Hi Russel,

1) Strong CT/Deutch...will look it up...Sounds like one of the conflations in operation: confusing the natural world with some kind of computer running rules, rather than something natural merely behaving rule-ly to an observing scientist.

2) Re: angry popperians...the role of human creativity in the science process is not that of blind/mindless searching. I'm not sure how you construed this from the text. The so-called robot scientists (automated dataminers) do that kind of searching. That is the mindless searching I meant. Humans scientists built the searching robots...a very different process... also....Constructing a hypothesis is a creative act, and it proceeds as much by 'gut' as by anything else. This is the sense in which the "obvious that human scientists do not operate this way" was meant. .Interesting that you should reach this position despite all my attempts not to convey anything like it....boy this stuff is hard to write about!

I hope you can keep up the effort!


Russell Standish wrote:
Hi Colin,

I'm having a read through your paper now, and have a few comments to
keep the juices of debate flowing on this list.

Firstly, I'd like to say well done - you have written a very clear
paper in what is a very murky subject.

I have two comments right now - but I haven't finished, so there could
well be more.

1) Your definition of COMP is more along the lines of Deutsch's
physical Turing principle, or Thesis P. Wikipedia seems to call it the
strong CT thesis. It is important to note that it is a stronger
assumption than Bruno's COMP assumption, and indeed Bruno has already
given a proof that physics cannot be computable - so you might be
proving the same thing via a different method.

Nevertheless, I haven't seen yet whether weakening your definition of COMP
invalidates your argument though

2) A few times through the text you make remarks along the lines of
"it might appear that laws of nature might still be accessible by an
extreme form of the randomized-search/machine-learning approach, even
though it is obvious that human scientists do not operate this way."

"Obvious"? It is far from obvious. What you say flies directly in the
face of Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations", and you would face a
horde of angry Popperians if you were to post this stuff on the FoR

Anyway, I'll keep reading.


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