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The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  333 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Is there a higher power in the universe? What happens to us when we die? Frank J. Tipler claims to scientifically prove the existence of God and the physical resurrection of the dead.
Paperback, First Anchor Books Edition, 528 pages
Published September 18th 1995 by Anchor (first published 1994)
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Szplug
Aug 08, 2012 Szplug rated it liked it
I bought this purely for the purpose of seeing how Tipler, a theoretical physicist, was going to construct a mathematically-based proof that the end of the universe will consist of God resurrecting all the souls of those who have ever lived and taking them on an eternity-trip to Heaven, replete with memories, milk, and stardust cookies—and then freely stealing his ideas where applicable in order to incorporate them into my own half-baked conjecture about this infinite wad of Silly Putty we call ...more
Carla René
Jun 27, 2013 Carla René rated it did not like it
I've never read such a pedantic, implausible piece of trash in all my years of studying physics as it relates to Cosmology. First, the author (book written sometime in 1996 so I realise technology has changed quickly), a professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University (if one could call him such), has the unmitigated gall to firstly suggest that the "findings of his research with some of physics's top minds" has nothing to do with Christianity or the existence of Christ. It will encompass ...more
Asgar
Apr 28, 2012 Asgar rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No-one! Do not read!
Wandering the library, comfortably lost in more ways than one, I found myself gravitating towards the physics section. Scanning the spines of hundreds of potential candidates to fill in my spare time, I happened across one curios title... The Physics of Immortality.
As some modicum of hope stirred within me, disturbing - for a brief moment - the pessimistic cynicism that I have operated under ever since apostatizing at the age of seven, I pulled the book from the shelf and began reading on the sp
...more
Tim Pendry

This is definitely a very odd book. Two decades ago, Frank Tipler, a seriously bright cosmologist and mathematical physicist, attempted to prove that the core revelation of religion - that God exists and we are immortal - could be derived from contemporary physics.

Tipler writes quite well so, noting the sections of pure science that cannot be easily understood (and their appendices 'for scientists' that perhaps only a handful of humans can comprehend), this can be read as serious entertainment a
...more
Sam Eccleston
Nov 17, 2015 Sam Eccleston rated it did not like it
I must admit I only read about 40 pages of this book, and usually under those circumstances I would not feel able to offer an opinion. However, the grandiose claims made in the introduction are followed by such deeply inadequate arguments that I feel able to make the following comment. I am confident, on the basis of the first 40 or so pages, that the rest of the work is utter nonsense.

The author, apparently a distinguished Physicist, feels equipped to hold forth in what must be described as a
...more
James
Dec 18, 2007 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wishful thinking disguised as science.
Ron
Jan 07, 2012 Ron rated it it was ok
Religion and science...ahhh, those classic antagonists. The Catholic Church sees fit to torture poor Galileo and Copernicus, whose observations do not fit in with the Ptolemian geocentric universe that so nicely fits in with its philosophy. Petr Beckmann's fine History of Pi takes the Church to task for the Dusk and Night of scientific discovery in the Middle Ages. The litenay of new atheist books out, from Dawkins to Hitchens, claims we cannot have science and religion together.

On the other sid
...more
Jef
Oct 10, 2009 Jef rated it it was ok
It's a wild idea, God as the infinite Turing machine at the collapse of the universe. He finds the idea of the eternal return very repugnant. Given the current guesses about the state of cosmology, I would have to reject the basic premise as having been tested and found to be false. The universe is flat and expanding forever, at least until it hits another brane. We live in a multiverse and that would imply an infinite number of infinite Omega Points.
The idea that the future ultimate computer ca
...more
Tom
Feb 25, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: highly intelligent scientific-minded masochists
Tipler is a recognized expert in the fields of computer science, physics, and astronomy/cosmology. This is a very difficult read. The second half of the book consists of mathematical equations proving his theory set for in the first half: That every human that ever lived will be immortalized in an emulation--and matched with his or her perfect mate. It is worth reading to gain insight into computer and programming theory. It also does a good job of laying out the future of the universe, in line ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Well, I think this was worth my time. Let me summarize as best as I can.

Theology is a branch of physics. All things (including people) are reducible to their physics. Humans could and will be recreated and indistinguishable from the original as universal Turing machines when computing power is sufficient (Tipler writing in 1994 claims a 30-year horizon for this). At the Omega Point, the boundary between time and infinity, an infinite state machine with boundless knowledge and all the resources o
...more
Matthew
Aug 01, 2012 Matthew rated it did not like it


The physics explanations are extremely complex and incomprehensible, so when he uses his conclusions to support his omega point theory, there is really no way the reader can weigh the results or obtain even a basic understanding of what this guy is talking about. Definitely not effective at catering to the non physicist reader as he claims is his intention. I had to force myself to finish it.
Art King
May 21, 2008 Art King rated it really liked it
Cosmos and nanotechnology

Imagine the entire cosmos conquered by nanotech self-replicating machines? That's just one of the far-out ideas to chew on in this book. Even if the whole theory doesn't hang together, a lot of the parts are extremely interesting.
Note: Readers without a background in science or engineering will find this tough going.
Jonathan
Sep 05, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was ok
In brief, Tipler tries to put a scientific basis for immortality, based on the advancing of computer technology and specifics about how the universe will evolve.

It's fun, because he's very bright and tries hard. He notes that you have to have Ph.D.-level knowledge in particle physics, cosmology, and computer complexity to understand what he's saying. I found, however, that it was actually the philosophical background that was toughest - there's a lot of philosophical arguments in there that take
...more
Josh
Feb 20, 2010 Josh rated it it was amazing
Uses relativity and the possible energies of the "Big Crunch" and relativity to explain how how god is a possible future. The book offers not entirely implausible theories providing hope about the physical universe and it's ultimate future.
Braden Canfield
Jan 08, 2010 Braden Canfield rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Tipler is nuts. Brilliant, interesting, compelling, but nuts. This book comes across as a genius's urgent need to heal the pain of the holocost by resurrecting the dead in the grandest thought-experiment of all time.
Chris
Jun 29, 2016 Chris rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Michel Houellbecq
I understood about 5 percent of this book. I read it on the ferry to Ellis Island in order to impress a girl. She wasn't that impressed.
Ron Banister
Dec 16, 2012 Ron Banister rated it liked it
There are worse attempts. Met him at Tulane & more interesting in person then in his prose.
Michael Springer
Aug 18, 2009 Michael Springer rated it it was amazing
Way out of touch, but way cool. A great book to open one's eyes about science.
Samira Elytess
Nov 14, 2014 Samira Elytess rated it did not like it
Shelves: cosmology
I would be ashamed to ever cite from this book for any paper or article.

First, the author assumes the physics he dearly holds on to is the truth. He formulates his cosmology around it without thinking that the models proposed can and will be replaced as we grow in consciousness and progress in science.

Second, he cites from a lot philosophers to back up his claims. Doesn't he have an opinion of his own ?

Third, his arguments are very weak or childish for the premises proposed making the conclusion
...more
Bonnie
Mar 10, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it
Frank Tippler’s Physics of immortality takes an interdisciplinary approach to decoding the mysteries in life. He uses Augustinian approaches and the ontological argument to marry science and religion. The book takes a mathematical approach and claims to have made connections and quantification's for the various evidences of the Grand maker included are religious scriptures, linguistics and other approaches that make the case for the existence of God and eternal life.

While he uses footnotes and
...more
Jerry
Jan 02, 2012 Jerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Interesting theory to think about, but I don't buy it.

Omega Point Theory
Life is information processing
Humans will develop self-replicating machines that will be sent out into the universe and eventually colonize the universe and control the universe.
At the end of time the memory of everything will converge at the Omega Point and like a computer program will be run in eternity giving eternal life to everyone who has ever lived.

Colonization by von Neumann probes could begin around 2050 and coloniz
...more
Sharon
Jul 10, 2013 Sharon rated it did not like it
The Physics of Immortality
When I decided to read this book, my concern was that I would not understand the physics. According to the author, readers with high school physics would be able to handle it, but I never took physics. I decided to go ahead and found that the physics was not the problem. I found the book to be inconsistent with the scientific method as it based its conclusions on unproven and very shaky premises – i.e. this will happen because it must. I plowed on hoping it would all co
...more
Sherry
Jul 29, 2012 Sherry rated it liked it
I stumbled on this book when I was looking for a book on the same subject by Fred Alan Wolfe. It is a good read and Mr. Tipler is very knowledgeable. I found his explanation, that immortality would be achieved by enclosing our individual information inside increasingly complex technical hard ware. I found it a very cold prospect. He could be right but I'm a wet ware kind of girl so I prefer Fred Alan Wolve's take. His book is The Spiritual Universe: One Physicist's Vision of Spirit, Soul, Matter ...more
Phil Lawless
Feb 03, 2016 Phil Lawless rated it really liked it
Shelves: physics, political
A bit of a difficult book to follow. The physics is interesting with lots of BIG numbers. I understand the end point, but not all the details of getting there.
Jay Nickel
May 18, 2016 Jay Nickel rated it liked it
Entertaining and informative even if very unlikely
Bob Paley
Aug 29, 2014 Bob Paley rated it really liked it
Trippy science/fiction
Patrick
I. Introduction
II. The Ultimate Limits of Space Travel
Mike
Nov 13, 2011 Mike rated it did not like it
I have to admit, i only read the preface and half of the first chapter,

but after I read Tipler's description of a Pantheist but personal god who is not yet fully him/herself but will be at the point of the resurrection, and having some major qualms with his understanding of chaos, I decided that this book was not worth my time.
Aaron Kleinheksel
Nov 04, 2010 Aaron Kleinheksel rated it liked it
Interesting theory, but Mr. Tipler's first gift is probably not prose. I would also advise anyone with less than a high level of mathematical acumen (such as myself) to beware the finer points of this book. Frank writes for the masses as much as he can, but attempts to back it up with math that is rather more than I can handle.
James Morrison
Nov 05, 2013 James Morrison rated it it was ok
Very disappointing book. The physics is half-baked, a bad hybrid of Einstein and Eastern Mysticism. Some aspect, as you would expect, are interesting, but at the end I just wanted that portion of my life back. I could have read something much more thought-out, like the Far Side.
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Frank Jennings Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.
More about Frank J. Tipler...

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