Saturday, December 01, 2007

Knowledge of the Infinite

A somewhat strange, a bit off-topical -
A little nerdy, pure philosophical -
it's colossal, so impossible -
to know all things that ever were possible!

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My brain kicked into motion during a worship set by Emily Russell. She was singing, "Who is this? Who sits above the circle of the heavens?" I love thinking of the attributes of God, and how he is so beyond us. A.W. Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy is one of my favorite books.

Tonight I started thinking of knowledge. We are in the information age, and a part of this is a huge move to record and catalogue as much knowledge as we can. It is amazing how much information is available to the masses, far beyond any other time in history. We have become information pack-rats, archiving as much data as we can.

We have also begun modeling real world events, trying to recreate them as accurately as possible, and even to simulate future possibilities. With exponentially* increasing digital storage capacity and processing power, it seems as if we could eventually know everything there is to know. *(I think it's really closer to linear growth, or sigmoidal, or some other function) 

But this is an impossibility. It is something it seems we are striving for, and moving towards, but we will never get there. Consider this: If one attempts to build a computer that has the capacity to hold all the information describing our universe down to an atomic level, it would have to use a storage device that stores information at an atomic level. You cannot compress atoms, as there is nothing smaller than atoms. So at the end of the experiment, you would end up having a device that can hold no more atoms than it itself is made of. And that would only hold the "current state" of the universe, not the past or the future.

Conclusion: You would need a storage device LARGER THAN the universe to contain all the information IN the universe. The only one that can know everything is the one who is greater than everything.

And who can know Him perfectly? Only Him himself.

Good God Almighty.

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
I'm a full-time lover of Jesus. I work, learn, and pray at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I live simple, and seek God with all my heart.

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