Over the weekend, myself and a couple of friends started talking about the FIFA 2010 World Cup and the octopous that suddenly gained celebrity status for correctly predicting the outcome of 8 matches. Needless to say, I don’t follow football so I’m usually the last person you’ll find in a conversation about it, but the lure of the possibility of something supernatural was impossible to ignore.
During the afore-mentioned conversation, the octopus’ ability to predict the outcome of matches was attributed to the devil. As one of his numerous gimmicks to deter people from concentrating on what is important. It was even said that God would one day srike the octopus or something. You know, the usual overly religious christian crap. Rather than call BS on the whole Devil/God thingy, I decided to go by the Bible itself for starters.
The two interesting cases of divination in the bible was said made possible by God himself. We have the Balaam dude whose donkey spoke like a human because an angel was in the way (like seriously?). Then we have the occassion where Saul went visiting a witch to talk to Samuel’s familiar spirit. God supposedly caused Samuel’s real spirit itself to manifest. Considering these examples, I find it funny when christians are quick to attribute supernatural events to the devil… well, except for Catholics. I’m guessing the only place where Catholics are yet to see an apparition of Christ is on a girl’s face just after a facial. Wait, I should tweet that!
Maybe God is speaking to us through the octopus. Surely, an all-knowing God already knows the outcome of any football match. This should not destroy freewill in anyway. There are a lot of factors to consider such as amount of, and dedication to training, tolerance to varying weather conditions, level of both natural and acquired skill, etc. Attempts have been made to predict matches using a series of simulations while adjusting the variables. At least football manager games are based on this premise. With the right amount of computing power, these simulations should become as accurate as the octopus, who is yet to exhibit the ability of telling what the exact scores would be.
An all-powerful God’s brain would be the entire earth’s computing muscle to the power of infinity. Combine this with being all-knowing and every move/mood/emotion of the player can be taken into consideration when he simulates the match in his head. Thus, rather than pray to God on the pitch to win, just ask him what the scores’ll be.
That said, there’s the possiblity some dude somewhere has built a super-awesome processor that can accurately predict the outcome of matches. This dude lures the octopus to the “right” case by putting a more delicious looking (at least to the octopus) in it.
Whatever the case is, I’ll love to read about more successful predictions. Heck, I should ask the two year old oracle if I’ll end up dating a certain girl like that.