The physics of information ultimately leads people into deeper questions, including the one raised originally - about eschatology or the fate of the universe. Some physicists suggest the universe has only two possible fates available to it, depending on the curvature constant of spacetime: continual expansion, in which case it will spread out into entropic heat death; or recollapse, into the Big Stop, which might possibly be the seed of a succeeding Big Bang. But this pondering of the fate of the universe doesn't take into account a third possibility. Some physicists like Frank Tipler suggest that at the last possible moment, all conscious life with unite into one "Omega Point" supermind, and place the cosmos under its control, annulling heat death. This viewpoint is the inverse of Deism, essentially postulating the Creator at the end of time rather than at the beginning.
Tipler's assumption is that
various negentropic processes
are actually driving the universe toward improbability - in this case,
the most improbable thing imaginable, a Universal Mind. But one can take
a sort of "weak" position with regard to Tiplerian theory, and merely
state that the universe is becoming more and more self-aware (through the
sense organisms of conscious life), and, as a result, a more self-organizing
system, reducing its own entropy. (Whether it ever becomes totally self-aware
can be left to the mystics.) That is to say, the universe isn't a box which
requires a Maxwellian
demon roaming about. The box is the demon, becoming more and more aware
of what's inside of it, and also what's outside.
Frank J. Tipler has proposed that it is possible for intelligent beings to process and store an infinite amount of information in the universe, if certain conditions are fulfilled. His definition of the Omega Point is essentially a future c-boundary which is a single point and an Aleph state, where
1.Information processing continues
indefinitely along at least one world-line gamma all the way to the future
c-boundary of the universe.
i.e. Life never dies out.
2.The amount of information processed between now and the future c-boundary is infinite in the region of space-time with which the worldline gamma can communicate. i.e. There will be an infinite number of thoughts, experiences and events.
3.The amount of information stored at any given time tau within this region diverges to infinity as tau approaches its future limit. i.e. More and more is learned, and things never repeat themselves.
What has made his theory controversial is his claims that it is experimentally verifiable, that the beings near the Omega Point will resurrect anybody who has ever lived into a state close to classical descriptions of Paradise and that the Omega Point itself corresponds to the religious notation of god.
From a transhumanist
perspective, the Omega Point is the logical conclusion of our striving
towards higer levels, regardless of its nature. It is more of an engineering
problem than a philosophical question.
- Terminology from The Omega Point Theory