The De-Randomizing Computer

Nothing–no event, action, or reaction–is random. At first glance, the implications of such an idea are that every event, every action and reaction, is pre-determined. This is not the case.

The Birthday Cake

If I lean over a birthday cake all ablaze with candles, and if I take in a deep breath and blow the candles out, that action is pre-determined. In fact, it is obvious that the candles were not extinguished by chance but by design. However, unless I have a way to measure all the forces that necessarily come to bear upon the candles in the process of being blown out, I cannot tell why one candle seemed to hold onto its life longer than the one next to it. The order in which the candles are extinguished will be different every time, giving the appearance of randomness, and yet nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many factors that effect the order in which each candle will finally give up its flame: the strength of the air flow, the position of the one blowing the air, perhaps the temperature in the room, the wax in the candle and the wick entombed in the wax, and so on.

I assert that events like the order in which candles are extinguished on a cake at a birthday party seem random only because we do not have the minute technology to identify the forces at work which bring about the logical outcomes we see.

The Glass on the Van

For example, a person places a glass of ice water on top of a van and forgets it is there, then the van takes off. The glass hangs in there for a while (maybe) but ultimately falls off. This is of course completely predictable, but when it falls and how it flips, etc., all are unpredictable to the human observer. However, had we a De-Randomizing Computer, we would be able to put sensors on the van, the glass, in the water, in the air, on the road (you get the idea) and capture all the data necessary to predict exactly when, where, and how the glass of ice water would meet its demise.

Consider this example a little further, particularly the flight path taken by the glass itself. What forces affected its course? Any number of identifiers will have had an impact upon the glass as it fell, turned, flipped, and ultimately found a landing spot: the size of the glass (tall, wide, short), the composition of the container itself (made of glass or plastic), if made of glass the relative heaviness of the glass bottom, how much of the water remained in the glass as it fell, the ratio of water to ice, and so on. And we could go on and ask about the speed of the van, the terrain it was moving along, the relative turn of the van’s direction, the consistency of the driver’s acceleration. You get the idea.

One last area to consider in this example: what caused the person to put his or her glass on the van? What were the minute thought processes that distracted the person? Let’s say it was a beautiful red and yellow Cardinal flying by. Was that random? No. The Cardinal is making a choice where to fly, the forces at work in the Cardinal’s search for food, etc. Nothing is random. It’s just so intricate that random is the easiest explanation. The De-Randomizing Computer works on people too!

The Wind

Another example is the wind: presumably a stellar example of randomness. Even Jesus referred to the wind saying, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going (John 3:8).” But the wind is not random! There are very specific forces that cause the wind to go one way and then another. We can go pretty far these days to predict the wind. But we can only go so far. But had we the De-Randomizing Computer we could determine, right down to the brush of wind across our face, when, where, why, and how it would happen.

No Action or Reaction is Random

So it is in all that happens—no event, action, or reaction is random. The De-Randomizing Computer is able to assess and calculate all the forces at work which bring their influence to bear upon any and every action and event. A splash of water that just reaches the furthest spot on a beach at high tide: the De-Randomizing Computer knows why; knows how.

You say, “There is no De-Randomizing Computer.” Ok. But if we could harness the data and store it and call it up and so on, it could tell us how it all happens. Of course, even with A.I. becoming a religion, no intelligence will ever arise out of a machine—certainly not out of a human—that could master such command of the data.

The Problem of God

The point is that we are asked to believe that the universe exists because it just happened. Just a random accident. That no intelligent being is at its source. That’s foolishness and based only on the data we are capable of gathering minus any allowance of the possibility of a De-Randomizing Computer.

T. D. Weldon wrote, “the problem of Leibniz May be formulated in the question, ‘What account can we offer of the universe which will avoid (a) the metaphysical, (b) the physical problems to which Cartesianism gives rise?’” (T.D. Weldon, Kant’s Critique if Pure Reason, (London: Oxford University, 1958), 19.)

In other words, “enlightened” thinkers and philosophers like Leibniz felt compelled to arrive at some satisfactory explanation of the universe without having to appeal to God or resorting to the miraculous. Without allowing for a De-Randomizing Computer.

Published by Charles Scott Fowler

Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, Pastor, Theologian . . . other stuff . . .

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