Hi Marty,

On 29 May 2009, at 02:32, m.a. wrote:

> Bruno,
>             Thank you for this detailed reply. May I pose one follow- 
> up question? Is the universal dovetailer some sort of God/Machine  
> that is mathematical like the rest of creation but separate from it  
> and of a higher order of purpose?


The universal dovetailer (UD) is a program. A finite piece of code,  
which, when executed, generates all programs, in all possible  
programming languages, and which also executes all those programs, by  
dovetailing on those executions. In that sense the UD is "just" a  
program among all programs. When it runs (platonistically or not) it  
generates itself, and executes itself, an infinity of times.

I will explain this in all details to Kim. It is not a trivial  
subject, and the more you know about the diagonalization technic, the  
more you are amazed that the UD can exist. But its existence is a  
consequence of simple axioms defining addition and multiplication of  
the natural numbers. Its "universal" character is a consequence of  
Church's thesis, which is needed for accepting the generality of  
incompleteness and limitation theorems.




> If so, is there an explanation for its existence that doesn't  
> exclude a deity?


You can explain the existence of the UD without invoking any deity.  
But this does not exclude any (non naïve or literal) deity.

Then, if you are willing to define deities by "non turing  
emulable" (mathematical) subject or objects, like actual infinities,  
then, even machines (like us, with comp) cannot NOT invoke deities  
when trying to learn some truth about just the numbers and the  
machines. We need even a transfinite ladder of deities to grasp more  
and more the machine's abilities.

The opposition between science and religion is a red herring. Science  
is opposed only to authoritative arguments. The confusion comes from  
the fact that many religions, including some form of atheism, are  
based on authoritative arguments, apparently as a consequence of their  
temporal institutionalization.

But real, ideal perhaps, science leads only to modesty and respect,  
especially in regard with fundamental question.

Science cannot have definite answers on fundamental questions, it can  
only enlarge the awe, the astonishment.
Science cannot kill the mystery, but it can clean it better and better  
from the superstitions and the fake mysteries, generally brought by  
the fear sellers and the egocentric manipulators.

If you follow the explanation to Kim, there will be a point where you  
will understand that science is really what breaks down all possible  
form of reductive or reductionist explanation. This can explain why  
the pseudo religious authoritarians are used to fight against science,  
and against freedom.

Comp superficially looks like a reductionism, but it is the most  
powerful vaccine against reductionism.

Bruno


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




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