First let’s look at Tipler’s new Omega Point Theory (OPT) as modified since the discovery of cosmic acceleration ,(probably) caused by a cosmological constant, in 1998. A cosmological constant (dubbed “dark energy” in the media) in its simplest form is constant forever and drives the constituents of the Universe apart – eventually our Local Group of Galaxies would be all the mass left this side of the cosmic horizon. This result destroyed the original OPT which required a closed universe, so Tipler at first questioned the cosmic acceleration data, but then had an insight – what is happening to the Higgs field as mass is being converted into energy by intelligence in the cosmos? Perhaps the acceleration is caused by the Higgs field not being in its ground state – which the Standard Model of particle physics seemed to require? And just how does intelligence manage to turn mass into energy?
There’s such a process available known as reverse baryogenesis which can turn protons and neutrons into energy – a process that liberates more than 100 times the energy released by nuclear fusion. Tipler suggests that this is how Christ’s body was turned into a “spiritual body” – he turned it into a burst of nearly massless neutrinos, then reformed it again to appear to the disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke.
But why the elaborate use of high energy physics by God? Tipler believes that God, as Jesus, has demonstrated baryogenesis so we (or our computer descendents) know it exists in an accessible form, so we (or they) will one day use it to convert enough mass-into-energy to cause the Higgs field to achieve its ground state. That’s necessary for the Universe to then collapse into the Omega Point – which Tipler identifies with God.
Why do the laws of physics require the Omega Point? According to Tipler, left to itself the Universe will end badly. How so? When very massive stars die they explode by their cores imploding, and some imploding cores become black holes. A Black hole is actually a rather simple object because all the many and varied particles that were once a star are crushed into a singularity that wipes out their individuality – a kind of super-particle forms. The singularity is trapped behind an Event Horizon (what we see as a â€œBlack Holeâ€) and nothing escapes it – except there’s a catch. Energy can leak from the Event Horizon and so the Black Hole slowly decays away, ultimately erasing all memory of what fell into it. This leaves the development over time of all those particles incomplete â€“ a property of all matter and energy, called unitarity, is violated. This might not sound like much but it actually means in practice that, for example, particles of light (photons) could end up with ridiculously large energies in such trivial situations as turning on a microwave oven. Since the Earth doesnâ€™t melt down unitarity must be preserved somehow.
If our Universe were to expand forever and all the information of particles and their unitarity was lost down black holes, then the laws of physics will eventually breakdown and the world will endâ€¦ badly. But what if black holes never decay away? To do so, and to never form information destroying event horizons and singularities, then the future development of the entire Universe has to be directed in a certain way â€“ and thatâ€™s what the OPT is all about. By guiding how mass becomes energy and how the Universe then collapses into the Final Singularity â€“ which doesnâ€™t violate unitarity because it is the End of Time and all information is preserved by it â€“ then Life has a very big cosmic role. And to fulfill that role, according to Tipler, Life must become Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent i.e. it must end in God, the Omega Point.
As Iâ€™ve already said Tipler believes that God, the Omega Point, has sent information to us via Jesus Christ, but just how? According to Tiplerâ€™s mathematics of our Universe there are three Singularities â€“ the Beginning of Time, the End of Time, and the All Time Singularity which joins the Beginning and End. Or, in Christian terms, the Spirit, the Father and the Son, respectively. Thus the Son â€“ the All Time Singularity which parallels and bounds all moments in all Unvierses of the Multiverse â€“ is joined to the Future and the Past, and thus shares in their knowledge, and provides the means to guide the Universe(s) from the Past to the Future. And one such piece of knowledge is how to reverse baryogenesis.
And how has Jesus given us this knowledge? As well as resurrecting his old body into a new one there may well be physical evidence of that event. Tipler believes that traces of the Resurrection might still be present on the Shroud of Turin, itself a controversial relic. Thereâ€™s a lot of historical evidence for the Shroudâ€™s authenticity and good physical reasons to doubt the 1988 radiocarbon dating was actually of the original material and not a Medieval patch. So Tiplerâ€™s endorsement of the Shroud isnâ€™t an irrational lapse, as some have claimed, but a reasonable proposal â€“ if the Shroud really does preserve traces of Jesusâ€™ blood and evidence of a macroscopic sphaleron causing reverse baryogenesis, then itâ€™s an incredibly important historical artifact.
On the other hand Jesus also makes possible ethical use of the awesome power of mass-energy conversion, through his teachings and moral example â€“ sacrificial living and dying for other people. A world armed with total mass-energy conversion is a very dangerous place indeed, unless we can achieve a higher ethical civilisation. The real possibility of such power might just need the direct intervention of Jesus himself. Or so Tipler believes.