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Tags thermodynamics , afterlife

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Old 1st November 2006, 09:00 AM   #1
Oxymoron
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Thermodynamics and...the afterlife?

Being new here, i'm not going to pretend to be a rocket scientist but I do have a pressing question that maybe some of you great minds can help me out with.

The first law of thermodynamics: energy can be transformed but not created or destroyed.

The second law of thermodynamics: The entropy of the universe is increasing.

Okay, I can grasp this. Believing in a God or Gods or a higher power aside, when we die, what the hell happens to all of this energy. Since we are made up of atoms and molecules and such, and everything is, is it fair to say that when we die, we don't really die, but go on as energy? And if this is true, what form of energy to we take? I know there are a million different arguements that can be made on this, i'm just curious as to what people think about it. Who's to say that ghosts and spirits and such do not exist, if in fact they are made up of the same "stuff" that we are, in our present form (of energy that is).

I know to some this may be a fundamental question not worth answering, but any input would be greatly appreciated. To take the arguement a step further, in considering the second law of thermodynamics, could I say that everytime someone dies, they're adding to the disorder of the universe, so what the heck, are we just barreling toward a big chaotic existence?

I have tons of questions to pose, but I think maybe taking in one little question at a time will thwart off any mind paralyzing headaches. lol

thanks
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:03 AM   #2
ImaginalDisc
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"Us," is in our "self" is a phenomenon of our brains. Maintining a functioning brain takes a constant infllux of food. When we're dead, we're gone. The persistence of a "self" without a brain or other storage media is simply impossible.
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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When I die, my body will be put into the ground. My body will be decomposed by bacteria, fungi and insects. The energy and matter contained in my body will re-enter the biosphere in other forms. For example, Oxygen from my body might be used to drive ATP production. A little bit of the energy contained in the stable electron orbit shells in the atoms in my body will be radiated as head due to spontanious electron transitions (EDIT: I have been told by reliable sources that this is insignificant in scale, if at all. I've left it in for completeness' sake). The breaking of molecular bonds is generally endothermic (i.e. requires energy), but the formation of those bonds will often release a bit of energy. In general, it will carry on. However, the 'information' encoded in my body (i.e. the exact layout of my brain) will not. I will be gone, forever.

Last edited by Taffer; 1st November 2006 at 09:17 AM. Reason: Boobie
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:12 AM   #4
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So I might be able to argue the idea of existing after this life, say in a hardrive somewhere or on someones desktop? I can understand what you are saying in respect to the idea of "self", but what about the energy? And the whole spiraling into chaos thing?
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:16 AM   #5
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Wow, Taffer, you could have just said worms. lol. So i'm going to say, you do not believe in any kind of spirit world or ghosts or the like?
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
So I might be able to argue the idea of existing after this life, say in a hardrive somewhere or on someones desktop? I can understand what you are saying in respect to the idea of "self", but what about the energy? And the whole spiraling into chaos thing?
Energy is not yourself. It is not a pattern, nor does it contain any information. The only way for yourself to continue is for the '*information' encoded in your brain to continue.

*'Information' as in relative positions of axons, etc etc etc.
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
Wow, Taffer, you could have just said worms. lol. So i'm going to say, you do not believe in any kind of spirit world or ghosts or the like?
Not as such, no. However did you guess?
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
Not as such, no. However did you guess?
ehhh, it was just a lucky guess. lol. But I better watch it, luck.....that's a whole other debate! hehe.
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Old 1st November 2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
ehhh, it was just a lucky guess. lol. But I better watch it, luck.....that's a whole other debate! hehe.
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Old 1st November 2006, 10:34 AM   #10
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No cigar

Well, from a physics standpoint, I would not say it is impossible for energy to carry information, but extremely improbable and decidedly infeasable in the case you are presenting.

There could be an energy type that our sensors cannot detect that mimics the contents of the brain which you could call a soul.

There could also be an ideal environment that these souls gravitate toward that you could call heaven and there could be some souls that resist that pull and become ghosts.

All in all though, the likelihood of this explanation being accurate is absurd. It would require the greater will of an unknown being or technology that is far beyond anything we could imagine to manipulate things as such. Either of those existing without our detecting it in some way is also highly unlikely. It could be argued that other technology or will is used to prevent detection however.

In the long run though, there is nothing that this explanation explains that science has not already explained in a more feasible or logical manner.

Occam's Razor.
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Old 1st November 2006, 10:45 AM   #11
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"All in all though, the likelihood of this explanation being accurate is absurd. It would require the greater will of an unknown being or technology that is far beyond anything we could imagine to manipulate things as such. Either of those existing without our detecting it in some way is also highly unlikely. "

Hmm. There was a time when everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth. Gratefully the scientific revolution came about and straightened us out. Who knows what we may discover as we progress scientifically. The Human Genome Project for example, would have been viewed as absurd long ago.

Last edited by Oxymoron; 1st November 2006 at 10:45 AM. Reason: quotes, sorry.
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Old 1st November 2006, 11:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
"All in all though, the likelihood of this explanation being accurate is absurd. It would require the greater will of an unknown being or technology that is far beyond anything we could imagine to manipulate things as such. Either of those existing without our detecting it in some way is also highly unlikely. "

Hmm. There was a time when everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth. Gratefully the scientific revolution came about and straightened us out. Who knows what we may discover as we progress scientifically. The Human Genome Project for example, would have been viewed as absurd long ago.
Perhaps more to the point, we already have a materialistic explanation of how energy and entropy work with respect to human life (and human death).

In order to remain alive, humans need to expend energy. They get this energy from the food that they eat; that's part of why when you're tired, you tend to want to eat something and it may help to make you better. Among the other things that this energy is spent upon is keeping the body core temperature high enough.

When you die, your body cools down. That's "entropy" at work. A warm person sitting in a tub of cool water (like a swimming pool) is not energetically neutral. Heat leaks out of the person and into the water, warming the water and cooling the person. If you were dead -- and then dumped into a swimming pool, you would relatively quickly reach equilibrium temperature with the water. The same thing happens, only more slowly, with a dead body exposed to the air.

There's no evidence at all for some "magic" form of energy that is specially persistant. In fact, such a form of energy would itself be a violation of the law of entropy, because thermodynamics says that ALL energy will eventually dissapate. An "immortal" soul -- as a pattern of energy -- would not do this.
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Old 1st November 2006, 11:09 AM   #13
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You all are fools, we're just "brains in vats" ....

Charlie (mid-week silliness attack) Monoxide
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Old 1st November 2006, 11:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Perhaps more to the point, we already have a materialistic explanation of how energy and entropy work with respect to human life (and human death).

There's no evidence at all for some "magic" form of energy that is specially persistant. In fact, such a form of energy would itself be a violation of the law of entropy, because thermodynamics says that ALL energy will eventually dissapate. An "immortal" soul -- as a pattern of energy -- would not do this.
I didn't know thermodynamics says all energy will dissapate. When you say dissapate, do you mean disperse or actually end its existence? And doesn't it also say that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant? So if energy is not created or destroyed just transformed how does it dissapate? The second law also points out that when something becomes more ordered it's surroundings become more disordered. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense, I think I'm missing my own point here. Do you see what I'm trying to get to? lol.
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Old 1st November 2006, 11:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
I didn't know thermodynamics says all energy will dissapate. When you say dissapate, do you mean disperse or actually end its existence? And doesn't it also say that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant? So if energy is not created or destroyed just transformed how does it dissapate? The second law also points out that when something becomes more ordered it's surroundings become more disordered. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense, I think I'm missing my own point here. Do you see what I'm trying to get to? lol.
Heat and entropy.
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Old 1st November 2006, 11:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
I didn't know thermodynamics says all energy will dissapate. When you say dissapate, do you mean disperse or actually end its existence?
A more technical term is "come to equilibrium." It will not end its existence, but there will no longer be pockets of high energy and low energy.

Basically, all "work" is done based on energy differentials. The water is higher on one side of the dam than on the other, and therefore work can be extracted from the difference in gravitational potential energy. In a perfectly flat body of water, like a lake, there is no difference and no work can be extracted. It doesn't matter if the lake is at 10 ft or 10,000 ft.

Similarly, a steam engine works because part of it is very hot, and part of it is cold, and work is done as energy flows from the hot part into the cool part. Without a temperature difference it wouldn't work -- it doesn't matter whether the final (uniform) temperature is 80 degrees or 40.

Even life on earth works this way. It only works because the sun is very hot, and space is very cold. Eventually, the sun will cool and space will heat until nothing more can be extracted.

The second law of thermodynamics basically says that all the processes in the universe are running toward a state of maximum uniformity. Everything at the same density, pressure, temperature, electrical charge, whatnot, so there will be no local 'hot spots.' The term you usually see for this end-state is called "the heat death of the universe." Entropy has been maximized, so nothing further can be done.

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So if energy is not created or destroyed just transformed how does it dissapate?
It simply becomes more and more uniformly spread out.

Think about dumping some ink into a full bathtub. The ink is not destroyed, but dissapates, until you can no longer see differences between different parts of the water. The more ink you have, the darker the final state of the water is, but there's no local differences in the water.
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:02 PM   #17
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Yep. I get the whole osmosis thing, but maybe i'm missing something. Entropy is just another word for disorder or heat, correct? This being the case, and based on what you previously explained, the universe is not barreling toward chaos, but toward "equilibrium"? An overall mean temperature throughout space?

So. Here goes. A cell creates ordered structures from less organized starting materials, say amino acids into specific sequences of polypeptide chains. The increase in order, corresponding to the decrease in entropy, is coupled with an increase in the entropy of the surroundings. So for Thermodynamics purpose, a cell or an organism is an island of low entropy in an increasingly random universe?

What about the second law stating that a cell or organism cannot transfer or stransform energy with 100% efficiency. So if there is always this energy escaping into the surrounding, no matter how little, how could we ever reach the "heat death of the universe"? [edit: shouldn't there always be this ebb and flow of energy?]

And couldn't immortality be possible? Just had to throw that in there!! lol.

Last edited by Oxymoron; 1st November 2006 at 12:04 PM. Reason: had to add something
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:32 PM   #18
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The concept of an immortal consiousness is not feasible.

That doesn't mean it is not possible, just highly improbable.

If you believe that we live on in an energy form, that is slightly more feasible, but your consiousness is not likely to perpetuate, just the presence of your energy which would mix with all of the other energy of the world.
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:38 PM   #19
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This little funny has been circulating on the internet for several years, so I don't think I'm violating any rules in posting it in its entirity:
*****
Dr. _____________ , of the University of ____________ Engineering, Final Exam question for May of 1997. Dr. _____________ is known for asking questions such as, "why do airplanes fly?" on his final exams. His one and only final exam question in May 1997 for his Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer II class was: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:
"First, We postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave.
Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, then you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. Two options exist:
  1. If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.
  2. If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during Freshman year, "that it will be a cold night in hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:39 PM   #20
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okay. I think my brain may have just imploded. Thanks for the info, it's all fascinating!
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
Yep. I get the whole osmosis thing, but maybe i'm missing something. Entropy is just another word for disorder or heat, correct?
Disorder, yes. Heat, no. Heat is a form of energy, but this energy can come in very ordered forms (for example, the hot coals cooking your room-temperature steaks) or disordered forms.

The most disordered form of energy is a simple thermal equilibrium.


Quote:
This being the case, and based on what you previously explained, the universe is not barreling toward chaos, but toward "equilibrium"? An overall mean temperature throughout space?
Disorder doesn't mean "chaos" in the way that I think you think it does.....


Quote:
So. Here goes. A cell creates ordered structures from less organized starting materials, say amino acids into specific sequences of polypeptide chains. The increase in order, corresponding to the decrease in entropy, is coupled with an increase in the entropy of the surroundings. So for Thermodynamics purpose, a cell or an organism is an island of low entropy in an increasingly random universe?
Yeah, that's good enough for folk music.

Quote:
What about the second law stating that a cell or organism cannot transfer or stransform energy with 100% efficiency. So if there is always this energy escaping into the surrounding, no matter how little, how could we ever reach the "heat death of the universe"? [edit: shouldn't there always be this ebb and flow of energy?]
No. B ecaues the energy can only escape from the cell into the surroundings if the surroundings have less energy than the cell. As more and more cells leak more and more energy in to the surroundings, then the surroundings will heat up and the cell will leak less.

The problem is that the cell operates on an energy differential. At the point where the cell ceases to leak energy, the cell is also incapable of operating. It can't, for example, make any more polypeptide chains becaue there's no energy differential to drive the process.

Right now, the only reason that life can exist in the first place is because the sun is very hot and space is very cold -- and Earth is somewhere in between.
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:43 PM   #22
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Tricky, I have heard that one before and I must say it's a favorite!! LOL.
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Old 1st November 2006, 12:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post

Yeah, that's good enough for folk music.
Well I don't want to brag but I guess I have a talent for lyrics. LOL.
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Old 1st November 2006, 02:09 PM   #24
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Oxy, for a moment, just consider matter.

Look at the trusty wristwatch on your wrist. Being a Timex, it takes a licking, and keeps on ticking. But only to an extent.

Whap it with a hammer, and the jewel case breaks, but it keeps ticking.

Drop an anvil on it, and it looks like a pancaked watch, and no longer ticks.

Put it in a hot furnace, and it turns into a puddle of metals and other elements.

Take that puddle of elements, bombard them in an particle accelerator, and the atoms are split into particles.

Take those particles, slam them with antiparticles, and they are both annhiliated, turning into a great deal of energy.

Nothing has been created and destroyed in any of those steps in a thermodynamic sense. The organization and pattern of the watch has certainly been destroyed, but nothing in the laws of thermodynamics says either of those are preserved.

You can't tell time from a puddle of metal which has been derived from a working wrist watch. Likewise a puddle of carbon, hydrogen, etc., derived from a decomposing human brain cannot think. No laws of nature have been broken. We don't expect the melted watch to ever tell time again; why would we expect the dead brain to ever think again?
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Old 1st November 2006, 03:13 PM   #25
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Roger

Very clear and concise!!

But....what keeps us from just rolling around the world only doing what's necessary to survive. What drives us to understand as much as we can. What fuels our desire to explain the unexplainable and ask why? Does the mealworm have emotion and aspirations and desires? Or does it's brain just instruct its body to do only what is necessary to survive? What is that force we feel ever so slightly pushing us along day after day, the one that gets us out of bed in the morning? (you could say the cost of living, but that might be a little off topic, ).

Well, how do we prove that there isn't some residual effect of this life that carries "us" on?

And how the hell do you explain what keeps stealing socks from my dryer?
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Old 1st November 2006, 03:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
we don't really die, but go on as energy? And if this is true, what form of energy to we take? Who's to say that ghosts and spirits and such do not exist, if in fact they are made up of the same "stuff" that we are, in our present form (of energy that is).

, could I say that everytime someone dies, they're adding to the disorder of the universe, so what the heck, are we just barreling toward a big chaotic existence?

Ithanks
Form is heat, in theory (a good one as best we can tell) at some point everything in our universe will have become heat energy and it will be spread evenly throughout our universe. Universal temperature will be just slightly over 0 K (ca. -273 degrees Celsius).

Heat is heat so no ghosts (think of it this way, Thinking requires the use of energy -if all energy eventually becomes heat and there is no biological material or electrical and chemical energy, no thinking or other functions, no ghosts/incorporeal life forms, etc.)
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Old 1st November 2006, 03:59 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
Roger

Very clear and concise!!

But....what keeps us from just rolling around the world only doing what's necessary to survive. What drives us to understand as much as we can. What fuels our desire to explain the unexplainable and ask why? Does the mealworm have emotion and aspirations and desires? Or does it's brain just instruct its body to do only what is necessary to survive? What is that force we feel ever so slightly pushing us along day after day, the one that gets us out of bed in the morning? (you could say the cost of living, but that might be a little off topic, ).
Selfish genes.

Quote:
Well, how do we prove that there isn't some residual effect of this life that carries "us" on?

And how the hell do you explain what keeps stealing socks from my dryer?
Selfish jeans.
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Old 1st November 2006, 04:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by zizzybaluba View Post
Selfish genes.


Selfish jeans.

Hah! Brilliant ;-)
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Old 1st November 2006, 06:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
And couldn't immortality be possible?
The problem with immortality is that it would require a system to be maintained at a certain level of continuous organization. That requires energy input; and since the universe in general seems to have a "life expectancy", eventually there won't be enough usable energy available to maintain the system. At that point, the system begins an irreversible deterioration as entropy has its way with it, as it eventually will with all things.

Setting aside consciousness, even information is a structured system; carve a paragraph into diamond, put the diamond into intergalactic space... and eventually the diamond will disappear from sublimation. Energy would have to be used to preserve and repair the diamond and it's message.

Granted, we're speaking of incredible reaches of time; but immortality would require that kind of consideration, no?
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Old 2nd November 2006, 09:08 AM   #30
Oxymoron
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Originally Posted by zizzybaluba View Post
Selfish genes.


Selfish jeans.
LMAO!!!! Well, I suppose I like that summary the best!! (maybe because it hurts my brain the least!)
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Old 2nd November 2006, 09:21 AM   #31
Taffer
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It has been said that consciousness (i.e. the feeling of 'self') is just another trick used by genes to help ensure self propagation.
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Old 2nd November 2006, 09:23 AM   #32
Oxymoron
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Originally Posted by jmercer View Post
The problem with immortality is that it would require a system to be maintained at a certain level of continuous organization. That requires energy input; and since the universe in general seems to have a "life expectancy", eventually there won't be enough usable energy available to maintain the system. At that point, the system begins an irreversible deterioration as entropy has its way with it, as it eventually will with all things.

Setting aside consciousness, even information is a structured system; carve a paragraph into diamond, put the diamond into intergalactic space... and eventually the diamond will disappear from sublimation. Energy would have to be used to preserve and repair the diamond and it's message.

Granted, we're speaking of incredible reaches of time; but immortality would require that kind of consideration, no?

"...irreversable deterioration...", so, back to nothing? And then what? Big bang all over again?
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Old 2nd November 2006, 09:32 AM   #33
Taffer
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
"...irreversable deterioration...", so, back to nothing? And then what? Big bang all over again?
No. AFAIK, the current thinking is more closer to the 'Big Cooldown' view. The universe will, eventually, become completely even in matter an energy, completely dark and cold, with no stars, planets, moons, or even complex molecules. Perhaps the odd fundamental partical, but even eventually those will decompose into base quantum-level particles.
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Old 2nd November 2006, 10:42 AM   #34
jmercer
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Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
"...irreversable deterioration...", so, back to nothing? And then what? Big bang all over again?
That's one possibility, but it appears to be increasingly unlikely as we understand more about the expansion of our universe. A recurrence of the Big Bang would (theoretically) require that the universe return to it's original state of being a singularity; this is only possible if there is enough matter in the universe to overcome and reverse the existing inflation.

Recent discoveries seem to indicate that not only is there insufficient matter for this to happen... but even more startling, the ongoing expansion seems to be speeding up. If these findings are correct, then the "bouncing big bang" can't happen.

Originally Posted by Taffer View Post
No. AFAIK, the current thinking is more closer to the 'Big Cooldown' view. The universe will, eventually, become completely even in matter an energy, completely dark and cold, with no stars, planets, moons, or even complex molecules. Perhaps the odd fundamental partical, but even eventually those will decompose into base quantum-level particles.
That's certainly the current mainstream view... however, the recently discovered acceleration has led to another possible ending... The Big Rip.

An exerpt:

Quote:
Their answer is that the eventual, phenomenal pace would overwhelm the normal, trusted effects of gravity right down to the local level. Even the nuclear forces that bind things in the subatomic world will cease to be effective.
"The expansion becomes so fast that it literally rips apart all bound objects," Caldwell explained in a telephone interview. "It rips apart clusters of galaxies. It rips apart stars. It rips apart planets and solar systems. And it eventually rips apart all matter."



No-one's quite sure exactly what would be left afterwards... of course, that's 19+ billion years in the future, so only "immortals" need be concerned.

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Old 2nd November 2006, 11:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by jmercer View Post


No-one's quite sure exactly what would be left afterwards... of course, that's 19+ billion years in the future, so only "immortals" need be concerned.

Oh, good. So we can continue this discussion when "you" are existing inside my laptop some 19 billion from now!
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Old 2nd November 2006, 11:17 AM   #36
jmercer
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Heh... I suspect that the discussion will go something like this:

Me: Told you there's no such thing as immortality!

You: SHUT UP and help me find a wormhole OUT of this crappy universe!

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Old 2nd November 2006, 05:23 PM   #37
Taffer
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Originally Posted by jmercer View Post
Heh... I suspect that the discussion will go something like this:

Me: Told you there's no such thing as immortality!

You: SHUT UP and help me find a wormhole OUT of this crappy universe!

If you haven't already, you should read 'Diaspora' by Greg Egan. It's awsome.
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Old 3rd November 2006, 05:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by jmercer View Post
Heh... I suspect that the discussion will go something like this:

Me: Told you there's no such thing as immortality!

You: SHUT UP and help me find a wormhole OUT of this crappy universe!

Now in order for me to ask for directions...well.......it would have to be a cold day in hell. However, -273 degrees Celsius does sound a bit cool.
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Old 3rd November 2006, 06:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by jmercer View Post
A recurrence of the Big Bang would (theoretically) require that the universe return to it's original state of being a singularity; this is only possible if there is enough matter in the universe to overcome and reverse the existing inflation.

Recent discoveries seem to indicate that not only is there insufficient matter for this to happen...
At our current understanding, a gravity crunch seems unlikely.

Quote:
but even more startling, the ongoing expansion seems to be speeding up. If these findings are correct, then the "bouncing big bang" can't happen.
Also true, but our understanding here is on very thin ice; if the unknown force causing the speed-up changes in some way (hmm, reverse polarity, say), all bets may be off.

And at the quantum level, who knows when enough 'wave-stuff' will decide to materialize at the same point???
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Old 4th November 2006, 11:01 PM   #40
Canadian Malcontent
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Energy

Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
Being new here, i'm not going to pretend to be a rocket scientist but I do have a pressing question that maybe some of you great minds can help me out with.

The first law of thermodynamics: energy can be transformed but not created or destroyed.

The second law of thermodynamics: The entropy of the universe is increasing.

Okay, I can grasp this. Believing in a God or Gods or a higher power aside, when we die, what the hell happens to all of this energy. Since we are made up of atoms and molecules and such, and everything is, is it fair to say that when we die, we don't really die, but go on as energy? And if this is true, what form of energy to we take? I know there are a million different arguements that can be made on this, i'm just curious as to what people think about it. Who's to say that ghosts and spirits and such do not exist, if in fact they are made up of the same "stuff" that we are, in our present form (of energy that is).

I know to some this may be a fundamental question not worth answering, but any input would be greatly appreciated. To take the arguement a step further, in considering the second law of thermodynamics, could I say that everytime someone dies, they're adding to the disorder of the universe, so what the heck, are we just barreling toward a big chaotic existence?

I have tons of questions to pose, but I think maybe taking in one little question at a time will thwart off any mind paralyzing headaches. lol

thanks
Oxymoron,

Boiled down you amount to a big handfull of dust and a couple of buckets of water yet you cannot be reconstituted after reaching that state.
Whatever 'energy' component of you allows the dust and water to be you is the interesting energy. Unfortunatly our contemporary instrumentation is inadequate to measure this 'energy'.
I have an idea! There is one set of instruments that may help you.
They are your mind , nervous system and senses including emotions.
Apply those faculties and I believe you may well be satisfied with your results.
All here can attest that there exist today no finer or more sensitive instuments, and there is no reason to believe that the said instruments will EVER be surpassed.

Yf,
CM
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