Re: The Game of Life

From: Fred Chen <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 21:08:40 -0800

Russell Standish wrote:

> > Animals can display signs of self-awareness and consciousness. They do not
> > possess all the mental faculties that humans have that we may take for
> > granted. For example, as mentioned by Bruno, introspection and
> > inquisitiveness. But the hard evidence for being human lies in written and
> > symbolic language and the ability to generate permanent records using this
> > language. Most animals are physically incapable of writing, e.g.,
> > quadrupeds. A substitute for written language could be a very good memory
> > capacity for communication by sound (oral language). The limitation of oral
> > language is that it is inherently one-dimensional, while written or
> > symbolic language is two-dimensional. Both written language and sufficient
> > memory capacity for oral language probably require highly evolved brains.
> > Written language also leads to the concept of laws.
> >
> > An appreciation of the Anthropic Principle by an SAS requires the SAS
> > possesses, in addition to introspection and inquisitiveness, a sense of
> > laws governing the world. This would entail that the SAS should have
> > something equivalent to written language ability. With these abilities, it
> > would be natural for the SAS to ask why the laws are the way they are, etc.
> >
> > Fred
> >
> >
> Yes - but why is an appreciation of the Anthropic Principle a
> requirement for observing the Universe? Most applications of the AP do
> not in fact need this requirement - eg my Occam paper does not depend
> on it - however it is still a mystery that we're capable of
> appreciating the AP.

The AP is pretty much just a definition of an SAS observing the universe as it is
and relating it to its own existence. I think any SAS would 'naturally' do that.
So nothing striking there. The extra appreciation or wonder that goes along with
it may be just a subjective experience. Quite possibly it is an emotional
experience, not something really rational. It's really the perceived fine-tuning
aspects that particularly strike those who appreciate it on the emotional level.


> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dr. Russell Standish Director
> High Performance Computing Support Unit,
> University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
> Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
> Australia
> Room 2075, Red Centre
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Wed Jan 12 2000 - 21:13:40 PST

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