Hi m.a.

On 18 Nov 2008, at 20:18, m.a. wrote:

> Dear Bruno,
>                         Needless to say I feel honored that you've  
> taken the time to answer my naive questions.


Naive questions I love.



> But since you invite such questions, I do have a problem with the  
> phrase highlighted below. Exactly what feature of the "fundamental  
> status of physics" is questioned by comp?


Its fundamentality. Since Aristotle's success it seems some scientists  
believe in a fundamental physical universe. The laws of physics who be  
the fundamental base from which all laws and patterns should be  
derived. The idea is: physics explains chemistry which explains
biology which explains psychology which explains consciousness. I am  
just saying that if the brain functions like a computer, then this  
Aristotelian picture is just wrong. If I tell you what is true, you  
will (if your are sane) believe it is crackpot, that is why I prefer  
to insist on the reasoning. But roughly speaking, if mechanism is  
true, then the "physical universe" appears to be the border of the  
universal machine "ignorance". The cosmos is the tip of the iceberg.  
And the laws of physics are really something which evolved, yet not in  
a space time, but in a logical space gluing the possible machine  
"dreams". I am not saying this is true, only that it is a consequence  
of the seemingly innocent (for some naturalist) mechanist hypothesis.


> Is it just the insistence on a substrate of matter? If all the  laws  
> of physics (in the real TOE) can be generated (duplicated) by pure  
> mathematics, isn't the distinction a trivial semantic one solved by  
> one sweep of Occam's razor? Do you view the idea of "matter" as  
> somehow inhibiting the pace of scientific discovery or as the basis  
> of a dangerous, quasi-mystical, pseudo-religious cult? Just curious.


It is not like that. It is far deeper. It gives a way to justify the  
why and how of physical laws, and this from mechanism, and this  
without making the (ad hoc) assumption of a physical universe. And if  
you do the math, you get a physics extracted from mechanism, and you  
can use it to confirm mechanism or to refute it.

You can take the reasoning train which is currently passing. Mainly  
the MGA can be understood by patient layman having some notion of  
digital machine.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/




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