Monday, March 08, 2010

The God Computation.

I was fascinated to read this post on Uncommon Descent by Barry Arrington. He gives us a link to an article claiming to have calculated that the probability of abiogenesis to be in the order of 10 to the power of -1018 (Presumably a “spontaneous” probability calculated without reference to the structure of morphospace). This figure, he says, has given some impetus to multiverse views because clearly only a multiverse can provide the probabilistic resources for the required “miracle” of spontaneous creation to take place. Barry then goes on to propose:

But the theist can play this game too. “The existence of God is not logically impossible. In an infinite number of universes everything that is not logically impossible is in fact instantiated, and we just happen to live in one of those universes in which God is instantiated”

Somebody in the comments thread takes Barry to task over the question of logical possibility: The multiverse, the correspondent says, doesn’t imply a carte blanche logical possibility because the multiverse itself is subject to laws (God knows what laws!). That comment seems true enough, but it reckons without Stephen Wolfram’s conjecture of computational equivalence: Viz: Any computation exceeding a certain threshold of complexity will, given enough time, exhibit computational universality – that is, it will compute any computable function and only God knows just what huge computations are out there in the platonic realm waiting to be reified as a real computation. So, if our multiverse is one of these universal computations it will, as it rings the changes of chaos, eventually come up with anything computationally possible. If, then, there is such a thing as a “god computation” or “god function” out there, somewhere sometime the multiverse will compute it! Therefore perhaps Barry Arrington’s point is valid after all!

The irony is that it seems that a multiverse theorist has already arrived at the very juncture anticipated by Arrington. I am thinking of the “computer simulation” argument. This argument tells us that in a multiverse there is a very high probability we are part of some kind of huge computer simulation initiated and controlled by a being or beings who as far as we humans are concerned would have the sort of powers over the simulation that we traditionally associate with deity. See here for details. I once commented on this matter myself here!

One version of the computer simulation theory suggests that it must be these guys who are simulating our universe.

No comments: