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Omega Point is a term invented by the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving. Teilhard's term recurs in highbrow and popular culture, especially the cosmological theory proposed by the mathematical physicist Frank Tipler.

Teilhard de Chardin

In this theory, the universe is constantly developing towards higher levels of material complexity and consciousness, a theory of evolution that Teilhard called the Law of Complexity/Consciousness. For Teilhard, the universe can only move in the direction of more complexity and consciousness if it is being drawn by a supreme point of complexity and consciousness. Thus Teilhard postulates the Omega Point as the supreme point of complexity and consciousness, which is not only as the term of the evolutionary process, but is also the actual cause for the universe to grow in complexity and consciousness. In other words, the Omega Point exists as supremely complex and conscious, independent of the evolving universe. I.e., the Omega Point is transcendent. In interpreting the universe this way, Teilhard kept the Omega Point within the orthodox views of the Christian God, who is transcendent (independent) of his creation.

Teilhard argued that the Omega Point resembles the Christian Logos, namely Christ, who draws all things into himself, who in the words of the Nicene Creed, is "God from God", "Light from Light", "True God from true God," and "through him all things were made."

Five Attributes of the Omega Point

Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man states that the Omega Point must possess the following five attributes. It is:

* Already existing.
Only thus can the rise of the universe towards higher stages of consciousness be explained.

* Personal – an intellectual being and not an abstract idea.
The complexification of matter has not only led to higher forms of consciousness, but accordingly to more personalization, of which human beings are the highest attained form in the universe. They are completely individualized, free centers of operation. It is in this way that man is said to be made in the image of God, who is the highest form of personality. Teilhard expressly stated that in the Omega Point, when the universe becomes One, human persons will not be suppressed, but super-personalized. Personality will be infinitely enriched. This is because the Omega Point unites creation, and the more it unites, the more the universe complexifies and rises in consciousness. Thus, as God creates the universe evolves towards higher forms of complexity, consciousness, and finally with humans, personality, because God, who is drawing the universe towards Him, is a person.

* Transcendent.
The Omega Point cannot be the result of the universe's final complexification of itself on consciousness. Instead, the Omega Point must exist even before the universe's evolution, because the Omega Point is responsible for the rise of the universe towards more complexity, consciousness and personality. Which essentially means that the Omega Point is outside the framework in which the universe rises, because it is by the attraction of the Omega Point that the universe evolves towards Him.

* Autonomous – that is, free from the limitations of space (nonlocality) and time (atemporality).

* Irreversible, that is, attainable.

Garcia and increasing creativity

Main article: Total creativity

In 1971, John David Garcia expanded on Teilhard's Omega Point idea. In particular, he stressed that even more than the increase of intelligence, the constant increase of ethics is essential for humankind to reach the Omega Point. He applied the term creativity to the combination of intelligence and ethics and announced that increasing creativity is the correct and proper goal of human life. He specifically rejected increasing happiness as a proper ultimate goal: when faced with a choice between increasing creativity and increasing happiness, a person ought to choose creativity, he wrote.

Tipler's cosmological Omega Point

Main article: Omega Point (Tipler)

The Omega Point is Frank Tipler's term for what he maintains is the ultimate fate of the universe required by the laws of physics. Tipler has summarized his theory as follows:

* The universe has finite spatial size and the topology of a three-sphere;
* There are no event horizons, implying the future c-boundary is a point, called the Omega Point;
* Sentient life must eventually engulf the entire universe and control it;
* The amount of information processed between now and the Omega Point is infinite;
* The amount of information stored in the universe asymptotically goes to infinity as the Omega Point is approached.[1]

According to Tipler's Omega Point Theory, as the universe comes to an end in a specific kind of Big Crunch, the computational capacity of the universe will be accelerating exponentially faster than time runs out. In principle, a simulation run on this universal computer can thus continue forever in its own terms, even though the universal computer is embedded in a universe that will last only a finite time. The Omega Point Theory requires that the universe eventually contract, and that there be intelligent civilizations in existence at the appropriate time to exploit the computational capacity of such an environment.

Tipler identifies the final singularity of this asymptotically infinite information capacity with God. According to Tipler and David Deutsch, an implication of this theory is that this ultimate cosmic computer will be able to resurrect (via emulation) everyone who has ever lived, by simulating all possible quantum brain states within the master simulation. This will manifest itself as a simulated reality. From the perspective of its simulated inhabitants, the Omega Point is an infinite-duration afterlife, which could take any imaginable form due to its virtual nature.

Tipler's Omega Point Theory is predicated on an eventual Big Crunch, a scenario believed unlikely by some because of certain recent astronomical observations implying that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.[2] Tipler has recently amended his theory to accommodate an accelerating universe due to a positive cosmological constant. He proposes baryon annihilation (via the inverse of electroweak baryogenesis using electroweak quantum tunneling) as a means of propelling interstellar spacecraft. Tipler maintains that if all baryons in the universe were to be annihilated by this process, then this would force the Higgs field toward its absolute vacuum state, cancelling the positive cosmological constant, stopping the acceleration, and forcing the universe to collapse into the Omega Point.[3]

Tipler argues that his Omega Point theory is fully consistent with what God said to Moses in Exodus 3:14, whose Hebrew original Tipler translates into English as: "I shall be what I shall be." Tipler (2007) argues that his theory is consistent with orthodox Christianity.

Technological singularity

Some transhumanists argue that the accelerating technological progress inherent in the Law of Accelerating Returns will, in the relatively near future, lead to what Vernor Vinge called a technological singularity or "prediction wall." This singularity is a state in which humans will be semi-aware components of a computerised social structure of such complexity that no one person or group of persons will be able to understand more than a tiny fraction of the whole. These transhumanists believe we will soon enter a time in which we must eventually make the transition to a "runaway positive feedback loop"[citation needed] in high-level autonomous machine computation. A result will be that our technological and computational tools eventually completely surpass human capacities.[1] While some transhumanist writings refer to this moment as the Omega Point, paying homage to Teilhard's prior use of the term, Teilhard did not describe his Omega Point as attainable by technological means. Other transhumanists, in particular Ray Kurzweil, refer to the technological singularity as simply "The Singularity."

Reaching the Omega Point -- The Trajectory of an Open Universe


1. ^ Tipler (1994), p.
2. ^ Although see Lawrence M. Krauss and Michael S. Turner, "Geometry and Destiny," General Relativity and Gravitation 31(10) (October 1999): 1453-59. Also at arXiv:astro-ph/9904020, April 1, 1999.
3. ^ Tipler, F. J., 2005, "The structure of the world from pure numbers," Reports on Progress in Physics 68(4): 897-964. Also here. Also released as "Feynman-Weinberg Quantum Gravity and the Extended Standard Model as a Theory of Everything," April 24, 2007.


* Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1950. The Future of Man.
* -------, 1955. Le Phénomène Humain (The Human Phenomenon) (1955)
* Frank J. Tipler, 1986, "Cosmological Limits on Computation," International Journal of Theoretical Physics 25: 617-61.
* -------, 1994. The Physics of Immortality. Doubleday.
* -------, 2007. The Physics of Christianity. Doubleday.

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