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Shaving God With Occam

Whilst I was writing My Own Special Creation I mentioned Occam's Razor,...
"As we all also know, our primitive ancestor's answer of "a god did it" is far too complex - Occam's Razor shreds the “god creator” myth because of the necessity for the innate complexity of such a god.
For anyone wishing to argue "god is simple" - please!
Even thinking "I am" takes comprehension, of grammar, of personal pronouns and, for that matter, a perception of self, as distinct from something else. That's a huge amount of complexity before even getting into anything else a god would have had to think in order to think up a universe."

... I realised at the time that I was airing my conclusion on Occam's wisdom on complexity without fully supporting my thinking, so here's a proper breakdown on why I think "Occam's Razor shreds the “god creator” myth."

In the following examples, in deference to my largest group of readers, I'm using the American name for the large numbers. When the word billion is used it refers to the smaller American billion of one thousand million and not the larger European billion which is a million million. If you need to translate there's a table here.

Part 1
The Physical components of a human
That is, the bio-mechanical composition of a human that actually facilitates our physical bodies, including our heads and what's in them, every atom from tip to toe. This is a very crude, speculative, 'philosophical' calculation and, whilst I've endeavoured to source actual facts where available, what's below couldn't be claimed to be more than 'ball-park' figures 'for illustrative purposes only'.

Human body has 120 trillion components called cells ~ Prof Steve Jones "Our secret universe; the hidden life of the cell".
As we are supposed to know, (yeah, I had to look it up - it's been a long time since school) 1 atom is made of protons, electrons and neutrons and each type of atom consists of different numbers of each. I have no idea if the details at Jefferson Labs are correct, I've not run their numbers, but it seems a genuine attempt. It breaks down a human into Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon and then into Protons, Electrons & Neutron, which is almost exactly what I wanted.
Jefferson Lab's calculation postulates a 70 kg average human body would have approximately 7 Octillion (7*1027) atoms, which is is, 7 followed by 27 zeros : 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
From that calculation they took relative percantages for the Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon atoms in the body and multiplied each by the proper number of protons, electrons and neutrons for that chemical.

Jefferson Lab's result.

We can take it further though. 1 Electron is made up only of itself but Protons and Neutrons contain smaller particles. A proton has 2 'up' quarks and 1 'down' quark and a Neutron has 1 'up' quark and 2 'down' quarks. So, before we can add the reduced components of a human together we must multiply the Jefferson Lab's result for Protons and Neutrons by 3 each.


6.9*1028 Protons + 5.4*1028 Neutrons + 2.3*1028 Electrons = 1.46*1029 = 146,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 146 Octillion physical components(at least)

Crumbs, that's a huge bagful of stuff; already an inconceivably huge number, eh?
Okay, so, on to...

Part 2
The Metaphysical components of a human
Now, what I mean by metaphysical here is not magic & mumbo-jumbo but thoughts, memories, conclusions, observations, feelings, instincts, emotions etc. i.e. The properties we've traditionally considered to be emergent from the bio-mechanical components of the brain & nervous system.
This calculation is probably even cruder than the last; ball-park figures, like I said, so don't go getting picky :P

Humans live for, let's say, 3 score years and 10 = 70 years
In that time there are 70y X 365d X 24h x 60m X 60s = 2,207,520,000 Seconds = 2.2.*1010 = 2.2 billion

According to Stuart Hameroff MD, for each second of our lives, our brains' microtubules produce 40 conscious moments. Could we say that this could also be described as "40 new 'opportunities to experience' per second"? And, thereby, that the past tense would be "each second we have lived we have logged 40 'experiences' a second"? I think that's fair so...
All those conscious moments add up to the human's lifetime of experiences that’s...
2.2 billion seconds X 40 conscious moments = 88,300,800,000 = 8.82*1010= 88.3 billion 'experiences'.

Okay, it's all a bit guessworky but bear with it, I'm trying to sketch a picture of how complex a human is after a life. So let’s take part 1's Physical result and multiply it by part 2's Metaphysical result.

146 Octillion physical components X 88.3 billion metaphysical components =
12,891,916,800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1.29*1040 = 12.9 duodecillion.

So, this example average human, measuring from its first breath to its last 'conscious moment', provides us with an overall component count of 12.9 duodecillion. We'll label that 'the complexity factor', partly because I may refer to it later but partly (mostly) because it sounds cool and I wanted to include it. :)
12.9 duodecillion is one utterly unimaginably enormous bag load of stuff and I think you'll agree, evolution has forged a massively complex being. And that's without even hinting at what quantum entanglement and superposition may do to the numbers.
Don't panic, I'm not going there.

And so the question is...
If the average human has a complexity factor of 12.9 duodecillion, a number I can't even begin to grasp, how much 'stuff' (Transcendent-Physical X Transcendent-Metaphysical) would it take to get a god-sized being? You'll notice I've not mentioned 'material' but 'stuff', that's because the creator 'god' is supposed to be 'immaterial' or 'stuff' that's not 'material'. Which, I think is equivalent to existing but not drawing its form or function from the components of our space-time but that's beside the point, which is, for it to 'exist', to be a 'being', even a 'god' must have 'form & function', regardless of the origin or nature of that 'stuff' of which it consists. And as 'a god', one has no choice but to presume, it must have a much higher complexity factor than a 'mere' human but how much higher?

Just how much more Transcendent-Physical 'stuff' is there going to be in a 'god'?

A god is the supposed constructor of an entire universe, which you know, is quite a lot of Physical Stuff. And, as this god is reputed to have magicked up all of existence from himself, one must hazard a guess that there's more T-Physical stuff in the make up of the god than there is Physical Stuff in the universe. Now, if the god was only as big as the biggest known sun in the universe "VY Canis Majoris"(See Humble - Why) which is about 1500 times larger than our own star, creating the universe would still be analogous to a single celled organism working alone to fashion and construct the International Space Station!
Further though, a God is supposed to be omnipresent so, to be 'in all places, at all times' his T-Physical stuff must be at least as 'big' as the universe but we'll take the VY Canis Majoris example, and I want to remind you here, there are already 40 zeros at the end of the amount of stuff in a human, in the case of VY Canis Majoris we're likely talking about hundreds of zeros, which, obviously, is a complexity factor that is 'way' bigger! (technical term). But that's only imagining the god to be as big as VY Canis Majoris & we must imagine bigger.
VY Canis Majoris is smaller than our solar system, occupying, estimates suggest, all the space inside the orbit of Saturn; in comparison to the magnitude of the entire universe, it is but a speck of dust. A being 'containing' the entire universe, one must assume, must be at least as complex as the universe therein so, should we not expect it to have a complexity factor that I suspect, without doing the actual maths, would be googolplexian in nature? (10 to the Googolth power = 1010100).

But are we done with our imagining scale? Or do we have to imagine bigger again?

I think we're justified in assuming any creator god must consist of more stuff than the entire amount of physical stuff in our universe. Further though, because the creator god is said to exist 'outside the universe', may we not also deduce that a higher percentage of its entire being must exist externally, with a lower percentage making up its omnipresence throughout the universe? Otherwise suggesting 'god exists outside our universe' would be an illegitimate description. To minimally legitimate that description, at least 50.00001% must be external and 49.99999% internal. For ease of calculation, like it matters now, that means we have to take our googolplex and multiply it by a factor of at least 2!
But remember, that's still only calculating to the bare minimum complexity factor of a creator god. If, as it has been mused, our universe is a single cell of a much larger being then, judging by our own bodies by way of example, we'd have to multiply our googolplexian figure by 120 trillion!

And so far we've only considered the Transcendent-Physical aspects of a creator god, so what about it's Transcendent-Metaphysical properties?

Even with our vast mental capacities, we know the average human will generally admit to not being able to work his lounge's electronic equipment or construct a flat-pack wardrobe but a god is supposed to have thinked up and created all the marvels of the universe, like Physics, so how much more Transcendental-Metaphysical stuff is it going to take to arrive at 'god'? A God is supposed to be orders of magnitude smarter and literally incalculably longer 'lived' than even the most perfectly wise and long lived human who ever lived, and that god must exist both external to the universe and all through every subatomic particle of it, so MUST experience every moment, of every inch, of all of it so...
What Complexity Factor should be allocated to so many experiences? I mean, our 88.3 billion 'experiences' divided by our 70 years then multiplied by the 13.7 billion years, 'age' of the universe, would only be a starting hypothesis! (More on why I think so in An Eon Of Equivocal Length)
Would we be multiplying our already suitable-adjective-defying, literally astronomical complexity factor by Trillions? Octillions?
Another Googolplex perhaps?
Surely, in a universe where Stephen Hawking has concluded that physics shows no need for a creator god, can such a magnitude of complexity be seen to be any more than a flight of fancy? I think not.

Many creationists bring Occam’s razor to the debating table saying "God is the simplest answer" to "How did all this get here?" but, as I think I've displayed here, a god, consisting of ALL things and then some, must by its very nature, be the most complex!
However, what is above is only a highly circuitous route to the only question that need be answered:
"Is there anything more complex than a high order of sentient intellect?"
If, as I do, you think the answer is "No" then one may only conclude that the answer of "god"(A super-intelligent being) to "how did the universe start?" is the most complex answer that can be conceived and, as such, is entirely contrary to Occam's "don't multiply beyond necessity" paradigm.

As to why William of Ockham or any of the other philosophers who reputedly penned similar statements (Ptolemy, Aristotle, Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus) didn't notice their wise words eviscerated the fabled god?

It would be unfair to not point out that there is no way any of them could have looked at the physical world in the sort of detail science has spread before us today; I, or anyone else, would have been unable to lay out even the speculative maths above, even a quarter of a century ago. Indeed one could say that for much of our historical wisdom, if the author/speaker is not alive 'now' then they were doing their thinking in a time when ALL were deeply ignorant of the facts of both the micro and macrospocic universe. Perhaps we should weigh the value of their conclusions accordingly, as I'm sure, being great thinkers, they would want us to do. However, as I've said elsewhere, no matter the size or quality of the data from which one forge's one's hypothesis, I think it's impossible to properly investigate a subject that one has been mortally prohibited from investigating properly. So, given that all these great thinkers 'missed it', shouldn't we assume that for 'this' investigation, believing a priori that humans have an 'immortal soul' is a serious impediment?

And finally, if you're thinking all that sounds a bit like the old 'magic numbers' trick....
1. "Think of a number between 1 and 10 and remember it."
2. "Double it."
3. "Add 12."
4. "Divide by 2"
5. "Take away the number he first thought of..."
6. (IF you want to promote the idea of magic, pretend to read the subject's mind but, if you're more honest than that, just state the answer and offer to explain how it's done. No matter what number was 'first though & remembered', the answer will ALWAYS be 6) "The answer is... 6".
... so do I. I wonder why that is? :)

I'll leave you with one of our recent insights into the complexity of the universe.
Enjoy. :)

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