On Thursday Chinese scientists announced that they had brought online the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The Tianhe-1A far exceeds the former record holder located at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The Tianhe-1A set a performance record of 2.507 petaflops. One petaflop is equal to 1,000 trillion operations per second, making this new supercomputer capable of 2,507 trillion operations per second. That makes it the first computer that can actually keep up with the growth of our national debt.
This is a truly significant accomplishment for China. But there’s a problem with this story. As impressive as the Chinese computer is, it is not the most powerful. Where is the most powerful one? It’s all in your head.
Consider the power of just one part of your brain. There are thousands of sensors in your ears, muscles, tendons and joints that continuously send signals to your cerebellum. Your cerebellum continuously processes all the data and tells your body what to do to stay balanced.
Your ears contain two of these sensory systems: the maculae, which monitor forward/backward motion and the semicircular canals which monitor rotary motion. The maculae alone send about two million impulses per second to your cerebellum while you are at rest. Think of how busy your cerebellum is when you are holding the phone with one hand, holding your coffee with the other, and steering with your knees!
China’s new supercomputer weighs 155 tons, and occupies 103 racks covering 17,000 square feet. It consumes a massive 4.04 megawatts of electricity, enough to power one large warship or all the coffee makers in American churches for one Sunday morning. Producing the Tianhe-1A required careful designing by two hundred intelligent beings called computer scientists.
But with a minimal amount of electricity, the total data that your cerebellum alone processes in one second would fry the Tianhe-1A supercomputer at the same speed or take years to process at normal speeds. Sadly, many still insist that the complexity of the human brain is a result of a series of accidents. But what in all of human experience tells us that complex systems can be produced by random forces? Why would a supercomputer require intelligent designers but our brains not require a superior intelligent designer?
Given the increasing skepticism of our generation, we need facts and questions such as these in our memory bank. What our brains can do should cause us to stand in awe of the One Who designed and made them, but being awestruck is not enough. We must be ready to bear witness to others who have not yet met Him.