Yesterday Micah Redding and I spent a few hours in a fascinating online discussion with Prof. Frank J. Tipler, covering Tipler’s ideas, papers, books, physics (a lot of that) and theology. Watch the full video below.
Also read Micah’s article on The Omega Point Theory and listen to The Christian Transhumanist Podcast, Ep. 19: Frank Tipler & The End of the Universe. This discussion is a continuation and a complement, more focused on physics (but there is a lot of theology as well).
As he mentions at the end, Prof. Tipler will give a talk at the India Awakens Conference in Kolkata on February 12, 2017.
I am working on a transcript. In the meantime read the questions below, and watch the video to hear Prof. Tipler’s answers.
Questions (watch the video to hear Prof. Tipler’s answers):
Most physicists loved your first book (The Anthropic Cosmological Principle), your second book (The Physics of Immortality) got mixed reviews, and most physicists hated your last book (The Physics of Christianity). Why?
What changed in your thinking between the first and second book, between the second and third book, and after the third book?
Are you writing another book? If so, can you say something about it? If not, are you thinking of a next book?
In which sense is Feynman’s quantum GR (as described in Lectures on Gravitation) a viable theory of quantum gravity? Others seem to consider it as valid only for weak fields, an “effective field theory” to be superseded by new theories.
In which sense is the Core Theory (SM plus quantum GR) a ToE? Again, others seem to consider it as valid only for weak fields, an “effective field theory” to be superseded by new theories.
What boundary conditions must be added to the Core Theory to make it consistent and usable?
You seem to think that we already have a final ToE. Don’t you think future developments could revolutionize current physics, just like GR and quantum mechanics revolutionized previous physics? You seem to think that the GR and quantum mechanics revolution wasn’t that big…
Could you try to explain as simply as possible what is the Wheeler-DeWitt equation and why it’s important? What does solving the Wheeler-DeWitt equation mean?
What is “dark energy”? How does it relate to Einstein’s cosmological constant? Can the measured cosmological constant be explained?
What should our descendants do to steer the universe toward a good outcome, and how?
Could super-advanced alien civilizations be doing that right now, and how could we detect their efforts?
Is there any alternative scheme that could work in an ever-expanding universe, for example as in Freeman Dyson’s article Time without end: Physics and biology in an open universe?
Do you still consider your “time travel machine” idea (Tipler cylinder) as valid, and could one be conceivably engineered?
What’s your best argument for Everett’s interpretation of quantum mechanics? Don’t you think “Many-Minds” is more accurate than “Many-Worlds” and closer to what Everett had in mind?
In The Physics of Immortality, intelligent life at the end of time plays the role of God. But in The Physics of Christianity you introduce a more traditional concept of God, outside (or at the edge of) space-time. What’s the relation between the two?
Is God a Deist God or the Theist personal and loving God that believers pray to?
Who engineered the resurrection of Jesus as described in The Physics of Christianity? Or did it happen “spontaneously”?
Could you comment on Pannenberg (Systematic Theology Vol. 2): “[The] divine reality, according to Tipler, does not come into being only at the omega but is to be thought of as free from all the restrictions of time at the omega. Therefore, in terms of the eschatological future, this divine reality is present at each phase of the cosmic process, and hence as already the creative origin of the universe at the beginning of its course.”