Why God Almost Certainly Does Not Exist: Part II

Ah, air travel. It’s the fastest mode of transportation we have, and manages to make itself seem like the slowest. Having spent hours lying or sitting in uncomfortable airplane seats or on airport Rows of Seats We Can’t Squish Together to Make a Comfy Bed, I feel I have enough Pure Evil stored up to do a post relating to atheism. I give you: Why God Almost Certainly Does Not Exist: Part II.

It seems some theists have finally actually read The God Delusion. Good for them. Unfortunately, as Captain Kirk once said “You’ve managed to read just about every other book, but like a theist you keep. Missing. The point.” For anyone wondering, he later beat Khan using the Argument From The Mutara Nebula.

The point that seems to be consistently missed is that god does not actually exist. I suppose it’s understandable why it’s been missed – Dawkins does leave his section on why a creator god must be as complex if not more so than its creations a bit lacking. I’ll fix that.

Let’s start with binary. 0,1. On, off. We can do amazing things with these two numbers, but we do use these two numbers. Over, and over, and over. We measure the information these numbers encode in terms of often trillions of these. We store these in hard drives, and they can be found in millions of PCs wordwide (Macs don’t count).

You’re probably wondering “where is he going with this?” or “he? Thrawn has a defined gender?”, so I’ll address the first one. My point is that computers contain quite a bit of information. Newer computers can contain more information than older ones. This information is encoded in electronic 1s and 0s, which are essentially parts. Using a simple definition of complexity, a newer computer is far more complex than, say, a Commodore 64.

How this relates to brains and from there thought is obvious. A brain is an extremely advanced computer with a dual core processor, built in sensory processing suites,  a GUI thousands of times better than Windows XP, and a hard drive with a capacity in the insertlargemetricprefixhereB.

A human brain is more complex than a troglodyte brain, with the single exception being myxoma’s brain (see “Internet Infidels All Over Again”. No, I’m not going to stop mocking her.) A human who creates something has the units of information pertaining to that creation stored in their brain (I am aware that “their” is not a gender neutral English pronoun. I’m making it one. Adapt or die. Resistance is futile.).


This information may be deleted at some point in the future to make room for other information, but the capacity to store the information remains.

Let’s apply this reasoning to a god. This god needs to create the universe, everything in it, design it such that it develops in precisely the way we observe it to be today, and have extra brainpower left to spare to develop an individual “plan” for all six billion of us, somehow maintain our “free will” it somehow gives us, and make the whole thing look like it happened naturally. If we add in omniscience, god has infinite complexity. If god is not omniscient, god is only as improbable as the sum of her actions, the informational complexity of the universe, plus god’s intentions.

If god is not omniscient, god’s complexity is equivalent to the sum of the complexities of all her actions plus an additional amount of complexity greater than 0 which accounts for god having a consciousness of some sort. This possibility is still more complex, and therefore less likely than the universe existing naturally.

If god is omniscient, then her complexity is infinite. A being that knows all things is aware of all things, of knowing all things, of knowing of knowing all things, etc. ad infinitum. Infinite complexity is infinitely improbable. Compared to something of finite improbabilty, an infinitely complex being spontaneously coming into existence is essentially impossible.

Subject: Yahweh. Status: Terminated.



11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rob on July 4, 2008 at 9:50 am

    You forgot that Yahweh is magic and therefore doesn’t have to abide by the laws of our universe.

  2. Posted by sirch on July 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    “doesn’t have to abide by the laws of our universe.” for example; doesn’t have to exist to be a right pain in the arse 😛

  3. Posted by Santiago on July 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I have some advice for you: don’t bother with these overly complicated explanations for why God doesn’t exist.
    In my experience, if you really want to try to convince a fundie, complex and subtle proofs of God’s nonexistence are irrelevant, a waste of air.
    The truth is you have to stick to the crude and bare minimum, there is simply no proof that God exists, show me that prayer works, etc, to even start convincing them. Remember, these are people who have completely forsaken rational thought and have surrendered their brain to their unshakable beliefs, and have countless rationalisations for what they believe in, if you present a logic-and-reason heavy argument they’ll brush it off like they hadn’t heard a single word you’ve said.

  4. Posted by rdthrawn on July 4, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Of course they will, Santiago. It’s still fun to fire ineffective logical ammunition at their reason proof vests, though. I’m just waiting for one to use logic to try to logically prove that logic is not valid in all cases, therefore I am wrong, therefor god exists.

    That should be amusing.

  5. Posted by Richard on July 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Now, I don’t really believe in an omnipotent, omniscient sort of God, but I’m afraid I don’t quite understand some of your reasoning (that’s a roundabout way of saying that I think it’s incorrect)

    For example, you claim that “A human who creates something has the units of information pertaining to that creation stored in their brain”

    Yes, that is certainly true, however it is certainly not the case that you’ll always store everything, or even understand everything about your creation.

    As an example, I’d like to refer to neural networks. And I wish I knew how to put in a nice link without all that http:/etcetera to a site that explains what neural networks are, but I’ll just assume you’re capable of using Google. (I am refering to artificial neural networks, for clarity. Although one could argue that humans somehow ‘create’ other humans when they, um, mate, I suppose, but humans are of the same complexity as other humans and not more so so maybe that’s not really a good example…but I’m getting off topic)

    Neural networks are usually effectively quite complex algorithms that their creator couldn’t have quite thought up himself, and often doesn’t fully comprehend. (Used in things like pattern recognition).

    So, even though someone has created a neural network, and stored the information on how he has created it, and even what it (supposedly) does, he doesn’t, in fact, know EVERYTHING about it.

    The point that I’m trying to make here, I guess, is that I believe it to be perfectly possible for something to create something else that is more complex than itself – so much more complex even that they might not be able to fully comprehend it themselves.

    Still, infinity has…odd…properties, so I’m not sure if it would be possible for something that’s not infinitely complex to create something that is (assuming that the universe has an infinite complexity – which it probably has, and it probably isn’t, but still)

    Well, that’s the longest first post/comment/whatever I’ve ever written.
    Well, I might be around. Or I might not. Well, we’ll see. I like your blog, so I probably will though.
    Have I stopped making sense yet? I’ll just end this post now.

  6. Posted by rdthrawn on July 6, 2008 at 6:01 am

    I could login so my name shows up as a pretty blue link, but that would take more than 3.2 seconds.

    Richard, you are certainly correct that a human creating something does not need to store all the information about their creation in their BrainRAM. If they wished to create something spontaneously, though, they would certainly need to.

    Since god goes about creating things spontaneously, she must be at least a bit more complex than her spontaneous creations, making the creations more likely to come about naturally.

    Taking the Genesis story, for example, we have God creating the “heavens and the Earth”. Since this is (assumed at least) to be spontaneous, God must be at least slightly more complex and therefore more unlikely to come about naturally than the heavens and the Earth popping into existence of their own accord.

    As to infinity, this applies only in cases where the universe has infinite complexity, or God is omniscient. A universe of infinite complexity must be created spontaneously, since you cannot get to infinity through the addition of any non infinite integers. God must therefore also be infinitely complex, and thus infinitely improbable.

    In situations where God creates the universe piece by piece, we are getting to the point where we don’t have much of a god. Can’t even create a universe in a single act of omnipotence? Take a seat next to Zeus.

  7. This is a nice demonstration of why god doesn’t exist.

    Perhaps though god is a conglomerate or many minds working to one end. Like the scientist at CERN who are building and running the LHC. Not one of them could design build it an there own but together they can. Just a thought. I still agree with your article and reposted at Secular Earth.

  8. wow, sorry for spelling and wrong version of “their”. I really nee to proof read. Yikes

  9. I’m sorry. Your theory doesn’t really make sense.

    Infinity is only relative when applied to abstract entities/ideas. Since nothing in reality can be abstract, it’s safe to say that infinity without context can be ruled out.

    “The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite…is solely that of an idea…” – David Hilbert

    Omniscient, generally misinterpreted as something/someone having infinite knowledge. The definition should actually be infinite knowledge within context. Like a 3rd person narrator. They’re omniscient to the character they’re describing. Nothing else.

    If the universe was created by someone (God) my hypothesis would be that God is omniscient to His creation (the universe) but obviously not in the
    realm/reality He/God exists in.

    The idea of universe coming in to existence by something other than chance really sounds a whole lot better than goldilocks… 🙂

    “How long the universe lasts and how it evolves depends on its total energy and matter content. A universe with enormously more matter than ours would rapidly collapse back under its own gravity well before life could form. A very long lived universe might not have enough mass for stars to ever form. In addition, WMAP has confirmed the existence of a dark energy that acts like an anti-gravity, driving the universe to accelerate its expansion. Had the dark energy dominated earlier, the universe would have expanded too rapidly to support the development of life. Our universe seems to have Goldilocks properties: not too much and not too little — just enough mass and energy to support the development of life.” – http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_life.html

  10. The style of writing is very familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other bloggers?

  11. Posted by LauLuna on May 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    God must have ‘extra brainpower left’?

    Are you arguing that God must be a binary computer?

    I feel overwhelmed by your brainpower, as surely mixoma does.

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