RE: Is the universe computable?

From: David Barrett-Lennard <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 10:31:02 +0800

Georges Quenot wrote:

> Also I feel some confusion between the questions "Is the universe
> computable ?" and "Is the universe actually 'being' computed ?".
> What links do the participants see between them ?

An important tool in mathematics is the idea of an isomorphism between
two sets, which allows us to say *the* integers or *the* Mandelbrot set.
This allows us to say *the* computation, and the device (if any) on
which it is run is irrelevant to the existence of the computation. This
relates to the idea of the Platonic existence of mathematical objects.

This makes the "confusion" between the above questions irrelevant.

I think it was John Searle (who argues that computers can't be aware)
who said "A simulation of a hurricane is not a hurricane, therefore a
simulation of mind is not mind". His argument breaks down if
*everything* is a computation - because we can define an isomorphism
between a computation and the simulation of that computation.

- David
Received on Wed Jan 07 2004 - 21:32:49 PST

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