chris peck wrote:
>I have a question for people here who know the issues better than me:
>I was having an argument about alleged Quantum Immortality/Quantum suicide
>with some people who argue that because the 2nd law of thermodynamics
>continues regardless in each universe a 'me' continues within, I should
>ultimately age away, therefore Quantum immortality is a lost cause in
>Any counter arguements or agreements with this would be appreciated.
The second law doesn't say that the entropy of individual biological
organisms (or computers or whatever other physical system your mind is
running in) necessarily is likely to increase--the second law only predicts
a high probability of entropy increase in "isolated" systems, meaning
systems where no matter or energy is entering or exiting them. An "open"
system, like the Earth's biosphere, can maintain a low-entropy state
indefinitely as long as it is consuming a steady supply of low-entropy
matter or energy from the outside (in the biosphere's case, sunlight). So as
long as the entire universe has not gone into a heat death state, you can in
theory survive. Whether or not the universe does go into heat death or does
something else is an unsolved problem in cosmology, and there have been
suggestions that life may be able to perform an infinite number of
computations, consistent with subjective immortality, in either an open
universe (Freeman Dyson's scenario) or a Big Crunch universe (Frank Tipler's
scenario), although whether these will really work depends on what the final
theory of quantum gravity looks like (see
http://www.slate.com/id/2096491/entry/2096506/ for a somewhat humorous take
on physicist's debates on whether life can last forever).
Besides all this, there's also the fact that quantum immortality doesn't say
your subjective sense of time has to match the universe's. If whatever
passes for your "brain" is in a certain physical state 100 billion years
after the Big Bang, and in some sufficiently distant region of space or some
alternate branch of the multiverse 10 billion years after the Big Bang there
happens to be a region that duplicates that physical state, then
subjectively you can "continue" as the external clock resets from 100
billion years to 10 billion years.
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