I think that the problem here is that the self-reference found in
nature is not really the same type as Godel requires to make his
proof work. Perhaps you can give me some examples of self-reference
in nature other than human consciousness? None come to mind off hand.
In the matter of human consciousness, one must be careful. I don't
think we can really suggest that consciousness can be conscious of
itself in a meaningful way. Otherwise we'd be faced with an infinite
regress. What I think we really mean in this case is that we are
conscious of the thought that we are conscious, i.e. we are conscious
of a symbolic representation within our consciousness, one of many
contents of consciousness, rather than of consciousness itself.
Consciousness is direct experience, it doesn't make logical sense to
speak about directly experiencing direct experience. The initial
direct experience simply is the direct experience. In other words we
must distinguish between the contents of consciousness and
consciousness itself. See my paper at http://EdgarLOwen.com/
HardProblem.pdf for more on the distinction and its relevance here.
So I don't see any true Godelian self-referentiality in nature unless
you can suggest something I'm overlooking.
- [Zen] Godelian self reference and Zen Edgar Owen