Physics is focused on “laws” and predictable events like the effects of gravitation, motion, magnetism and so on. And of course we have our own human laws, like the Ten Commandments from Moses, who was also known as the “law giver.”
One way to reconcile these various attempts at establishing “order” can be found in “The Lawfulness of the Universe” by Ram Dass, where he writes, “That’s the way the word ‘God’ finally comes in, which is a hard one for us. But you could say that’s why the Jews were so interested in the law, and what the Ten Commandments were that Moses brought back. Because the universe of form is merely the lawful manifestation of this energy into patterns, and because it is all lawful – past, present, and future – all are already.”
Coming from a computer background with just enough knowledge of programming to be dangerous, I have always compared the word “God” to the variable in a computer program. This is an easy concept to understand. Let’s say you’re filling out a form on a web page which asks you for your first name, and then your last name.
In the computer “code” the program “declares” a variable; for example it may declare that for this program the words “first_name” will hold the value which you type into the form for that “field.” So when I fill out the form the value “held” by the declared variable first_name will be “Tom.”
Similarly, when I fill out the next field, by typing my last name, the variable “last_name” will equal “Bunzel” and so on. Then the program can use the concatenation (a fancy word for combining) the two variables so that it can send me an invitation to my full name – “Tom Bunzel” and also use it for various calculations.
Variables can also hold numeric values so that the variable “income” can be evaluated by the form to decide whether I’m worth issuing a credit card.
What I always found so fascinating about this system of programming is its inexorable precision. If the programmer creating the form makes the slightest mistake in how the form is programmed, the higher program that may “read” the form in the web page may not be able to translate the form, and I might get a letter addressed to “Mr. First_Name Bunzel.”
If you look at this image, for example, you will see that the email subject line refers to the fact that I have been “pre-approved” for a loan, but instead of my name, it has put in the word “NULL.”
So either the programmer messed up when creating the input form or the person entering the data (more likely) simply left the field blank, and the program, by “default,” inserted the word “NULL” to signify that the field was blank. So instead of addressing me as Tom, the email refers to me as NULL.
(Presumably the “email address” field was correctly filled in or the stupid email would not have arrived).
But the incredible thing is that we, as humans, have learned a set of electronic “laws” (programs) that have enabled us to simulate the perfection of the universe, to a certain extent, within our machines.
As long as the program is written “according to law” everything works smoothly.
And this can bring us to the amazing work of Alan Turing (about whom two films have recently been released) whose “law” stated that a conscious computer would be one whose “output” could not be distinguished from that of a human.
And we’ve come pretty close.
The supercomputer Watson from IBM, for example could “understand” and “answer” the questions on Jeopardy better than three former champions, but not by “thinking” with an organic brain, but rather because an amazing team of programmers had “taught” Watson how to scan with superhuman rapidity through an enormous repository of Googled information. But the methodology was precisely the same as described above with the computer form that sent an email to “NULL.”
But I became fascinated with this when I was hired by a law firm back in the eighties and they gave me six computer disks which I inserted into a machine which taught me how to use it, and to do word processing, so that I could fill in the “fields” and sue a bunch of people with documents that were then printed and sent to the court.
Since then I have been increasingly fascinated by the “lawfulness” of computers. They do not make “mistakes.” They only do what they’re “programmed” to do.
I learned this when my frustration would force me to call tech support and we would “fix” a problem. Invariably the fix “made total sense” once an error, either on my part or in the program, was discovered and then once again, everything happened “according to law.”
If you’ve ever tried to post an image on the Internet, for example, and gotten an error message, it’s probably because the file you tried to upload wasn’t the right “file type” for a web browser. As many of you know a web browser can only accept (according to law) a JPG, PNG or GIF file.
If your digital camera happened to create a TIF file through its electronic code, then the file would be rejected – unless you used another program to convert it to one of those precise “file types” accepted by Chrome or Internet Explorer.
This is precisely why my mind was blown when I saw the video by geneticist Juan Enriquez where he says without any equivocation that DNA is a computer program. He’s holding up an apple:
“Because this thing codes ones and zeros, and this thing codes A T, C, Gs, and it sits up there, absorbing energy on a tree, and one ﬁne day it has enough energy to say, execute, and it goes thump. Right?
And when it does that, pushes a .EXE, what it does is, it executes the ﬁrst line of code, which reads just like that, AATCAGGGACCC, and that means: make a root. Next line of code: make a stem. Next line of code, TACGGGG: make a ﬂower that’s white, that blooms in the spring, that smells like this. In the measure that you have the code and the measure that you read it – and, by the way, the ﬁrst plant was read two years ago; the ﬁrst human was read two years ago; the ﬁrst insect was read two years ago.”
So it appears certain that our organic and conscious bodies do in fact operate, as does all Life, according to law.
Try to take that in.