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The Omega Point is a spiritual belief that the universe is evolving toward a higher level of material complexity and consciousness. The term was coined by the French Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955). 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." In the Book of Revelation, Christ describes himself thrice as "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." The idea of the Omega Point is developed in later writings, such as those of John David Garcia (1971), Paolo Soleri (1981), and Frank Tipler (1994).
- 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 increasing complexity 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 known 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 increasing complexity of the universe aids in higher levels of 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.
- The Omega Point cannot be the result of the universe's final complex stage of its own 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.
- That is, attainable and imperative; it must happen and cannot be undone.
Frank Tipler uses the term Omega Point to describe what he maintains is the ultimate fate of the universe required by the laws of physics. Some have argued that it is pseudoscience. Tipler (1994) has summarized his hypothesis 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.
Key to Tipler's exploration of the Omega Point is the supposition of a closed universe evolving towards a future collapse. Within this universe, Tipler assumes a massive processing capability. As the universe becomes smaller, the processing capability becomes larger, due to the decreasing cost of communications as the systems shrink in size. At the same time, information from previously disconnected points in space becomes visible, giving the processors access to more and more information. Tipler's Omega Point occurs when the processing capability effectively becomes infinite, as the processors will be able to simulate every possible future before the universe ends - a state also known as "Aleph."
Within this environment, Tipler imagines that intelligent beings, human personalities, will be run as simulations within the system. As a result, after the Omega Point, humans will have omnipotence, able to see all of history and predict all of the future. Additionally, as all history becomes available, past personalities will be able to run as well. Within the simulation, this appears to be the dead rising. Tipler equates this state with the Christian heaven.
The technological singularity is the hypothetical advent of artificial general intelligence theoretically capable of recursive self-improvement, resulting in a runaway effect to an intelligence explosion. There is significant overlap of ideas between proponents of the singularity and futurists who explicitly theorize about the omega point at the end of the universe. Ray Kurzweil, one of the most prominent singulatarians, writes that "evolution moves inexorably toward our conception of God, albeit never reaching this ideal." Like Kurzweil, Teilhard predicts a period of rapid technological change that results in a merger of humanity and technology. He believes that this marks the birth of the noosphere and the emergence of the "spirit of the Earth," but the Teilhardian Singularity comes later. Unlike Kurzweil, Teilhard's singularity is marked by the evolution of human intelligence reaching a critical point in which humans ascend from "transhuman" to "posthuman." He identifies this with the Christian parousia.
- Castillo, Mauricio (March 2012). "The Omega Point and Beyond: The Singularity Event" (PDF). American Journal of Neuroradiology 33 (3): 393–5. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A2664. PMID 21903920. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Steinhart, Eric (2008). "Teilhard de Chardin and Transhumanism". Journal of Evolution and Technology 20 (1): 1–22. ISSN 1541-0099. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
- Green, Ronald (2012). "Challenging Transhumanism's Values". Hastings Center Report 43: 45–47. doi:10.1002/hast.195. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Lilley, Stephen (2013). "Transcend or Transgress?". Hastings Center Report: 13–24. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4981-8_2. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. The Phenomenon of Man. HarperPerennial. p. 88.
- Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. The Phenomenon of Man. HarperPerennial. p. 165.
- The Bible, Genesis 1:27
- Ellis, George Francis Rayner (1994). "Piety in the Sky" (PDF). Nature 371 (6493): 115. Bibcode:1994Natur.371..115E. doi:10.1038/371115a0.
- Tipler (1994),[page needed]
- David Chalmers on Singularity, Intelligence Explosion. April 8th, 2010. Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
- Editor's Blog Why an Intelligence Explosion is Probable, by Richard Loosemore and Ben Goertzel. March 7, 2011; hplusmagazine.
- Kurzweil, Ray (2005). The Singularity is Near. New York: Viking Books. ISBN 978-0-670-03384-3., pg 476; see also 375, 389-390
- Human Evolution Research Institute
- Princeton Noosphere project cites Teilhard de Chardin
- Teilhard de Chardin on evolution
- Essays by Tipler on the Omega Point
- Computer history's stride towards an expected Omega Point by Jürgen Schmidhuber, from "The New AI: General & Sound & Relevant for Physics, In B. Goertzel and C. Pennachin, eds.: Artificial General Intelligence, p. 175-198, 2006."