General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 731–739 | Cite as

Life at the end of the universe?

  • G. F. R. Ellis
  • D. H. Coule
Research Articles


Tipler has claimed in a recent scientific paper [1] that life could exist until the very end of a universe that recollapses to a final fireball in the future—including the Planck era when quantum gravity dominates. His article is one of a number that have excited general interest because of some strong claims made on the basis of this type of argument about life in the future (indeed it has even been claimed [2,3] that this type of mathematical-physical argument can prove that Resurrection of the Dead will take place!). We point out that the underlying argument of Tipler's paper runs into problems on two quite different grounds. Firstly, it assumes a flat space information theory result and makes other technical assumptions about information processing, which invalidate the immediate technical argument. However at least as important is the fact that the argument is unsustainable because physical mechanisms required to make coherent information processing possible would not be able to operate under the extreme physical conditions that would occur towards the end of the universe.


Physical Condition Information Processing Information Theory Quantum Gravity Differential Geometry 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. F. R. Ellis
    • 1
  • D. H. Coule
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of Cape TownRondebosch, Cape TownSouth Africa

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