God’s Algorithm

How nature and technology will one day be indistinguishable

What was once part of science-fiction stories has increasingly become more normal as technology rapidly changes to overtake our imaginations. We already have scarily human looking robots, genetically engineered animals and sooner or later the Hadron Collider will recreate the Bing Bang – or a black hole.

The future is now it would seem, yet if we were able to quantify all there is to ever know then our advances might account for a mere 0.001 per cent. Even this number is wildly optimistic and a bit arrogant, yet we do know a thing or two about the world around us.

So what is God’s Algorithm? It is the underlying code behind everything there is to ever possibly know in the Universe. There is a reason for everything, but most of it we just do not understand despite the answers being right in front of us.

One clear night (a bit of a challenge here in Scotland), take a look at the stars. Just pick one out, there are plenty to choose from. Ignore the fact the light from many of those stars is centuries old, and consider the possibility of other planets orbiting those stars. There may even be lifeforms on those planets looking right back at you (in a few centuries). The answer to this question is there right in front of you, but we just do not have the tools to give a satisfying answer.

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

–        Arthur C. Clarke

When it comes to technology, we tend to borrow liberally from nature’s blueprints. A computer processor does nothing more than calculate millions of 1s and 0s while the human brain sorts through sensory input to similarly turn parts on and off to keep running. All of which is due to some fancy bits of software programming. Granted, nature has a distinct million-year evolutionary advantage.

By using these blueprints to our benefit to create amazing technologies we move ever closer to unlocking nature’s secret coding. The more we understand how the world works, the more we are able to turn this knowledge towards improving our way of life.

We will have answers one day despite our limitations. In fact, we will have an answer to everything because the answers are there waiting to be discovered, waiting for us to make sense of it with new knowledge and new technologies.



  1. Pingback: How many planets are there? – The Schwer Extrz - 21 January 2016

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