Stephen Paul King, <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, writes: > My problem is that COMP requires the existence of an infinite > computational system that is immune from the laws of thermodynamics. That > makes it HIGHLY suspect in my book.
First, I'm not sure that Bruno's COMP hypothesis (which is basically that minds can't tell what is computing them) does require this, but arguably the hypothesis that our entire universe is a computer program, and that all such programs and all such universes exist, requires some such assumption. But is this any more problematic than the conventional view that there exists an infinitely reliable set of mathematical equations that specify the "laws of nature"? > Even if we make the "leap of faith" and > assume that all that exists is numbers and the relations among them, how do > we explain the reason that the "illusion" of a "flow of time" occurs? That's a good question, and I would suggest two answers. The first is that when we apply the anthropic principle and look for universes that contain observers, we are implicitly assuming that observers require a flow of time. It is almost impossible to conceive of an observer that would be timeless, and if such a thing existed, we would not recognize it as an observer. But if we do accept that in some sense timeless observers could exist, then no doubt they do exist, in universes that may not have anything like a flow of time. The second answer is that it may be that the simplest set of laws that allows for observers like ourselves to exist inherently requires something like time to exist as well. We are complex, and we know that in our universe, we were the result of the process of evolution starting with simple chemistry and building up complex biology. To get our level of complexity you either need a complex universe, which implies a large and improbable program, or you need a simple universe with a flow of time sufficient to let something like evolution operate. Therefore it is more likely that systems complex enough to be called observers will exist in universes where there is causality, consistency and evolution. Hal