LIFE, KOLMOGOROV COMPLEXITY, AND DELICIOUS SPAGHETTI
To begin, let us look at the forms of life we can see on this planet. They all exhibit a certain degree of complexity, which is not found in non-living matter. A dog is much more complex than a rock. To express this, we can use the concept of Kolmogorov complexity. Living things possess high Kolmogorov complexity, because their DNA is decidedly uncompressible. As an example, consider the string of bits 10101010. This string has very low Kolmogorov complexity, because it can be compressed to ‘write 10 four times’. On the other hand, the string 0100101, is uncompressible in the same sense that DNA is. It has very high Kolmogorov complexity. That string was generated by me by tapping the ‘0’ and ‘1’ keys on my keyboard.
If I had a keyboard with only ACGT, I could similarly write random DNA. If we put that DNA into a cell, and tried to make a living organism out of it, I very much doubt we would get anything living, much less good at living. Therefore, the uncompressible complexity we observe in living things is also non-random. It has been created for a purpose: the purpose of building living things.
So, if the DNA has been created, then there must be a creator. Some choose to posit the Christian God, other choose intelligent aliens with amazing technology. The problem is that both of these choices also must have extremely high Kolmogorov complexity. My chances of randomly hammering out the code to a divine being on my four-key keyboard are even less than that of coming up with a living animal. These are really just restatements of the same problem; we still don’t know where the complexity came from. We could posit an endless string of Gods each who created the one before it, thus accounting for the extremely high complexity of a God. However, this string just results in higher and higher degrees of complexity and gets us nowhere. What we need is a way to get high complexity from low complexity.
If you’ll indulge me a brief tangent, I would like to discuss the properties of Spaghetti. Imagine a box of uncooked spaghetti. It’s essentially a series of straight lines. A box of 200 pieces of spaghetti has very low Kolmogorov complexity. You could easily compress the data contained in those 200 pieces. Now imagine a plate of cooked spaghetti, complete with sauce and, if you like, meatballs. Imagine the process of untangling this mass. It would take hours to individually sort each piece of spaghetti, clean off the sauce, and put it in it’s own separate place, and pick out the meatballs. This plate of spaghetti, all tangled up, and covered with delicious, delicious sauce, has very high complexity. Spaghetti has the astounding property of being able to go from very low, to very high complexity.
Now, let’s return to our search for a creator. Clearly Gods and super intelligent aliens don’t help us in our problem. A spaghetti God, however, could. It is reasonable that something of low complexity might come into existence on its own. We don’t look at a rock in the woods and feel the need for a designed. So, low complexity, uncooked spaghetti does not require a creator, it is quite capable of arising through random, natural processes. Then, when cooked via the infusion of energy, it can come to have a high complexity. Consider the difference between uncooked, and slightly cooked spaghetti. Slightly uncooked spaghetti has slightly higher complexity than uncooked. There is a continuous spectrum from low to high as the spaghetti is cooked. The more the spaghetti is cooked, the more energy has been infused. In order to create a flying spaghetti monster capable of creating life, which would have an extremely high level of complexity, we would need an extremely high amount of energy to do the cooking.
There is only one place where we might find the required amount of energy: the universe immediately following the Big Bang. Temperatures of 100 billion degrees Kelvin would certainly be sufficient to generate the high Kolmogorov complexity of spaghetti with the power to create life.
Thus, we have found a solution to the question of where the Kolmogorov complexity of life comes from. Uncooked spaghetti arose naturally (quite possible because of its low Kolmogorov complexity) during the first instants of the universe. It was then cooked by the extremely high temperatures, causing it to rapidly gain complexity to the point of being able to create life. Further increases in complexity granted it the ability to fly, and monster status.
There will likely be some neo-Darwinian, Ivy League, science elitist who will come up with some other object that can rise in complexity when cooked. In order to prove that the true form of the creator is that of a flying spaghetti monster, I will employ a version of the famed cosmological argument:
1. You don’t need a reason to enjoy spaghetti.
2. Everything (else) has a cause.
3. Nothing can cause itself.
4. Everything is caused by another thing.
5. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
6. There must be a first cause.
7. The first cause had no cause.
8. Spaghetti is the only thing that can have no cause, thus must be the first cause.