In the July 1-7 2006 edition of New Scientist there is a review of the
book "The Comprehensible Cosmos" by Victor Stenger. You can see here a power
point presentation on symmetry by Stenger.|
Stenger discusses the idea of symmetry, in particular the work of Emmy Noether who proved that the conservation of energy is a direct consequence of time translation symmetry: the same result is obtained if an experiment is performed now or at a different time.
Other natural laws can be traced to other symmetries: i.e., conservation of momentum to space translation symmetry etc...
I think it may be valuable to express some of our ideas as symmetries/invariances/conservation/equivalence. For example the invariance/conservation of information with regard to the recording substrate is obvious. Information does not change if you transfer it from your hard drive to your floppy (ie., hardware translation symmetry.) This fact, however, may be of far reaching consequence. If one assumes that consciousness is a type of information then consciousness become independent of its physical basis: "The message is independent of the medium!" Or even better: "The message needs no medium!" Marshall McLuhan got it all wrong! :-)
Bruno Marchal wrote:
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- Symmetry, Invarance and Conservation (Was Number and fu... George Levy