There are a few questions that my recent scientific readings have brought to the surface that I'd appreciate your comments on.
One of the fundamental laws of Physics is called the Law of Conservation of Energy. Wikapedia describes it as follows:
The law of conservation of energy is an empirical law of physics. It states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time (is said to be conserved over time). A consequence of this law is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to energy in a closed system is that it can change form: for instance chemical energy can become kinetic energy.
Albert Einstein's theory of relativity shows that energy and mass are the same thing, and that neither one appears without the other. Thus in closed systems, both mass and energy are conserved separately, just as was understood in pre-relativistic physics. The new feature of relativistic physics is that "matter" particles (such as those constituting atoms) could be converted to non-matter forms of energy, such as light; or kinetic and potential energy (example: heat). However, this conversion does not affect the total mass of systems, since the latter forms of non-matter energy still retain their mass through any such conversion. Today, conservation of “energy” refers to the conservation of the total system energy over time. This energy includes the energy associated with the rest mass of particles and all other forms of energy in the system. In addition, the invariant mass of systems of particles (the mass of the system as seen in its center of mass inertial frame, such as the frame in which it would need to be weighed) is also conserved over time for any single observer, and (unlike the total energy) is the same value for all observers. Therefore, in an isolated system, although matter (particles with rest mass) and "pure energy" (heat and light) can be converted to one another, both the total amount of energy and the total amount of mass of such systems remain constant over time, as seen by any single observer. If energy in any form is allowed to escape such systems (see binding energy), the mass of the system will decrease in correspondence with the loss.
What all of this means is that from the point of the Big Bang and continuing through to the great prolepsis, the total amount of energy in the universe has remained the same. No energy can be created or destroyed. It can only be changed.
My question is this: what becomes of consciousness when the body dies? Surely consciousness is a form of energy. The thought I use to write these words (virtually) down on paper for the consideration of others is most certainly the result of more energy than is required to stimulate the neurons and muscles. Prior to doing anything that required any motion or movement, I expended energy pondering these questions. Further, behind the energy required to 'ponder' something, there exists 'me' – my personality, qualities, characteristics and experiences. All of these elements are most certainly must stand for something. Why would this energy be the only one that is extinguished? Changed? Yes, but extinguished? I cannot see how such a thing as personality, intellect, ideas and notions – hell, even Love itself would be the only thing in all of the universe that can be extinguished.
My faith gives me one solution to this question, and this answer suffices for me. I am not approaching this problem from the perspective of faith. I am seeking answers from science, logic or philosophy.
Do you have any answers to share?