Somebody asked, in another forum, whether one could prove God
by the fact that if you randomly
flipped every pixel
on the screen until you'd gone through them all, you'd see along the way the pictures
.... I answered
Well let's run the numbers on this.
screen is 1280 x 720 pixels, for a total of 921,600 pixels.
Each pixel has a color determined by a mix of red
, and blue
, with a range of intensity of each going from 0 to 255. So a pixel of 0 red and 0 green and 1 blue, though probably indistinguishable to the human eye
from one of 0 red and 0 green and 2 blue, is considered a different color. The range of colors representable by any given pixel is 255 x 255 x 255, for 16,777,216 possible different colors.
Ready for the madness
Suppose your screen with its 921,600 pixels was entirely at 0 red and 0 green and 0 blue, except for one single pixel at 0 red and 0 green and 1 blue. You probably wouldn't even be able to find the one subtly different pixel.
Now think of it this way, if your screen had only two pixels, one of those could be any of 16,777,216, and the other one could, as well, be any of 16,777,216 colors, so between those two pixels, you have 281,475,000,000,000 possible combinations. Assuming no combination ever repeated, if you were to click through one combination per second with no time taken to eat or sleep, it would take you nearly nine million years
to go through all possible combinations
. For a screen of 921,600 pixels, you would have 16,777,216 to the 921,600th power possible combinations. The number is truly incomprehensible.
The vast majority of images which could be generated thusly would be gibberish
to the eye.
But in that randomly-set set would be, as well, every picture ever taken by any person, including every still frame from every vid or animation ever made.
Every selection of text ever created that could fit on a screen.
Every page of text ever written -- including every textual argument ever made or which could be made which would definitively prove the existence of God, AND every textual argument ever made or which could be made which would definitively disprove the existence of god. And all of those repeated in every font which would fit on the screen, and in italics.
Every scene on Earth ever seen by human eyes, and every unseen scene on Earth, and on the Moon and Mars and Jupiter and every other place in our Universe, as it would have been seen had human eyes been there to see it.
Every conceivable thing able to be put on a screen.
Every inconceivable thing.
The moment of your birth
The moment of your death
The moment of your conception
1,000 years after you died.
Every moment of the rise of every empire
Every moment after the fall of every empire.
Your ancestors from a thousand generations
Your ancestors from a hundred million
of every religion
in such glory
as to make them undeniable.
by which every thing
came into existence
without any divine hand.
And all of those images combined would constitute a tiny fraction
of everything which would come across that screen. And in the end you would see so many true
things and so many false
things (and by definition
the false would outnumber the true by orders of magnitude
, but be indistinguishable from the true) that at the end the only thing which would make sense
would be.... madness.
And perhaps that madness is all the God there is.