!Creator: Jean-Francois Colonna>
<!Editor: Jean-Francois Colonna>
<!Development Site: CMAP28>
<!Creation Date: Tuesday Jun 08 2021 -20210608175358->
<!Expiration Date: Never>
<!Language: English -Anglais->
<!Cover: Science, Education,...>
<!Description: Scientific Visualization>
<!Subject: Scientific Visualization>
<!Document Type: .html>
<!Data Format: .html, .jpg, .mpg>
<!Relation With Other Resources: None>
<!Source: CMAP (Centre de Mathematiques APpliquees) UMR CNRS 7641, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, France Telecom R&D>
<!Copyright: Copyright (c) 2021-2022>
God and the Science
[Site Map, Help and Search [Plan du Site, Aide et Recherche]]
[The Y2K Bug [Le bug de l'an 2000]]
[Do you believe that Real Numbers exist for a computer and that floating point computations are safe? [Croyez-vous que les Nombres Réels existent dans un ordinateur et que les calculs flottants sont sûrs?]]
[Please, visit A Virtual Machine for Exploring Space-Time and Beyond, the place where you can find thousands of pictures and animations between Art and Science]
(CMAP28 WWW site: this page was created on 06/08/2021 and last updated on 08/01/2022 12:52:32 -CEST-)
[en français/in french
God and Pierre Simon de Laplace:
Pierre Simon de Laplace  had told Napoleon Bonaparte that he did not need God's hypothesis to carry out his work.
What about that question today? Does Science need the hypothesis of the existence of God? And if so, is this hypothesis,
like any scientific hypothesis worthy of the name, refutable  and is it only predictive?
For many, God is the creator of Our Universe (the one destined for Us ).
The image (naive?) that is often given is that of a benevolent old man  with a white beard perched
on some cloud and to whom we owe Everything, both the Virgin of Autun of Jan Van Eyck and the Passion according
to Saint-Paul of Jean-Sebastien Bach aswell as religion wars or stoning.
A God or Gods?
Unfortunately, several "competing" Gods seem to clash on our Earth...
So, one God or several? Or a single God and "usurpers" (or a single God but with "multiple faces")?
The reasonable answer that should come to everyone's mind is certainly that none of them is the right one ! But does a "good" God exist?
The Razor of Occam:
But does the hypothesis of a single Creator God make verifiable predictions and answer the questions of Origin and especially of Existence?
All religions obviously provide a positive answer to this question.
But did we not in fact complicate the problem heavily since then intellectual honesty should lead us to ask ourselves who created God?
Religions, to solve this "difficulty", affirms in a completely peremptory way that God Is, that God is not created,...
But in all logic, would it not then be appropriate to build an infinite stack of Gods, a bit like in Mathematics,
since the work of Georg Cantor, we "indefinitely" stack the infinites? Finally,
isn't the hypothesis of God and of this sequence of creators in contradiction with the strong principle of the
razor of Occam 
which asks us to renounce the superfluous hypotheses which only complicate the problem initially posed.
Does Science replace God?
Must we therefore conclude that God does not exist? My answer is positive, and to come back to Pierre Simon de Laplace,
a subsidiary question is then: Can Science replace God and answer all the questions, and in particular the question of the creation of
the Universe or the infinitely more delicate one of his very Existence ?
Stephen Hawking recently wrote: "The hand of God is not necessary to create the Universe, which has in fact formed of itself,
in all logic of the laws of physics. Because of the law of gravity, the Universe can create itself from scratch.
Spontaneous creation is the reason why something exists, why the Universe exists, why we exist".
All this is very beautiful and these affirmations, also peremptory, very surprising under the pen of a great physicist!
It is true that quantum fluctuations of vacuum can generate universes .
But "who created" the void and where is it? "Who created" the laws of Physics? And how can we affirm "the Universe can be created by itself"
and what is done with this "nothing"? How could something that IS NOT have the will, the desire and the means to be?
Does Science allow us to approach God, or even to define him?
Even if this is doubly in contradiction with the Occam razor mentioned earlier, several admissible arguments push to consider the existence
of a multiverse containing a large number (or even an infinity) of Universes, including ours.
The theory of super-strings or the model of fractal inflation of Andrei Linde allow to generate it.
But there is another way (not exclusive of the above) to obtain it: that of simulation.
Indeed, we ourselves create in our computers universe-toys: these are, for example, those of our video games.
Obviously, these do not have the complexity of our Universe, our characters do not (yet?) have consciousness.
But perhaps it is only a "simple" question of time...
So, our Universe could not be a "simple" simulation? And then, would not his programmer (singular or plural) be our God and our Master?
And if this programmer is not alone, other Universes that ours must necessarily exist.
But where are all these programmers and who are their Gods (and the Gods of their Gods,...
and this ad infinitum)?
Of the Transcendent Mysteries:
So if the Gods of religions are very likely only dangerous intellectual "fillers" imagined by man, they do not answer The Question: that of Existence.
But we must remain modest because, for me, Science too cannot and certainly will never be able to answer these questions,
which simply exceed our necessarily limited spirit.
Here are some of them :
- Where is the universe ?
- What is it made of ?
- "Can something" exist, without being somewhere and can we think "something" without seeing it in relation to another "thing" ?
- Can "something" exist without being created?
- Is the finite easier to grasp than the infinite? Is infinity easier to grasp than the finite?
- Can there be "effects" without "causes"?
- What is Consciousness?
- Can we think, understand or imagine the Non-existence (of the Universe...), the nothingness ,...?
Will Science come closer and closer to the answers to these questions, or will it always be so far away,
a little like the calculation of decimals of pi, ever more numerous,
does not bring us closer to the "last" ? Personally, I believe in the fractal nature
of Reality and therefore of Knowledge, constantly new structures and therefore new questions arising in our minds.
It is not useless to recall that for Pierre Simon de Laplace, Physics (and therefore the "machine" Universe) was deterministic.
He thus imagined that an intelligence that would have an "absolute" knowledge of the state of the Universe at a given moment would then have access both to its past and to its future.
That was before Quantum Mechanics the Deterministic Chaos
and computational problems in computers...
But besides, if a scientific and indisputable proof of the nonexistence of God were found, would it be accepted by fundamentalists and fanatics? I doubt it very much...
Every day new extra-solar planetary systems are discovered.
What would happen if an alien civilization were spotted? Is this the end of our religions?
If God exists, why should he necessarily be benevolent? By way of analogy we simulate more and more complex "populations" of "particles"
with different properties: for example, this is the case of the crowds of virtual actors in large-scale films (such as Titanic and The Lord of the Rings).
But this is also the simpler case of the Conway's game of life or even cellular automata.
Who then cares about the death of one of the "particles"? What if consciousness emerges naturally and gradually in a system as soon as its complexity exceeds
a certain threshold and whatever the medium? It is therefore perhaps only a matter of time for the consciousness
to emerge from our creations, without we necessarily being aware of it ourselves...
In any case, will we then be benevolent towards the latter?
Various experimental and theoretical clues tend to suggest that our Universe would not be One, but would be part of a Multiverse.
Several principles that are not exclusive of each other make it possible to "populate" it.
These include computer simulation.
Indeed, already today we simulate in our computers virtual universes (obviously currently much more simplistic than ours), for example in the framework of video games.
Under these conditions, these virtual universes can be created by several cooperating players who can then be considered as the Gods of their creations.
Thus, if our Universe were only a simulation, it could be the work of several "programmers-gods"...
Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate ("Multiples must not be used without necessity").
It is therefore both a principle of economy and simplicity.
William of Occam was a fourteenth-century English Franciscan whose philosophy strongly influenced medieval logic.
By the way, what would be its Non-existence?
As shown in particular by the work of Andrei Linde.
These fluctuations are allowed by Heisenberg's undetermination relations.
It should be noted that today, in order to explain the very special values of the few dozen fundamental constants of Physics (coupling constants,
mass of elementary particles,...), the concept of Multivers is formulated.
Some will say that they do not make sense and they will be right, but how not to ask them...
And if "Multiverse" there is, where is the Multiverse (and the MultiMultiverse, etc...)?
Some consider our Reality to be in fact a "simple" mathematical structure.
This approach (proposed in particular by Max Tegmark) is very attractive, but obviously, it only repels or transposes the most fundamental existential
questions and in particular: where are Mathematics? What are they made of? Have they been created?
An object (respectively an event) is always spotted in relation to another object (respectively another event).
Thus, for example: France is on Earth, the Earth is in the solar system, the Sun is in the Milky Way,
the Milky Way is in the local group, the local group is in the Universe.
But where is the universe?
Not to be confused with vacuum and that of Quantum Mechanics in particular...
Which obviously does not exist!
Thus, the so-called theory of the Whole, of anthropogenic origin, would simply not exist...
Copyright © Jean-François Colonna, 2021-2022.
Copyright © CMAP (Centre de Mathématiques APpliquées) UMR CNRS 7641 / Ecole Polytechnique, 2021-2022.