Hi Alan,

Thank you very much for making my point even more clear(*).

You know "my theory" (which is just the classical machine's theory) has been named "machine biology", and "then "machine theology". It is my thesis director in France who asked me to use the term "machine psychology" instead of "theology". I really don't care of the wording but it seems to me, for empirical reasons, that people are more shocked by an expression like "physics is derivable from machine psychology" than by "physics is derivable from machine theology". This is related to the fact that most theologies admit cosmogonies unlike psychology. None of those words are well chosen, but if you think "theology" is necessarily "mystical" I can go back to the word "psychology" instead. Or you could help me to find a less shocking wording (and less flattening than just "computer science" which is defensible assuming comp).

Sometimes the "moderation posts" are very interesting by themselves. It is a little sad that this one is authoritative and does not admit replies (in the FOR-list). (Given that my point was really that "theology" could be amenable to scientific discourse, once we make some assumptions).

Assuming the computationalist hypothesis, it is natural to define "machine theology" by all what is *true about* the consistent machines. By incompleteness this is much less than what consistent machines can prove about themselves. Now the gap between provability and truth is amenable to mathematical analysis (by Godel, Lob, Boolos, Solovay, etc.).
Precisely: G' minus G. (The Solovay provability logics(**)).

Alan, how could I communicate? If I explain in plain english I will look mystical and moderated out. If I explain the "mystical" out, then I will look technical, and moderate out again.

It is a pity because it seems to me all this is relevant with the Church-Turing thesis and principle discussed in FOR. Of course on this point I disagree with David Deutsch, but then I disagree with all physicists except J. A. Wheeler (if I may borrow this sort of expression to DD :).

Ah! I just remember a wording I have used for the machine's theology a long time ago, it is the collection of propositions belonging to the difference between computer science and computer's computer science (which is non empty by incompleteness again). But that is long and could look both mystical and technical.
Sometimes I add the restriction that the machine should be able to correctly bet on those propositions.

Anyway, I will search for better words ... I didn't expect to be moderated out so quickly this time ;)



Le 01-août-05, à 03:02, Alan Forrester a écrit :

Hallo Peeps :-)

I have decided that the theology discussion is far too prone to wander
into mysticism and religion, if, indeed, it has not done so already
and mysticism and religion are off-topic.

All theology posts sent to the list will be deleted without a mod
message from now on.

Alan Forrester
Fabric of Reality List Moderating Team


(*) cf:

->BM: Most theological questions are still buried under the carpet,

Bill Taylor: Where they belong.

BM: The problem is that if the "scientist" dismiss some fundamental
questions, they will be tackled by those who will use some urgency
feeling related to them to to do "total unrigorous manipulative
pseudo-theology", so that the scientist will say "you see, let us keep
those things under the carpet". Your negative attitude is unfounded and
self-fulfilling, I'm afraid.

->or dismiss as non scientific.

As I have just done.

No sincere questions are "non scientific". Prejudice against some
possible sense in those questions will not help making them more clear
and, who can know in advance, susceptible to scientific progress on

(**) Solovay, R. M. (1976). Provability Interpretation of Modal Logic. Israel Journal of Mathematics, 25:287-304.


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