His body in exactly the same place at that moment?
In other words, what if there is a sort of absolute location grid in spacetime
on which Jesus could have represented a point in every world, no matter
the state of any given universe surrounding Him?
It would seem, then, that
there might be some way in which to construct a situation in which a particle
could move in trillions of possible directions, but end up on exactly
the same absolute point at exactly the same time. However, even if this
suggestion can be shown to have a basis in science (which is something
that I cannot prove), I don’t believe that this is the entire story.
It may be the mechanism that makes the miracle possible, but the equation
still requires the factor of “significance.”
Timing and Technique
Tipler suggests that the technology
that could potentially derive from studies of the Shroud of Turin would
be so powerful that human society must reach a highly evolved state of
civilization before it would be advisable for us to wield it. Delays throughout
the history of the shroud have assisted in this, whether they were tangents
in its travels or false starts in determining its authenticity. In the
meantime, the teachings of Jesus have led us toward a social structure
through which we could reach a degree of advancement to discover and harness
the power necessary to “save the universe.” Simultaneously,
Jesus’ ethical teachings put us on the path to become the sort of
people we need to become.
But do these two “gifts”
positively correspond? I’ve already argued that I believe that they
will inevitably come into conflict. Even were science to unlock the key
to free us from Original Sin, a feat that is certainly not theologically
guaranteed in this world, there would be those who would refuse the change.
Furthermore, with technology of that magnitude, accidents during development
would be catastrophic, and the temptation to co-opt the effort for personal
gain would be like an absolute vacuum of covetousness.
Indeed, even if a capitalist
and free society is optimal for the generation of wealth and knowledge,
the universal goal suggests that many would gravitate toward socialism.
In such a system, which filters all of the society’s wealth through
a single entity, the reins are easily seized; evil will gravitate toward
the center and the degree of power will amplify sin. By contrast, broad
personal interaction of individuals is maximally open to the guidance
of God working in each of us because His method is to guide rather than
trick, corrupt, or control. The hope and the danger of these two strategies
are both apparent in this from St. Paul (Romans 12:4-6):
Just as each of us has one
body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs
to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given
Sadly, I’m inclined
to believe that Original Sin will not prove curable, and I don’t
think the Omega Point will require it. Most scientists are currently atheists.
In its lack of “soul,” the Omega Point is an atheistic God,
and the anti-individualism and centralized planning of socialism seems
a natural social system to be tapped for its achievement. The philosophies
of the socialists were formed with the understanding that the universe
would either expand into Heat Death or contract into the Eternal Return,
and if the fate of reality is up to humanity, as Tipler describes, both
of these outcomes are feasible.
Perhaps all such thinkers
were looking down the wrong potential path through reality — a Godless
path — like a rough draft of a masterpiece. Whatever the case, I
will later show this conflict between the salvation of the spirit and
the salvation of the body to be a “meaningful contradiction.”
For now, suffice to say that
Christ is said to have given the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. In this
sense, something in His coming aligned humanity with the boundary conditions
of Tipler’s universal wave function. Perhaps Christ’s coming
was important, more than anything else, because it enabled us to tap into
the intuition necessary to discern the Holy Spirit’s requirements.
In this way, science, philosophy, ethics, logic, art, music, literature,
and all forms of thinking are divinely inspired, and surely the answer
will draw from them all.
Go to part IV: In Essence, God
Tipler, Frank J. The Physics
of Immortality (Anchor Books, 1994)