On 06 Aug 2009, at 04:37, Colin Hales wrote:
> Man this is a tin of worms! I have just done a 30 page detailed
> refutation of computationalism.
> It's going through peer review at the moment.
> The basic problem that most people fall foul of is the conflation of
> 'physics-as-computation' with the type of computation that is being
> carried out in a Turing machine (a standard computer). In the paper
> I drew an artificial distinction between them. I called the former
> NATURAL COMPUTATION (NC) and the latter ARTIFICIAL COMPUTATION (AC).
> The idea is that if COMP is true then there is no distinction
> between AC and NC. The distinction should fail.
Why? COMP entails that physics cannot be described by a computation,
but by an infinite sum of infinite histories. If you were correct,
there would be no possible white rabbit. You are confusing comp (I am
a machine) and constructive physics (the universe is a machine).
> I found one an one only situation/place where AC and NC part
> company. Call this situation X.
> If COMP is false in this one place X it is false as a general claim.
> I also found 2 downstream (consequential) failures that ultimately
> get their truth-basis from X, so they are a little weaker as formal
> arguments against COMP.
> FACT: Humans make propositions that are fundamentally of an informal
> nature. That is, the utterances of a human can be inconsistent and
> form an fundamentally incomplete set (we don't 'know everything').
> The quintessential definition of a scientist is a 'correctable
> liar'. When a hypothesis is uttered it has the status
> indistinguishable of a lie.
A lie presuppose the intention of communicating the false.
> Humans can participate in the universe in ways which can
> (apparently) violate any law of nature. Humans must be able to
> 'violate' laws of nature in the process of accessing new/novel
> formal systems to describe the unknown natural world. Look at the
> world. It is not hard to see how humans exemplify an informal
> system. All over the world are quite normal (non-pathologically
> affected) humans with the same sensory systems and mental
> capacities. Yet all manner of ignorance and fervently held
> contradictory belief systems are ‘rationally’ adopted.
> COMP fails when:
> a) You assume COMP is true and build an artificial (AC/computer)
> scientist <Sa> and expect <Sa> to be able to carry out authentic
> original science on the a-priori unknown....identically to humans.
> To do this you use a human-originated formal model (law of nature)
> ts to do this.... your computer 'computes ts, you EMBODY the
> computer in a suitable robotic form and then expect it to do science
> like humans. If COMP is true then the human scientist and the robot
> scientist should be indistinguishable.
> b) You then discover that it is a fundamental impossibility that
> <Sa> be able to debate/propose that COMP is a law of nature.
> c) Humans can debate/propose that COMP is a law of nature.
> BECAUSE: (b) <> (c) they are distinguishable. NC and AC are different
> THEREFORE: ts cannot be the 'law of nature' for a scientist.
> THEREFORE: COMP is false in the special case of (b)
> THEREFORE: COMP is false as a general claim.
> (b) is not a claim of truth or falsehood. It is a claim that the
> very idea of <Sa> ever proposing COMP (= doubting that COMP is true)
> is impossible. This is because it is a formal system trying, with a
> fixed, formal set of rules (even self modifying according to yet
> more rules) to construct statements that are the product of an
> informal system (a human scientist). The very idea of this is a
> contradiction in terms. The formal system is 100% deterministic,
> unable to violate rules. When it encounters a liar it will be unable
> to resolve what falsehood is being presented. It requires all
> falsehoods to be a-priori known. Impossible. How can a formal system
> encounter a world in which COMP is actually false? If it could, COMP
> would be FALSE! If COMP is true then it can't. Humans are
> informal....ergo we have some part of the natural world capable of
> behaving informally....=> GOTCHA!
> This argument is has very 'Godellian' structure. That was accidental.
> When you say 'physics is fundamental'. I don't actually known what
> that means.
> What I can tell you is that to construct an authentic ARTIFICIAL
> SCIENTIST (not a simulation, but an 'inorganic' scientist), you have
> to replicate the real physics of cognition, not 'compute a model' of
> the cognition or a 'compute a model of the physics underlying
> cognition'. Then an artificial scientist is a scioentist in the same
> sense that artificial light is light.
> R.I.P. COMP
> => Strong AI (a computer can be a mind) is false.
> => Weak AI (A computer model of cognition can never be actual
> cognition) is true.
> It's nice to finally have at least one tiny little place (X) where
> the seeds of clarity can be found.
The formal belief of ideal machine Bp leads already to the informal
and non nameable first person, described by Bp & p, which cannot be
described formally by the machine itself.
If you want to show comp false, you should show that it predicts more
non computational phenomena than the one observed. Comp would already
be false in case Newton classical physics was "proved" correct, or if
Quantum mechanics was deterministic and/or boolean.
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