Friday, July 13, 2007

Cosmic Forgetfulness

New Scientist talks about cosmic forgetfulness and the reincarnation of the universe.

The model showed that most, but not all, of the information about what came before the big bang gets irretrievably lost through the big bang transition. And in a perpetual cycle of big bangs and crunches, this information loss means no two universes are ever the same. Bojowald calls this "cosmic forgetfulness".

Universe mostly forgets its past during cosmic rebirth

Carl Sagan and Voyager 1 showed us that our planet is no more than "a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam". Now we can see that the Universe itself could be possibly be something that is endlessly destroyed and recreated without ever being the same.

Wow. How can a little deity ever compete with that?

No longer looking forward to an afterlife, I’ve often contemplated the finality of death and oblivion, while retaining some hope that something of me continues on. I don’t remember anything before my birth, but then I don’t remember many moments of my life. Which leads me to the philosophical question “What makes me, ME?” This body of cells is completely different that the one that existed years ago. My thoughts, my feelings, my perceptions, my humor, and my passions are all different from age to age. A brain injury could remove all my personality leaving me an entirely different person or not a person at all.

Sometimes, I morn the loss of my little brother. My brother is still alive. He’s now 26 years old. But he’s not that little boy that I loved and doted on when I was 15 and he was 3. To me, they’re not the same person at all, and I miss him. Then again I’m not the same person I was at 15 either.

Religion would say that we have souls, but science hasn’t found them yet. Even if I did have something that could be called a soul, that wouldn’t mean current self, my current personality, would continue to exist. If it did, it would mean I didn’t grow any more and without growth you can’t have life can you?

I guess I’m just going to have to wait for my death to find out.

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