[ExI] [Extropolis] Gödel and physical reality
Giulio Prisco
giulio at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 14:38:11 UTC 2021
On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 2:05 PM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 6:08 AM Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> > Gödel and physical reality. What are the implications of Gödel's
>> theorem for fundamental science and metaphysics?
>
>
> For one thing it means that something like Asimov's 3 laws of robotics can never be made foolproof; and of course we don't need Gödel to tell us that such laws that attempt to turn something smarter than humans into their slaves are ethically compromised.
>
>> > What does Gödel’s theorem say about physical reality?
>
>
> Gödel’s theorem may or may not say something about fundamental physics, nobody knows, but there's more to physics than just fundamental physics just as there's more to chess than just learning what the rules are, andGödel’s theorem certainly has something to say about physical reality at a higher level. For example, it would be easy to set up a physical system such as a Turing Machine in such a way that it will find the first even number greater than 2 that is not the sum of 2 prime numbers and then stop, but there is no way to predict if that physical system will actually stop or not, all you can do is watch it and wait for it to stop, and you might be waiting forever.
>
>> > Does the nondeterminism found in quantum and chaos physics -
>> it’s impossible to predict (prove) the future from the present and the
>> laws of physics - have something to do with Gödel’s incompleteness?
>
>
> According to the book "Conversations With A Mathematician by Gregory Chaitin" John Wheeler, Richard Feynman's PhD thesis advisor and the guy who invented the term "Black Hole" once asked Kurt Gödel that same question:
>
> "One day I was at the Institute For Advanced Study at Princeton and went into Gödel’s office and said 'Professor Gödel, what connection do you see between your incompleteness theorem in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?' and Gödel got angry and threw me out of his office".
Wheeler tells the story in his own book, and says "Gödel confessed to
me why he had been unwilling to talk with Kip Thorne, Charlie Misner,
and me about any possible connection between the undecidability he had
discovered in the world of logic and the indeterminism that is a
central feature of modern quantum mechanics. Because, he revealed, he
did not believe in quantum mechanics. Gödel was a friend of Einstein
and apparently the two had walked and talked so much that Einstein had
convinced him to abandon the teachings of Bohr and Heisenberg."
>
> John K Clark
>
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