In terms, bit god (LH:3) refers to god, typically the god of Christianity, reformulated into a quasi-metaphysical "digital god", who is conceptualized as making the information structure of the universe, god's word made of "bits", aka binary digits, or 0s and 1s, which, in this scheme, is seen as the first principle of all things, aka Genesis explained via information theory, conceptualized by the idiom "in the beginning, god made bits". Many modern people, particularly those keen to computer science and or mathematicians, and looking to meld or unify monotheism with modern science, believe in some form of the "bit god", or "god as information", although many will not say so directly.
In 1836, Samuel Morris invented a communication device called the "telegraph system", shown below right, could be used to send coded pulses — dots (short hold) or dashes (long hold) — of electric current along a wire which controlled an electromagnet that was located at the receiving end of the telegraph system:
- = short hold (current) = 0 | zero binary digit (zero bit)
- = long hold (current) = 1 | one binary digit (one bit)
In 1847, George Boole, in his Mathematical Analysis of Logic, followed by his The Laws of Thought (1854), showed how to reduce human reasoning (logic) to a symbolic form resembling ordinary numerical algebra.
In 1886, Charles Peirce described how logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits, and in 1893 he devised a “truth table” matrix, the gist of which being that 0s and 1s put into a table, could yield a primitive input out put logic system, based on Boolean algebra. The following truth table based logic gate diagram might be something akin to how Peirce viewed god, or at least how many modern bit god theorists view god:
In 1907, Lee Forest suggested how the “Fleming valve” could be used as a logic gate.
In 1924, Walther Bothe invented the first AND gate.
In 1934 to 1936, Akira Nakashima, Claude Shannon, and Viktor Shetakov, independently, introduced switching circuit theory, showing that two-valued (0s and 1s) Boolean algebra can describe the operation of switching circuits, from which electrical switches could thus be used to implement logic, the fundamental concept that underlies all electronic digital computers.
In 1948, Claude Shannon, in his "Mathematical Theory of Communication", showed how information, be it cryptography or transmission, could be explained using Boolean algebra and logarithms. This launched the "Shannon bandwagon", the loud music and song from which, in the decade to follow, began to toot the idea that Shannon's information theory could be applied to "every" branch of human knowledge, e.g. economics, philosophy, linguistics, religion, and what have you, eventually and including "god".
DNA | Shannon bandwagon
In 1953, Francis Crick, together with James Watson, discovered the molecular structure of the DNA, the molecular structure of the gene, which quickly became dubbed the "information carrier" of the genetic code.
In 1956, Shannon published a recant article, entitled "The Bandwagon", wherein he explained to everyone that information theory was only applicable IN computer science, and NOT applicable to humanities fields such as: psychology, economics, and other social sciences:
- “It will be all to easy for our somewhat artificial prosperity to collapse overnight when it is realized that the use of a few ‘excited’ words like information, entropy, redundancy, do not solve all our problems.”
- — Claude Shannon (1956), “The Bandwagon”, Mar
In the decades to follow, most ignored Shannon admonitions about using a few "existed words", and, via a blurred mixture of DNA = information, mind = computer, information = bits, the word of god or logos = bits, the "bit god", information theory model of god, began to grow, form, and to plant roots in many minds.
The bit god is very prevalent in modern science, albeit in a very covert and Sokal affair sort of way.
In 1999, Shu-Kun Lin, an organic and inorganic physical chemist, founded the the Entropy journal as a repercussion of his openly-stated confusion between: the “entropy”, aka "information entropy" (see: information entropy quotes), of Shannon, on one hand, the thermodynamical “entropy” of Clausius, Gibbs, Boltzmann, and Planck, on another hand, and the metaphysical “entropy” of Prigogine, on a third hand. It can be crudely estimated that near to half of authors of who publish in this journal, presently, are bit god believers, particularly when it comes to articles related to: life, consciousness, evolution, machine learning, etc.
Bit god theorists
Technically, using the "bit", information, or information theory to argue for some sort of closet theology, or coded metaphysics, is called an "ontic opening" argument. A bit god theorist, typically, will not directly say that the believe in god. The bit god theorist tends to be hard to detect. Typically, however, they will tend to employ the term "self-" as a prefix, in many of their terms. An popular example is Christopher Langan, who in his “The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe: a New Kind of Reality”, employs thirteen different self-terms, e.g. self-configuring, self-configuration, self-containing, self-characterized, self-definition, self-execution, etc., in his abstract alone. Self-terms, however, physically, violate the principle of inertia.
Others tend to employ terms such as self-organization, along with "emergence", and other word salad mixtures and woo physics. Then there are some, such as Joey Lawsin (65AE), who will employ term such as "self-automation" and "self-energized", and argue that you "can boil water with bits", and argue that "bits exist at the quantum level", but at the same time claims to be an atheist?
Secondly, you will typically find them to be overly-zealous about arguing that bits, fundamentally, are at the basis of thermodynamics, physics, and chemistry, all of which, including the "joule", the unit of energy, be reduced to 0s and 1s, and hence the "mind of god", as they believe, but tend not to say directly. A simple example, one of likely hundreds, is Philip Stahl, found, while writing this paragraph, via keys: “bits, god, energy” in Google Books, whose 2013 Beyond Atheism, Beyond God, talks about how one can apply the what he calls the “Heisenberg energy-time indeterminacy principle equation”, to say that energy, entropy, and negentropy can be equated to so many “bits”. This is what is called science gone wrong or distorted science. These are classified as "weed theories". It is like doing a Sokal affair to sell god theory via bits arguments.
In 1995, Keith Devlin, in his Logic and Information, a book aiming to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of intelligence and knowledge acquisition, via concept of logic, presented a cover, as shown above, with god, coming out of the sun, who makes or creates the “bits” of the universe, which thus creates the human mind, or something along these lines.
The modern incarnation of a 0s and 1s based god, is similar, in some respect to the god of Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, who developed a number based monism god, that was also defined geometrically. The "Pythagorean god", however, was far more advanced that the "bit god", per reason that it was based on so-called Egyptian solar mathematics. The bit god, conversely, amounts to people ignorant of computer science and or electrical engineering, but pretending to be experts in these subjects, and "sell" a new age god theory, in short.
The following are quotes:
- “You can’t boil water with bits.”
- — Libb Thims (2016), note reflection on the Sokal affair and hydraism nature of metallurgical engineer geologist Norman Dolloff (1975) citation of chemist Witold Brostow (1972), who in turn cites physicists Peter Landsberg (1970) and Edwin Jaynes (1957), who in turn cite electrical engineer Claude Shannon (1949), who in turn cites the “nobody knows what entropy is” joke of John Neumann (1940), 3:33PM CST Jan 8; cited by Joey Lawsin (66AE)
- Devlin, Keith. (1995). Logic and Information. Cambridge.
- Logic gate (history) – Wikipedia.
- Anderson, Douglas. (1955). “Peirce’s God of Theory and Practice” (Jst), Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, 51(1):167-78.
- Shannon, Claude E. (1948). "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" (pdf), Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 27, pp. 379-423, 623-656, July, October.
- Shannon bandwagon – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Meyer, Stephen. (2009). Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Shannon, 31+ pgs). Publisher.
- (a) Shannon, Claude. (1956). “The Bandwagon”, IRE Transactions: on Information Theory, 2(1):3, March.
(b) Mitra, Partha; Bokil, Hemant. (2007). Observed Brain Dynamics (§1.3.1: Reversible and Irreversible Dynamics; Entropy, pgs. 9-; Appendix A: The Bandwagon by C.E. Shannon, pgs. 343-44; Appendix B: Two Famous Papers by Peter Elias, pgs. 345-46). Oxford University Press.
- Shu-Kun Lin – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Christopher Langan – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Lawsin, Joey; Thims, Libb. (65AE), “Abioism: email dialogue”, Aug 23 to 27.
- Stahl, Philip. (2013). Beyond Atheism, Beyond God (pg. 364). iUniverse.
- Weed theory – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Note: Neumann, in turn, crudely cites, in his mind, his friend Leo Szilard (1929), who studied under Max Planck, and his fallacious Planck entropy model; Szilard himself attempting to exorcise Maxwell's demon from the heat engine so to show "permanent decrease in entropy"
- Libb Thims (personal notes) – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Lawsin, Joey. (c.2020). “Life, Living, and Alive” (Ѻ), Lawsinium, Blogspot.
- Thims, Libb. (2012). “Thermodynamics ≠ Information Theory: Science’s Greatest Sokal Affair” (pdf) (annotated review: pdf, by Robert Doyle, 2020), Journal of Human Thermodynamics (Ѻ), 8(1): 1-120, Dec 19.
- Poudel, Ram; Thims, Libb; Haddad, Wassim; Kondepudi; Themis, Matsoukas; Deacon, Terrence; and Nahum, Gerard. (2020). “Boltzmann entropy (J/K) vs Shannon entropy (bits)” (YT), Thermodynamics 2.0 Conference, Group Discussion, Jun 22.
- Information theory – AnswersInGenesis.com.