Russell Standish writes:
> It predicts that either a) there is no conscious life in a GoL
> universe (thus contradicting computationalism) or b) the physics as
> seen by conscious GoL observers will be quantum mechanical in nature.
> If one could establish that a given GoL structure is conscious, and
> then if one could demonstrate that its world view is incompatible with
> QM then we might have a contradiction.=20
> Even then, there is still a loophole. I suspect that 3D environment
> are far more likely to evolve the complex structures needed for
> consciousness, so that conscious GoL observers are indeed a rare
> thing. I don't know if this is the case or not, but if true it would
> make a GoL example irrelevant. More interesting is to look at some 3D
> CA rules that appear to support universal computation - Andy Wuensche
> had a paper on this in last year's ALife in Boston. No arXiv ref I'm
> afraid, but you could perhaps email him for an eprint...

That's very interesting.  Is it a matter of evolution, or mere existence?
I can see that life would be hard to evolve naturally in Life -
it's too chaotic.  But it might well be possible for us to create
a specially-designed Life "robot" which was able to move around and
interact with a sufficiently well-defined and restrictive environment.

How much constraint would your theories put on the capabilities of such
a robot?  Is it just that it could never be truly conscious?  Or would
your arguments limit its capabilities more strongly?  Consciousness is
hard to test for; would there be purely functional limitations that you
could predict?

Hal Finney

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