Bruno, I feel very much in tune with your definition of science, so I'll trudge 
along with Kim as far as the UD allows me to follow the reasoning.     m.a.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bruno Marchal 
  Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 6:59 AM
  Subject: Re: Consciousness is information?

  Hi Marty,

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

                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 

  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.



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