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Physicist Frank Tipler hopes to show that the Big Bang is indeed a singularity—and that there is a God

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Tipler, author of The Physics of Christianity, hopes to demonstrate through his work that there must be a God. His and his team’s near-term goal is to develop microwave apparatus having the capability to measure the spectrum of sky radiation across the X-Band (8-12 GHz), in 100 MHz bins, with a noise level of ±0.1 K.

Here he is interviewed by Ryan Cochrane:

Austrian mathematician Kurt Godel was a theist at a time when many of his academic peers were not. Godel, a Platonist, had faith in the idea that mathematics had an objective existence and that the Universe was an orderly, purposeful place because it was created by a designing intelligence. Godel attempted to provide concrete proof for the existence of the creator through his beloved mathematics because he believed it to be the language of God. Ultimately, Godel failed to provide unequivocal proof of a higher power.

Now another experiment is about to begin that hopes to establish the truth behind the standard theory of cosmological origins (i.e. the Big Bang) and it erupted out of a single point, an uncreated, self-existing entity called the singularity. If Tipler is able to produce this result from his upcoming pseudo-photon theory it will be tantamount to proving the existence of God. Since the 1960s, more and more evidence has accumulated supporting the idea that the universe began in a singularity. However, some members of the scientific community have tried to either downplay or even remove the need for such an entity. For the singularity, if it exists, is more than just the first thing ever. Tipler believes it to be the God of the Bible.

Tipler’s pseudo-photon theory attempts to establish God’s existence by proving that a transcendent singularity (timeless, uncreated and self-existing all by itself) exists, something Godel was not able to do.

Editor’s note: In The Physics of Christianity, Tipler has written:

Contrary to what many physicists have claimed in the popular press, we have had a Theory of Everything for about thirty years. Most physicists dislike this Theory of Everything because it requires the universe to begin in a singularity. That is, they dislike it because the theory is consistent only if God exists, and most contemporary scientists are atheists. They don’t want God to exist, and if keeping God out of science requires rejecting physical laws, well, so be it. (p. 2)

Whatever you may think of Tipler’s theories, this background should be kept in mind.

Ryan Cochrane: Can you say a bit more about what the pseudo-photon theory is and what you hope to show with your experiment?

Frank Tipler: The pseudo-photon theory is a test of how the universe began under the assumption that the Standard Model of particle physics and standard quantum gravity are indeed the Theory of Everything. If it is, then we can start using this theory to start talking about the ultimate future, but we need to know what the correct theory is before we can start talking about the future. The Standard Model, as you know, has been extremely successful. Last year, they discovered the Higgs boson, the last Standard Model particle undiscovered and as far as experiments can tell, it looks like a Standard Model Higgs boson. There is no indication of any physics beyond the Standard Model.

===============================================

“All other theories assume there is physics besides The Standard Model. In fact, if you read the Nobel Prize Committee’s award of the Nobel Prize to Higgs and Englert, it says we don’t have an explanation in the Standard Model for the dark matter and the dark energy so there must be something else beyond The Standard Model.”

===============================================

Ryan Cochrane: How does the Standard Model support the idea that there is a God?

Frank Tipler: The experiment will confirm my theory of how the universe began. The experiment will show that it is the Standard Model all the way. The Standard Model means we don’t have to invoke any new physics to explain anything in cosmology. The Standard Model explains everything. It has an explanation for what the dark energy is, what the dark matter is, how matter rather than antimatter was created, why the universe is homogenous and isotropic. In other words we have a complete explanation for everything, assuming that the Standard Model is true. All other theories assume there is physics besides the Standard Model. In fact, if you read the Nobel Prize Committee’s award of the Nobel Prize to Higgs and Englert, it says we don’t have an explanation in the Standard Model for the dark matter and the dark energy so there must be something else beyond The Standard Model. I disagree, and this experiment will tell whether or not that statement is true or whether I am right and the Standard Model is the ultimate theory. The Standard Model plus traditional quantum gravity theory is the theory of everything (TOE) is what I am claiming.

Ryan Cochrane: Besides trying to explain the origin of the universe and the question of whether a higher power exists, how is the nature of your experiment relevant to the field of epistemology?

Frank Tipler: Science depends on values. Values and science are intertwined. I utterly reject the claim by those two monsters of philosophical depravity, David Hume and Emmanuel Kant, that matters of fact and matters of values are completely separate entities. I claim on the contrary that they are completely integrated. To illustrate, one of the really distressing about the most recent science was reported in “Nature,” the leading British scientific journal, about a year ago. “Nature” reported that nearly 90% of all research in academia in universities is false. “False” is the word the writers in “Nature” used. I would use a stronger word than “false.” I would say that 90% of academic research is fraudulent. I say this because the people doing the experiments should have known that their experimental claims were false. Now, obviously, intentional fraud makes science impossible. I think this is a really important question of epistemology because you have to be sure that the people doing experiments are doing their damndest to be as accurate and truthful as possible. But “thou shalt not bear false witness,” is a value judgment, and without this value controlling science, there are no scientific facts. Also, “thou shalt not kill,” which is to say, it is forbidden to kill one’s scientific opponents, or imprison them (as happened to Galileo in the 1600’s and as happened to John Lykoudis in the 1960’s). These two values, which are essential for science to determine what is a fact, are of course part of the Ten Commandments. So it complete nonsense to claim that facts and values are two completely different things. It is equally nonsense to claim a separation between facts and theories, as the Logical Positivists did, but epistemologists have understood that the Logical Positivists were wrong about this. Epistemologists still seem to think that a value-fact dichotomy is real. Not true. In view of the huge fraud now being committed by “scientists”, I have designed the experiment to be easy and cheap to replicate. So if anyone doubts the result of the experiment, I will merely say, “If you don’t believe me, do the experiment yourself.” This is way all science should be done. “Nullius in Verba—by no one’s word”—is the motto of the Royal Society, and it is the credo of what Steve Fuller calls “Protestant science.” I agree.

Ryan Cochrane: If the results of the pseudo-photon theory are positive, that would confirm the Standard Model of cosmology in that there will now be nearly irrefutable proof for the existence of a transcendent and self-existing Singularity outside of spacetime and reminiscent of Aristotle’s unmoved mover. Is this correct?

Frank Tipler: The initial singularity, part of the cosmological singularity, is something that Fred Hoyle was horrified at, because as Hoyle put it: “if the singularity exists, then the singularity is not only beyond known physical law, it’s absolutely beyond any possible physical law.” If you go back into time you see that everything has a cause. The singularity is the cause of everything but the singularity itself has no cause. In other words, the singularity is the uncaused First Cause, which, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas and Moses Maimonides, is God by definition.

Ryan Cochrane: Didn’t Kurt Godel try something like this?

Frank Tipler: He was trying to find a proof for the existence of God. But unfortunately as you know, he was unable to do so because Godel did not have a correct definition of God. He should have accepted the definitions of God given by the great theologians, as I do. Science is based on experimental proof, so here is the proof. In science, the only proof we accept is experimental proof, so I’m doing the experiment.

===============================================

I am a follower of Einstein, who believed that the universe must be spatially closed. My mentor John Wheeler also believed in spatial closure, so Wheeler and Einstein persuaded me.

===============================================

Ryan Cochrane: How has your previous research led you to this experiment?

Frank Tipler: I think my colleagues who are involved in superstring theory and quantum loop gravity theory are making a big mistake by trying to invent a theory without any guidance from experiments at all. Physicists have tried before to develop a correct theory by pure intuition – navel gazing, I call it – and they have always failed. Correct physics theory invention has always been guided by experimental evidence. The last chapter of my book on the Anthropic Principle, which I co-authored with John Barrow, dealt with the question of whether life on Earth was an accident in the Universe as Darwin held or is there some purpose for intelligent life in the Universe. At the same time John and I started on the book, Freeman Dyson’s famous article on life going on forever appeared. Dyson assumed that life could exist only in a universe that expanded forever but his idea for what life in the ultimate future would be doing looked a little boring to me. Also, I am a follower of Einstein, who believed that the universe must be spatially closed. My mentor John Wheeler also believed in spatial closure, so Wheeler and Einstein persuaded me. I was and am an expert in global general relativity, so I automatically looked at the universe on the largest possible scales. I asked if it was possible for life to go on forever in a closed universe. If life were to go on forever in a closed universe, the biosphere would have to expand outwards and engulf the entire universe, seize control of the entire universe and direct the universe as it moves towards the final singularity. I computed that if life were to make it all the way into the final singularity, this ultimate singularity would be have to be a single point in the Penrose c-boundary topology, and so I called such a future singularity an “ Omega Point”. I remembered that Teilhard de Chardin claimed that an Omega Point at the end of time would be God. So I thought to myself maybe there is something to religion here in the physics!

Ryan Cochrane: So there is a First Singularity and a Final Singularity and they are both God?

Frank Tipler: There are actually three singularities out there, which can be shown to be aspects of a single cosmological singularity… Three Persons in One God, to use the standard Christian language. Now reality is ultimately deterministic. As Einstein famously said “God does not play dice with the Universe.” Darwin, on the contrary claimed (in the last chapter of his book “The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication”) that God does play dice with the universe, and if you don’t believe in a dice-playing God, you should reject his, Darwin’s theory of evolution. So I do. You have a choice between Einstein and Darwin, and I choose Einstein. There are no accidents in reality and the universe was intelligently designed and is now being intelligently guided. There are no accidents in reality and the Universe was intelligently designed by God, who is the singularity.

14 Replies to “Physicist Frank Tipler hopes to show that the Big Bang is indeed a singularity—and that there is a God

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Tipler:

    The Standard Model means we don’t have to invoke any new physics to explain anything in cosmology. The Standard Model explains everything.

    Tipler is hallucinating. Explain this Tipler:

    Why do two bodies in relative inertial motion remain in motion?

    If you don’t know the answer to that simple question, then everything else you say about a theory of everything is suspect, to say the least.

  2. 2
    cantor says:

    Mapou @1 wrote:
    Explain this Tipler:

    .

    I’ll explain it: You and Tipler are using two different meanings of the word “explain”.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to Tipler’s comment here:

    The last chapter of my book on the Anthropic Principle, which I co-authored with John Barrow, dealt with the question of whether life on Earth was an accident in the Universe as Darwin held or is there some purpose for intelligent life in the Universe.

    I believe he is talking about this:

    William Lane Craig – If Human Evolution Did Occur It Was A Miracle – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUxm8dXLRpA

    In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God.
    William Lane Craig

    As to Tipler’s comment here:

    At the same time John and I started on the book, Freeman Dyson’s famous article on life going on forever appeared. Dyson assumed that life could exist only in a universe that expanded forever but his idea for what life in the ultimate future would be doing looked a little boring to me.

    Part of Tipler and Barrow’s solution for their boredom?

    Anthropic Principle – God Created The Universe – Michael Strauss PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4323661

    This preceding video, at the 6:49 mark, has a very interesting quote:

    “So what are the theological implications of all this? Well Barrow and Tipler wrote this book, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, and they saw the design of the universe. But they’re atheists basically, there’s no God. And they go through some long arguments to describe why humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. That’s what they believe. So they got a problem. If the universe is clearly the product of design, but humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, who creates the universe? So you know what Barrow and Tipler’s solution is? It makes perfect sense. Humans evolve to a point some day where they reach back in time and create the universe for themselves. (Audience laughs) Hey these guys are respected scientists. So what brings them to that conclusion? It is because the evidence for design is so overwhelming that if you don’t have God you have humans creating the universe back in time for themselves.” –
    Michael Strauss PhD. – Particle Physics

    Bored or not having, ‘Humans evolve to a point some day where they reach back in time and create the universe for themselves’, is not science but merely imagination!

    As to Tipler’s comment here:

    Also, I am a follower of Einstein, who believed that the universe must be spatially closed. My mentor John Wheeler also believed in spatial closure, so Wheeler and Einstein persuaded me. I was and am an expert in global general relativity, so I automatically looked at the universe on the largest possible scales.

    Okie Dokie fair enough, but a small problem when one tries to ‘look at the universe on the largest possible scales’ with General relativity:

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.,,,
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    That is definitely not a good finding for a person who is sold on General Relativity as to providing a theory for everything. As to Tipler’s comment here:

    Now reality is ultimately deterministic. As Einstein famously said “God does not play dice with the Universe.” Darwin, on the contrary claimed (in the last chapter of his book “The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication”) that God does play dice with the universe, and if you don’t believe in a dice-playing God, you should reject his, Darwin’s theory of evolution. So I do. You have a choice between Einstein and Darwin, and I choose Einstein.

    Yet the free will that is inherent within Theism demands that reality not be deterministic.

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

    And this is exactly what quantum mechanics reveals to us about reality:

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will

    Moreover, whereas General Relativity did not receive clearance from higher math as to being ‘complete’, Quantum Mechanics suffered no such embarrassment from higher math:

    Philosophy and Physics in the Kadison-Singer Conjecture – 21 June 2013
    Excerpt: Kadison-Singer Conjecture. Let A be a discrete maximal abelian subalgebra of B(H), the algebra of bounded linear operators on a separable Hilbert space. Let p : A -> {C} be a pure state on that subalgebra. Then there exists a pure extension p’ : B(H) -> {C} of p to all of B(H), and that extension is unique.
    Proof of this statement provides a very nice assurance, that our experiments really are enough to describe quantum systems as we understand them.
    http://www.soulphysics.org/201.....onjecture/

    As to Tipler’s proposed experiment, I really cannot comment to much on it as I don’t know the details (perhaps Dr. Sheldon can), but supposing that Tipler believes in local realism, as I think he does with this comment,,,

    I am a follower of Einstein, who believed that the universe must be spatially closed

    then if Tipler believes in local realism as it seems that he does, then there is this proposed experiment, that I firmly believe will be successful, that will throw a huge monkey wrench into Tipler’s (and Einstein’s) beliefs:

    Physicists Eye Quantum-Gravity Interface -Oct. 31, 2013
    Excerpt: Gravity curves space and time around massive objects. What happens when such objects are put in quantum superpositions, causing space-time to curve in two different ways?,,,
    Markus Aspelmeyer, a professor of physics at the University of Vienna, is equally optimistic. His group is developing three separate experiments at the quantum-gravity interface — two for the lab and one for an orbiting satellite.,,
    Many physicists expect quantum theory to prevail. They believe the ball on a spring should, in principle, be able to exist in two places at once, just as a photon can. The ball’s gravitational field should be able to interfere with itself in a quantum superposition, just as the photon’s electromagnetic field does. “I don’t see why these concepts of quantum theory that have proven to be right for the case of light should fail for the case of gravity,” Aspelmeyer said.
    But the incompatibility of general relativity and quantum mechanics itself suggests that gravity might behave differently.
    https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20131031-physicists-eye-quantum-gravity-interface/

    Since I hold consciousness to precede material reality, then I fully expect, and predict, gravity to go into superposition!

    As for a ‘theory of everything’, well I have my own favorite theory that has remained surprisingly robust:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Empty (Empty Cross Empty Tomb) with Dan Haseltine Matt Hammitt (Music Inspired by The Story)
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F22MCCNU

    Supplemental notes on Godel:

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed)
    – per First Things

    Computer scientists have recently shown Godel’s ontological proof for the existence of God to be logically sound:

    Computer Scientists ‘Prove’ God Exists – Oct. 23, 2013
    Excerpt: Two scientists have formalized a theorem regarding the existence of God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel.,,,
    researchers,, say they have actually proven is a theorem put forward by renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel,,,
    Using an ordinary MacBook computer, they have shown that Gödel’s proof was correct,,,
    http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....28668.html

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    What could change their relative inertial motion? Friction? Gravity? A collision? A large spring connecting them?

    In the absence of any forces, the objects will remain in their relative inertial motion.

    – Q

  5. 5
    cantor says:

    Querius @4 wrote: In the absence of any forces, the objects will remain in their relative inertial motion.

    Yes, but Mapou wants to know why the universe works this way. That’s what he means by “explain”.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    The correct explanation of any phenomenon always comes in terms of cause and effect. A description, which is what math is, is not an explanation. Most of modern physics consists of descriptions, not explanations. Without causal explanations, there is no real understanding. This is why physics it has turned into a theater of the absurd, giving birth to one absurd monstrosity after another.

    What is motion? Motion is a series of effects, changes of position, to be precise. Each one needs a cause. Aristotle believed strongly in cause and effect but he was way ahead of his time. He may have been wrong about many things but not everything. It’s very unfortunate that subsequent generations chose to throw his baby out with the bathwater. There is a time and place for everything.

    If physicists truly understood motion (they’re not even close), they would also understand that we are immersed in an immense lattice of energetic particles without which nothing could move. Lots and lots of clean and free energy all around us. Soon, we’ll learn to tap into the lattice for propulsion and energy production. Soon after that, the world will change practically overnight.

    I saved the best for last. Take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt if you wish. I don’t care but those who have an ear, they will hear and heed the message. The book of Revelation mentions this vast energetic lattice. It compares it to “a sea of glass, like crystal” and even describes its composition, metaphorically, of course. But that’s a different story, for a different time and a different place.

    In conclusion, I will say that Tipler does not understand motion. Thus he understands little in spite of his boasting.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Ah. Sorta like Why is Carbon or Why is time?

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Seems like Tipler is a bit off. The latest I’ve heard is that there won’t even be a “big crunch” and thus no Omega point.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Cnator:

    Yes, but Mapou wants to know why the universe works this way. That’s what he means by “explain”.

    Precisely. Knowing the what is for mortals. Knowing the why is for the immortal gods. But we, too, can become gods and eat from the tree of knowledge and the tree of life which are in the paradise of God. 🙂

  10. 10
    selvaRajan says:

    The only thing Tipler has to explain to prove singularity is why the gravity is so weak when compared to Strong Nuclear force, Electromagnetic force and the Weak Nuclear force. This is the most vexing issue of Singularity and if he can theorize why it is so, then kudos!

  11. 11
    JGuy says:

    To quote Tipler at the TED talk: “laws of physics be for us, who can be against us?”. Hmmmm…

    How can Frank Tipler possibly be describing the Christian God? Isn’t Frank essentially saying God is everyone resurrected in the future communicating inside some kind of infinitely expansion of cosmic scale computer simulations (run by other people?). So, people and/or computers are collectively God?? Doesn’t this add significant weight to the otherwise dead argument ‘who designed the designer’? Another issue…in his model, there isn’t a return of Christ (ooops!). All sounds heretical and bat crazy to me… any wonder why his TED talk reminds me of Brad Pitt’s character in Twelve Monkeys:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....#038;t=08s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....#038;t=30s

  12. 12

    For the details on how physicist and mathematician Prof. Frank J. Tipler’s Omega Point cosmology precisely matches the cosmology described in the New Testament, see my following article:

    James Redford, “The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything”, Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Sept. 10, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708. http://archive.org/details/The.....Everything

    Also, in the below resource are six sections which contain very informative videos of Prof. Tipler explaining the Omega Point cosmology, which is a proof (i.e., mathematical theorem) of God’s existence per the known laws of physics (viz., the Second Law of Thermodynamics, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics), and the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE), which is also required by the known laws of physics. The seventh section therein contains an audio interview of Tipler. I also provide some helpful notes and commentary for some of these videos.

    James Redford, “Video of Profs. Frank Tipler and Lawrence Krauss’s Debate at Caltech: Can Physics Prove God and Christianity?”, alt.sci.astro, Message-ID: jghev8tcbv02b6vn3uiq8jmelp7jijluqk[at sign]4ax[period]com , July 30, 2013. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.sci.astro/KQWt4KcpMVo

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    I saw Dr. Tipler give a presentation at the DI in Seattle and came away wondering just how alike the God of Christian theism the ‘God’ of Frank Tipler’s theories really is.

    Perhaps News could do more research 🙂

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Color me sceptical.

    Space-time inflation didn’t occur because of an explosion and it’s been shown that gravity won’t be able to pull everything together again (which is not the same as deflation anyway).

    It is interesting to think of a deflation scenario where all galaxies are blue shifted as they head towards us (and everything else). Quantum foam might disappear, the sun will get mighty hot, the lunar month and solar year will get shorter . . .

    – Q

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