Infinite gigahertz

Posted by Dan on Sep 20th, 2008
Sep 20

god_at_his_computerI was working on one of those programming problems that’s easy enough to solve if you don’t mind running your computer for a billion years to get the answer, and I wondered: how much processing power does God have?  Does He have infinitely many cores running at infinitely many gigahertz?  Does He have infinite RAM and infinite disk space?

The traditional ideas about God predate computers, so omniscience doesn’t include infinite processing power.  In the case of my programming problem, God would magically know the answer without having to do the calculations.  Intelligent Design, a modern notion, does seem to require some processing power.  Design implies figuring out the consequences of design choices.  If One magically knows the answer in advance, there’s no design going on.  In the case of the fine-tuned universe argument, we would have:

And so God considered all possible combinations of values for Planck’s constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light, and ran trillion-year simulations of each combination, and chose the values we see today.

Instead of:

And God said, Let there be light.  And there was light.