When does the Programmer install the software?
|March 7, 2013||Posted by niwrad under Cosmology, Creationism, Informatics, Intelligent Design, Religion|
A thing that evolutionists wrongly consider a serious problem for the creation/ID worldview is the “multiple acts of creation” or – in ID terms – “multiple insertions of information” in time. Here I will argue to show that this is a false problem, or – better said – is a problem that in no way can undermine the creation/ID explanation. This issue is also related to the question when in the cosmos the information is injected by its Designer: is it fully frontloaded from the beginning or is fractionated in time?
My assumption is however that we take for granted that the Designer of the universe is God. I dealt with this issue here.
Moreover I consider sound the so-called “informatics metaphor”, in which, symbolically, God is the Great Programmer, whose “software” is the essence/quality (in a single modern word, information) of the universe and whose “hardware” is the substance/quantity (in a word, matter).
Indeed computer science shows us that we can install a program at time t0 and schedule its execution and get its outputs in the future, at time t1 (even years after). So there is no conceptual problem, from this point of view, that, for example, the software for life be installed already at the Big Bang, but executed billion years after. The same concept helps to understand why different genres of living beings arose in different moments in the history of Earth, according to a scheduled plan.
We could express the same concepts in term of potentiality (see my post here). The cosmos was equipped with a package of potentialities, whose effects didn’t develop all immediately, rather were delayed in time, exactly like a tree develops its trunk, branches, flowers and fruits, from the root, in sequential phases.
But maybe it is the theological perspective what allows us to definitely clear the problem. The question “when does the information is inserted?” in theology becomes “when does God create the world?”. God is boundless and eternal, so time cannot limit Him. The cosmos is not created in time, rather time is created with the cosmos.
Ananda K.Coomaraswamy in “Time and Eternity” writes: «We ask, with Augustine, “what was God doing before creating the world?”. The answer is that, being time and the world associated, created together, the word “before” has no sense in that context. It follows that God creates the world now and always. […] God always creates the world now, in this very instant. Only for the temporal beings creation appears as a series of events, an evolution. […] “All days Allâh is in the role of Sublime Creator” (Muhyi-d-dîn ibn `Arabî, Treatise on Unity). […] “God created the world in such way that, without discontinuity, still continues to create it” (Meister Eckhart, Daz buoch der götlichen troestunge).»
At this point, also the concept of “intervention” of the Designer-God becomes equivocal. When does God “intervene” if in any instant anything exists only because of God? Intervention is a term appropriate only to a limited agent that sometimes is present and causative and sometimes is not present and not causative. It is not appropriate for the omnipresent and omnipotent Agent.
The initial question, “in the cosmos, is information fully frontloaded from the beginning or is fractionated in time?”, becomes undecidable, somehow both alternatives can be true. Given the intelligent design of the cosmos – in its highest metaphysical sense – overarches time, it is fully independent from time.
Some, before the origin of life, ask if matter is “intelligent”. With “intelligence of matter” they mean that matter contains from the beginning the potentiality to develop life. So we are led again to the above questions: did the Programmer install the software of life at the initial time t0 or installed it at time t1? These are sound questions only for the human programmers, not for the Eternal One. We – beings living in, and conditioned by, time – see two temporal instants, t0 and t1. But in the metaphysical reality of the intelligent design of the universe there are not two instants, for the simple fact that time yet doesn’t exist. It comes to mind the Zen kōan “You can hear the sound of two hands that beat; now show me the sound of one hand” (“101 Zen Stories”).