Yes indeed! You've just rediscovered the "quantum theory of immortality", and this was one of the central ideas that gave rise to this list. Look up "Max Tegmark quantum suicide experiment" in the list archives or using a web search engine.

Actually, a basic version of this idea also occurred to me years ago, but everyone I mentioned it to at the time thought I was mad, so I shut up about it. It is only in the last few years that I have learned others have had the same thought, often also arrived at independently. The earliest reference to such an idea I could find was from Ludwig Boltzmann, although I have lost the reference. My theory was simply that, if time and/or space are infinite and non-repetetive, then everything that can happen, does happen. This means that purely by chance, a very long time in the future and probably far, far away, a replica of your mind at the point just before the apparently fatal crash will come into being, and you will find yourself alive in probably very different surroundings. Later, I learned that the Universe was either going to collapse in a "big crunch" or else expand and cool forever, and that even such apparently stable particles as protons will eventually all decay - thus robbing us of the time spans needed for my fanciful resurrection. The Everett "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics offers one way around this. Frank Tipler's Omega Point theory offers another way of resurrection out of the big crunch, although his book "The Physics of Immortality" is marred by its reliance on sometimes dubious physics and on bizarre religious mythology. Thinking about my old idea again recently, it occurred to me that even "conventional" (non-MWI, non-pilot wave, shut-up-and-calculate) quantum theory may offer the required incredibly improbable resurrection, given enough time. Quantum mechanics allows the popping into existence, and subsequent rapid annihilation, of particles/antiparticles out of literally nothing - sometimes called "vacuum fluctuations". This would seem to violate laws of conservation of mass/energy and the theory that entropy always increases with time; the usual explanation given for this anomaly is that these laws still apply *on average*, over time, as the fluctuations are transient and usually brief. My understanding of the matter, however, is that in principle, an entire universe could arise out of this process as a sort of bubble of negative entropy in a cold and lifeless eternity. It is extremely unlikely to happen, and perhaps becomes less and less likely as the unverse continuously runs down (not sure about this, however), but when you have eternity to play with, it even becomes certain that you will beat the casino!

I'd be interested to hear of any other versions of this everything/immortality theory that people you about, and also of how you came up with similar ideas and the responses you had from people you told.

Stathis Papaioannou
Melbourne, Australia.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Kwinter [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Friday, 31 October 2003 12:58 PM
Subject: Quantum accident survivor

Another quickie:

Assume I survive a car/plane crash which we assume could have many
different quantum outcomes including me (dead || alive)

Since I was the same person (entire life history) up until the
crash/quantum 'branch' - then can't I assume that since there was at
least one outcome where I survived, that TO ME I will always survive
other such life/death branches?

Furthermore if I witness a crash where someone dies can I assume that
the victim will survive in their own "world" so far as at least one
quantum branch of survivability seems possible?

David Kwinter

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