Could God be Described by a Large Number?
by Ron Kurtus
One common description of God is that God is omnipresent (present everywhere), omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful). Many people have tried to explain or picture what God is like. One idea is that since an individual's characteristics are coded in his or her DNA and that code can be described as an extremely large sequence of numbers, it may be possible to describe God by a larger—perhaps infinitely large—sequence of numbers.
Questions you may have include:
- How are people described by numbers?
- What are the implications of describing God by a number?
- Is this really possible?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Note: This is an educational website. We are not promoting any one religion.
DNA Holds blueprint of life
Scientists have found that strands of the genetic molecules DNA hold the blueprint to all the characteristics of an individual. We have seen how these scientists have been able to identify portions of the DNA molecules that relate to certain birth defects. They predict that by using genetic engineering people will be able to live healthier and longer lives.
Assign a number to describe a person
In mapping a DNA molecule, it is possible to assign numbers to each section, such that the DNA itself is designated as an extremely large sequence of numbers with billions of digits. Each person has a distinct DNA molecule that controls his or her characteristics and thus has a distinct sequence to designate that molecule arrangement.
Animals also get numbers
If a person can be described by a very large finite number, less complex animals could also be describe by smaller numbers. But even the DNA of a simple animal like a flatworm is extremely complex and would be represented by a very large number.
Apply numbers to God
If we apply this concept to a Supreme Being or God, then a sequence of numbers could also describe Him, but in this case it would be an infinite number. If the sequence were not infinite, it would simply represent a higher form of mortal life.
One implication from assuming that an infinite number can represent God is that He has a number of characteristics that is beyond comprehension. Since the finite number for humans also represents a finite life span, God is immortal.
Higher orders of infinity
On the other hand, mathematicians have proven that there are higher levels of infinity. Our concept of an infinite number is one that would go on an on, forever. But if you take an infinity number of infinite numbers, you end up with an infinity that is even larger! It is the next order of infinite numbers.
A higher order of God possible
The existence of infinite numbers of a higher order means that if an infinite number represented God, there may be an even still higher level Supreme Being represented by this higher order infinity. That would be the God of a God.
Even if you assigned the Angels the first order infinite number and God the second order, there is still the implication of even higher orders of Supreme Beings.
This is a mind exercise
Of course, this is all speculation and really a mind exercise. There is no way we can find out such things. But it is interesting and parallel to concepts of other universes besides our own, of time windows in space and such.
Large, finite numbers that correspond to the arrangement of DNA molecules can describe animals and humans. It then may be possible to describe God by an infinite number. But since there are infinite numbers of higher orders, that could then imply there are Supreme Beings beyond our own.
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Could God be Described by a Large Number?