Blog‎ > ‎Philosophy‎ > ‎

God and singularity

posted Jun 11, 2011, 9:47 AM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Oct 8, 2016, 6:48 AM ]
Below is an extract and references regarding the philosophy of God and singularity.
The term Stosolus is used to represents the single final being, similar to what people call God, creator, etc.

Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity is Near end of chapter entitled "Ich Bin Ein Singularitarian"
"Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking."

"The word "singularity" has several distinct meanings. P.B. is referring to a sudden and radical change in technology. But "singularity" also has a precise mathematical meaning" "points" where quantities diverge to infinity (or are otherwise not defined). The laws of physics tell us that the universe began in a singularity in this precise mathematical sense 13.7 billion years ago. This initial singularity is the Uncaused First Cause. Maimonides and Aquinas defined "God" to be the Uncaused First Cause. Hence, by definition, the Cosmological Singularity is God!" (Frank Tipler, 2006)

Several of those who responded to the original entry made similar comments, although without referencing Maimonides and Aquinas. Professor Tipler is correct to point out the referring to the predicted upcoming Technological Singularity as "The Singularity" is a subjective and arbitrary choice. However, at the risk of bandying cosmological ideas about with one of the authors of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, I would assert that it may be just as arbitrary to identify the singularity of 13.7 billion years ago as the Uncaused First Cause. If those who are now applying evo/devo concepts to cosmology are correct, the singularity that began this particular universe is just one of many in a developmental multiverse. As John Smart explains it:

In the simplest and most biological of these cosmological models, our universe’s genes self-organized, through many successive cycles in the multiverse, to produce the life-friendly and intelligence-friendly universe we live in today. This theory of intelligent self-organized design proposes that, analogous to living ecosystems, our universe's "genes, organisms, and environment" encode deep developmental intelligence on a macroscopic scale, while they use primarily evolutionary and chaotic mechanisms to unfold that intelligence on the scale that we normally observe it." (John Smart, 2005)

So our particular universe need not be the (direct) result of an Uncaused First Cause, and that singularity of 13.7 billion years ago may or may not be correctly identified with God. However, if there is a larger universe that evolves increasingly intelligence-supporting universes, we do face the question of how that ever came into being. The first and perhaps greatest singularity, maybe the one that really deserves to be called "the singularity" is at heart a conceptual one, having to do with the discontinuity between nothing existing and something existing. Stephen has called this singularity The Miracle, and about it he writes:

There's a central question that science cannot address. For all of us, believers and secularists alike, it's "turtles all the way down."

Whether you believe in God, believe there is no god, or remain undecided - there is an undeniable miracle. Why does anything exist at all? Believers say "God made it." Yeah, well who or what made God? Secularists like to talk about the Singularity that caused the Big Bang. Okay, but where did that come from? If you say "Multiverse," or even that intelligent universes spawn other intelligent universes (as discussed James Gardner's book Biocosm) then that's just another turtle.

So here, then, is that Uncaused First Cause of Maimonides and Aquinas. Or maybe it would be better to say where, then, is that Uncaused First Cause?

Frank Tipler has responded