Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The God Asymptote

Excellent debate tonight with one of my friends. He was getting upset because I kept agreeing with him. :) A thought came up that I wanted to share here.

Human knowledge is continually expanding. The realm of the unknown is likewise shrinking. But the unknown will never be continually eliminated; we will never fully unlock the secrets of creation. There is always that line we are approaching but will never reach.

In other words, an asymptote.

To me, this asymptote represents God. As our knowledge and understanding increases, it brings us closer, but we will never fully reach God.

By the way, the term "supernatural" means literally above or outside of nature. Combining this with my above definition, God is supernatural because the asymptote is outside of the curve representing nature.

Continuing this line of thought, it has been suggested that magic shrinks as science expands. In other words, what used to be considered "magic" is now "explained by" science. In scientific research, failures are often more useful than successes because they allow us to define by exclusion. If we eliminate all the wrong answers, eventually we find the right one. In this vein, science has now defined so many things as "not magic" that we know more about magic now than at any other time in human existence!

Just saying.

There were some other points I liked that I have already forgotten because it's late and I am tired. I'll expand on these later. Good night!

[Update] Remembered the other "deep thought" just before turning off my computer. Scientific theory requires doubt. Doubt is the flip side of the coin from faith; without one there is not the other. Therefore, scientific theory requires faith.

1 comment:

  1. There are different kinds of asymptotes. In a horizontal asymptote, f(x) approaches infinity. In a vertical asymptote, f(x) approaches 0. To me, these polar opposite forms of the infinite are representative of entropy and negentropy, matter dissipating infinitely into the void and matter consolidating and organizing into distinct forms. All things exist in a dynamic tension between these forces.

    Also I question whether the relationship between knowledge and the unknown is linear and finite. I think knowledge can approach both vertical and horizontal asymptotes through approaching something universal and objective like physics but that it can also grow infinitely through something more subjective like the humanities.