Hi!
Assumptions assumption assumptions....take a look: You said:

"Why would you say that? Computer simulations can certainly produce 
results you didn't already know about, just look at genetic algorithms."

OK. here's the rub... /"You didn't already know about..."/.
Just exactly 'who' (the 'you') is 'knowing' in this statement?
You automatically put an external observer outside my statement.
*My observer is the knower.* *There is no other knower:* The scientist 
who gets to know is the person I am talking about! There's nobody else 
around who gets to decide what is known... you put that into my story 
where there is none. My story is of /unsupervised/ learning. Nobody else 
gets to choose Bayesian priors/givens. And nobody else is around to pass 
judgement... the result IS the knowledge. Tricky eh?

A genetic algorithm (that is, a specific kind of computationalist 
manipulation of abstract symbols) cannot be a scientist. Even the 'no 
free lunch' theorem, proves that without me adding anything.... but just 
to seal the lid on it....I would defy any computationalist artefact 
based on abstract symbol manipulation to come up with a "law of nature" ...

... by "law of nature" I mean an ABSTRACTION about the distal natural 
world derived from a set of experiences of the distal natural world (NOT 
merely IO signals... these are NOT experienced). The IO is degenerately 
related to the distal natural world by the laws of physics... a 
computationalist IO system is fundamentally degenerately related to the 
distal natural world...so it doesn't even know what is 'out there' at 
all, let alone that there's a generalisation operating BEHIND it. A "law 
of nature", to a genetic algorithm or any other 
abstract/computationalist beast... would merely predict IO behaviour at 
its sensory boundary. It may be brilliantly accurate! But that *IS NOT 
SCIENCE* because there's no verifiable deliverable to pass on...and it 
has nothing else to work with. An artefact based on this may survive in 
a habitat... but that is NOT science.

So....there's no scientist here. (BTW IO = input/output).
cheers,
colin


Jesse Mazer wrote:
> Colin Hales wrote:
>
>   
>> Computationalism is FALSE in the sense that it cannot be used to construct a 
>> scientist.
>> A scientist deals with the UNKNOWN.
>> If you could compute a scientist you would already know everything! Science 
>> would be impossible.
>> So you can 'compute/simulate' a scientist, but if you could the science must 
>> already have been done... 
>>     
>
> Why would you say that? Computer simulations can certainly produce results 
> you didn't already know about, just look at genetic algorithms.
> >
>   

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