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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Lorraine Ford: on 9/27/21 at 1:42am UTC, wrote Hi Stefan, I hope that a good leader, and a good political party, is...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/27/21 at 1:19am UTC, wrote We live in an age of computing. But physics, mathematics and philosophy,...

Stefan Weckbach: on 9/26/21 at 2:46am UTC, wrote Dear Lorraine, “If you will forgive me for saying so, the situation is...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/25/21 at 23:56pm UTC, wrote Stefan, I would say that we individual human beings, and the rest of the...

Stefan Weckbach: on 9/25/21 at 6:27am UTC, wrote Hi Lorraine, thanks for your reply. You are correct, that's what I was...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/25/21 at 1:08am UTC, wrote Stefan, First, one has to try to define the essential features of...

Stefan Weckbach: on 9/24/21 at 8:57am UTC, wrote Unfortunately there is not much participation here on this site. So it...

Lorraine Ford: on 9/23/21 at 23:03pm UTC, wrote P.S. No matter what mathematicians do (and no matter what complexity...



FQXi FORUM
September 28, 2021

CATEGORY: Ultimate Reality [back]
TOPIC: The Present State of Physics, Mathematics, and Science [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Joe Schindler wrote on Sep. 7, 2021 @ 22:31 GMT
This forum will be an appropriate place to discuss the present state of physics, mathematics, and science, as well as for general discussion tangential to these issues.

While the topic of allowed discussion is broad, please make sure all posts adhere to community guidelines. Posts and Threads containing disrespectful, combative, or rude language may be removed at discretion of the moderators.

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 8, 2021 @ 23:41 GMT
Joe, interesting that you separate topics by physics, mathematics and science--when both physics and math are disciplines of science. Demoting science to a level equal to its subdisciplines suggests that there is no one scientific method by which all its fields operate, no one guiding principle.

Nevertheless, there is a context by which I agree with your topic choice. Mathematics can be strictly classified as art, apart from its applications to science and physics. (I belong to this camp.)

So while math is intimately joined to physics, it has no connection to science at all, absent a guiding principle by which one can objectively make a closed logical judgment. I satisfied myself years ago that Jacob Bronowski had the right prescription: "All science is the search for unity in hidden likenesses."

So as to the state of physics, mathematics and science today--I would opine that far more attention is paid to self-promotion, than to unity of method.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 11, 2021 @ 23:09 GMT
The reality is that people, and other living things, are assigning the numbers for their own position variables. People are moving their legs and arms and vocal chords, walking and talking, and driving cars and dropping plastic in the ocean. PEOPLE are assigning the numbers for their own position variables. But physics says that the laws of nature, and nothing but the laws of nature, assign the numbers for the position variables.

So what an absolute disgrace is the 16th Marcel Grossmann Meeting and all such meetings, and physics, mathematics and philosophy in general.

Because the latest IPCC report was released a month ago, a “code red for humanity”, but these people are still championing a view of the world where people can have no effect on the world.

Many prominent physicists openly admit that physics says that people can have no effect on the world:

1) The physics view says that people are mere epiphenomena, by-products of the laws of nature;

2) The physics view says that people don’t change the numbers for the variables, it’s the laws of nature and nothing but the laws of nature changing the numbers for the variables;

3) The physics view says that it’s the laws of nature that are 100% responsible for all outcomes.

The 16th Marcel Grossmann Meeting (and all such meetings, and physics, mathematics and philosophy in general) is all about a group of people imagining and modelling a type of world where people could have no effect on the world.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 14, 2021 @ 00:43 GMT
People flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. People moved their arms and legs and vocal chords, and took over and controlled planes. In other words, people assigned the numbers to their own position variables.

But physics, mathematics and philosophy can’t face the reality that we live in a type of world where people and living things, and other suitably integrated matter, can change the numbers for their own variables.

Physics is still holding onto the idea that we live in a type of world where the laws of nature are the only entities assigning the numbers to the position and other variables. Physics is still holding onto the idea that the laws of nature are the only entities that caused the planes to fly into the twin towers, and that people are mere epiphenomena, i.e. by-products of the laws of nature.

When will physics, mathematics and philosophy catch up with the REAL world, a world where people have a genuine effect on the world?

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 14, 2021 @ 19:33 GMT
Lorraine, please forgive me if you have already answered this question:

What is an example of a 'law of nature'?

Followup:

How does one know?

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 15, 2021 @ 00:41 GMT
Tom,

I HAVEN’T given any examples of the “laws of nature”; I’m assuming that you are already familiar with the equations that physicists use to represent the “laws of nature”.

But I’m not considering the laws of nature. Instead, I’m considering the NATURE of the laws of nature.

I’m describing the fact that the laws of nature are relationships between categories like position, mass, charge. Categories/ relationships are foundational mathematical entities; and clearly, some foundational aspects of the world are relationships between categories, which people symbolically represent by equations and variables.

My point is that not every foundational aspect of the world should be seen as relationships between categories (which people symbolically represent by equations and variables). Quantum mechanics tries to turn behaviours into relationships between categories. Complexity theory tries to turn epiphenomena into categories. But I would say that it is invalid to try to turn behaviours or epiphenomena into categories. Instead, you need Boolean and algorithmic symbols to represent some foundational aspects of the world, including the aspect of the world whereby one discerns difference.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 00:35 GMT
Tom,

At its foundations, the world does not have an overview of itself; the world is not a computer system with someone (or even nothing) programming it; there are no mathematical calculations/ computational steps underlying the law of nature relationships.

So, I disagree with (what seems to be) your outlook on the world.

In fact, PEOPLE have overviews of the world; PEOPLE created and program computer systems; PEOPLE need to do mathematical calculations/ computational steps when they manipulate the symbols that represent the laws of nature.

I am merely saying that the ideas of physics are such that people could have no effect on the world.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 14, 2021 @ 22:56 GMT
Physics says that no matter what you do, whether you rape, pillage and murder, or you set a ghost net adrift in the ocean, no matter what you do, you couldn’t have done otherwise because the laws of nature are causing your outcomes, you are not causing your outcomes.

No matter what the law courts might say, physics says that you couldn’t have done otherwise. Physics says that you can’t try to do something different, because that too would only be what the laws of nature cause you to do.

In other words, physics says that people have no effect on the world, because it’s the laws of nature that change every number for every variable; it’s the laws of nature that have an effect on the world. Physics says that you personally have no effect on the world because physics says that you yourself can’t assign the numbers for your own variables.

Who would have the temerity to suggest that physics could have got something very, very wrong? Well, the QBist physicists seem to have a different view of the world [1], not that physics takes much notice of them.

The point being that, contrary to what physics says, the world is such that people and other living things are assigning the numbers (e.g.) for their own position variables.

1. “…the world is so wired that our actions as active agents actually matter. Our actions and their consequences are not eliminable epiphenomena.”, A Subjective Way to Take Ontic Indeterminism Seriously, Christopher Fuchs, https://cast.itunes.uni-muenchen.de/vod/playlists/p7KZK1hh0R
.html .

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Paul Topping wrote on Sep. 14, 2021 @ 23:25 GMT
Most physicists believe that what we do in the world still matters even if determinism is accepted. In other words, determinism doesn't negate the concept of free will. This is known as Compatibilism. The best description of this position known to me is Sean Carroll's Free Will Is as Real as Baseball.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 15, 2021 @ 01:28 GMT
Yes,

There is a disconnect between what physicists SAY they believe, and what the ideas and equations of physics actually say about the nature of the world. Clearly, most physicists are experts in the dark art of doublethink.

The concept of "free will" is spurious idea.

The RIGHT question is: do people have any effect on the world, OR do the laws of nature assign every number for every variable? The answer is that physics says that the laws of nature change every number for every variable: physics says that people have no effect on the world.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 15, 2021 @ 01:35 GMT
The above should read: The concept of "free will" is a spurious idea.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 15, 2021 @ 11:07 GMT
Hi Lorraine, Paul, ¨

Dear Paul, The link that you have given is very interesting, I work myself about all this having a theory , the theory of spherisation, so the philosophy is important too in my humble model. I agree about this free will being real , we have assumptions inside this community but the free will indeed is real. It becomes complex considering the physics, the maths and the...

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 01:05 GMT
Re Paul Topping wrote on Sep. 14, 2021 @ 23:25 GMT:

The idea of “free will” is a load of rubbish.

“Free will” is an obfuscatory idea; no one can even define or agree what the term means.

So let those that believe in “free will” define what they are talking about; let them define “free will” in clear unambiguous terms; and let them define “free will” in terms of known, actually existing entities.

It is a waste of time talking about “free will”. The only relevant issue is: do people have an effect on the world, i.e. do people change the numbers for the variables?

Physics says that the laws of nature change every number for every variable. i.e. people have NO EFFECT on the world.

In other words, physics is wrong about the fundamental nature of the world, because people DO have an effect on the world, i.e. people are changing some of the numbers for the variables.

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 09:16 GMT
Hi Paul and all,

wow, I think there are much, much more aspects to consider regarding the issue of “free will” than were mentioned or examined in the article by Sean Carroll. I like to mention some of these aspects here.

First of all, there are fundamental, “primitive” needs for any living human subject, at least until that subject is more or less an adult. For example these...

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Steve Dufourny replied on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 10:35 GMT
Hi Stefan,

you have well generalised this free , there are indeed many parameters to take into account, you begin in describing the primitive ones, correlated with the locomotion, reproduction , nutrition. And it is function of our environments and its interactions. The survival being an essential point, we are a little bit in the darwinism and this competition to survive. Lamarck and the...

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 11:31 GMT
Steve,

thanks for reading my comment and for replying.

Steve,

thanks for reading my comment and for replying.

You can be proud of what you have achieved, since you had many resistances to overcome in your life. Others may had become violent, you decided to think about the fundamental things in physics and other disciplines. The issues we discuss are very complex and the possible answers are no less ambiguous. For example, there are many opposing interests involved that had to be settled / balanced for mankind to be on the same page. It begins with the question for whom should I vote for in the next elections in my country to improve / not worsen things...? I think every human being is left with trying to make some little steps in the right direction by questioning from time to time her / his own beliefs and its impacts on other people. At the current state of affairs, I see no other easy way out of the complexity of the problems humankind continuously produces / is confronted with. I think you are a step ahead since you at least believe that there could be something greater than yourself, namely what you call “the universe”. Since you know that I believe in a creator that means well with every person but also demands a certain attitude to obey his commandments, I like to mention that such a belief isn't any more considered useful today by more and more people. My take on that is that without believing in some kind of such a creator, people will continue to act more and more anti-altruistic (since the primitive functioning of their reptile brains more and more take over the more sophisticated parts of the human mind). And of course with my remarks on a creator i do not subscribe to any god that allows or demands the killing of people.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 16, 2021 @ 23:21 GMT
So what exactly is WRONG with physics, apart from the fact that physics says that it was the laws of nature, not people, that flew planes into the twin towers? (Because according to physics, the laws of nature cause all outcomes; and everything, including people and their actions, are merely epiphenomena, i.e. by-products of the laws of nature.)

One thing wrong with physics is that it has a system with bottom-up causation, but no top-down causation. Physics believes that, when you look at it closely, top-down causation is nothing but bottom-up causation. I.e. physics believes that top-down causation is unnecessary, and that it doesn’t actually exist.

To put it another way, physics believes that a situation symbolically representable as:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE”

is identical to the following separate situations:

“variable1=number1 IS TRUE” ; “variable2=number2 IS TRUE” ; … “variableN=numberN IS TRUE”.

I.e. physics believes that an aspect of the world, symbolically representable as “AND”, doesn’t exist.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 17, 2021 @ 01:20 GMT
So, in reply to the posts by Stefan Weckbach and Steve Dufourny above, I’d say that:

1. To understand how the world operates, one needs to symbolically represent the world as a system, with equations, variables and number symbols, and other special symbols.

2. While there might be laws/ rules (symbolically representable by equations) that handle simple individual situations symbolically representable as:

“variable1=number1 IS TRUE” ; “variable2=number2 IS TRUE” ; … “variableN=numberN IS TRUE”,

it is not possible to have laws/ rules that handle the myriads of complicated situations symbolically representable as:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE” . I.e. in order to handle complicated situations, something describable as “free will” is a NECESSARY part of a complicated system. “Free will” can’t exist unless it is a NECESSARY part of a system.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 17, 2021 @ 02:33 GMT
P.S.

Clearly, a situation symbolically representable as:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE”,

and any further analysis of the situation, could only exist from the point of view of some sort of information-integrated entity: it couldn’t exist from the point of view of e.g. a pile of sand.

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 17, 2021 @ 15:17 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

in the case of the crashing twin-towers, the term “top-down causation” becomes a striking new twist to the crumbling down of them. I agree that this was caused by a deliberate act of human beings, of course with the help of physics.

Concerning what's wrong with physics I would say that we even don't know what the difference between a physical “thing”and a “non-physical” thing is – because we neither do know what's the complete essence of “physical” entails nor do we know what's the complete essence of “non-physical”entails. And I see no reasons why both cannot interact, only because they are thought of as being of somewhat different “essences”. This does not mean that consciousness is produced by matter, it only means that there are two different “essences” with two different sets of rules that may built a certain intersection that is neither mathematical nor chaotic.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 18, 2021 @ 22:33 GMT
A living thing is not a like set of individual isolated ingredients, or a set of individual isolated characteristics:

“variable1=number1 IS TRUE” ; “variable2=number2 IS TRUE” ; … ; “variableN=numberN IS TRUE”.

A living thing or a molecule is like a whole, an information-integrated entity, representable as something like:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE”, but with further collating and summarising logical order imposed on it, something like:

“IF variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 THEN newvariable1= newnumber1”.

This information-integration, with collating and summarising logical order, does not “emerge” from the epiphenomena of so-called “complexity” (the shapes of clouds are epiphenomena) because the world does not have an overview of itself whereby it discerns the shapes of the clouds. The only entities that discern the shapes of clouds are entities like human beings, that are already information-integrated entities.

And the information-integration, with collating and summarising logical order (represented by Boolean and algorithmic symbols), does not derive from, and can’t be derived from, the laws of nature (represented by equations). The aspect of the world represented by Boolean and algorithmic symbols is a separate, foundational, “top-down” aspect of the world.

The situation represented by:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE”, with further collating and summarising logical order, can’t be handled by the law of nature rules (represented by equations): at least some individual on-the-spot rules (“free will” assigning numbers to variables) is a necessary aspect of this system.

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 19, 2021 @ 08:25 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

if I understood you correctly, you say that physics - its mathematical laws - are only dealing with quantities, numbers. Although there are some symbols involved for which we have a qualitative subjective feeling about (for example “wavelength”), the causal power of all these symbols is determined by their quantities, hence numbers. I would agree on that, we only have...

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 19, 2021 @ 09:36 GMT
To shortly resume my main points here for a better understanding:

I wrote

“we have plenty of examples where human thinking fails to determine some physical or mathematical truths.”

If the universe is exclusively mathematical, then mathematics can produce false statements / thoughts about itself.

And if it can, every musing / conviction about a purely mathematical universe could be such a false statement / thought. But that in turn couldn't be the case, since we presupposed right from the start that the universe is exclusively mathematical. So either the universe isn't exclusively mathematical or it is, in the sense that this is a mathematical result, “calculated” and represented in one's brain, and that result says about itself that it is mandatory to be true – and not false.

So there is a “mathematical” result, originated in a brain that says that itself is true – since there is no possibility of “false” in that case. The question then is why the brain should be capable of producing scientific results that are sometimes false, but shouldn't fail when it comes to the question what the fundamental nature of these thought processes should be (namely exclusively mathematics). In the case of some false scientific results, one has falsely combined some boolean elements to come to a false conclusion (or simply has presupposed something that doesn't exist). The question now is why should the mathematical universe hypothesis be excluded from that kind of falsity? The answer is simply because it is only a hypothesis, not a scientifically proven fact (and with that we regain the option of the boolean either / or – either the hypothesis is true or it is false).

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 19, 2021 @ 23:08 GMT
1. Physics can’t tell you why the world ever moves, i.e. physics assumes that number jumps just happen. And in any case, physics can’t tell you what numbers are, and physics can’t tell you what a system is.

A basic issue for any system is: how are you going to move the system i.e. how are you going to move the numbers for the variables? And clearly, the law of nature relationships can’t explain what is jumping the numbers, they can merely explain the relationships between categories IF some of the numbers for the variables are jumped to a new value for some reason. In other words when it comes to the numbers, the system i.e. the world is inherently free (but structured by the relationships); and matter is the only candidate for what is jumping the numbers for some of the variables.

But if you ask them, physicists can’t tell you what a number is, and physicists can’t tell you what a system is. So physics has assumed that the world must be inherently UNfree, because all they’ve got is the law of nature relationships.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 19, 2021 @ 23:13 GMT
(continued)

2. Physics has assumed that bottom-up causation IS top-down causation. So physics says that the laws of nature caused the planes to fly into the twin towers.

The issue seems to be information. Physics can’t explain the basic difference between: 1) the low-level information such as might apply to a single particle; and 2) the interconnected, collated and logically analysed information necessary for a living thing or a molecule to respond to its situation.

It might be thought that the unprocessed information, that comes from light or sound waves interacting with the eyes or other senses, can be represented as variables and numbers. But from the point of view of a living thing or large molecule, the unprocessed information needs to be represented as:

“variable1=number1 AND variable2=number2 AND … AND variableN=numberN IS TRUE”.

I.e. there exists an aspect of the world that can only be represented by the Boolean symbol “AND”. Similarly, you can’t use equations to represent the collation and analysis of information: you need to use Boolean and algorithmic symbols to represent this aspect of the world.

Boolean and algorithmic symbols represent a logical aspect of the world that can only be inferred, not measured; similarly, the equations that represent the laws of nature represent a relationship aspect of the world that can only be inferred, not measured; you can only measure the variables and numbers aspect of the world.

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 20, 2021 @ 08:00 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

I think you are on to something.

Let's make a Gedankenexperiment:

1) Assume that everything that happens is determined by what happened just before and so on. So things can only happen as they happen and have no possibility to happen otherwise. In other words, let's assume strict determinism is true.

2) Assume that also our feelings, thoughts, our complete...

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 21, 2021 @ 00:29 GMT
Hi Stefan,

Replying to your last couple of posts, this is the way I would put it:

The symbols of physics and mathematics, that people use to represent the world, shouldn’t be confused with the actual underlying reality of the world. But the symbols are important because, unlike words, they can clearly show the structure of the world. E.g. the symbols (together with experimental...

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 22, 2021 @ 21:19 GMT
Physics and mathematics are full of bad ideas. Like the idea that a mathematical system could exist that grows and develops and eventually turns into people, and other living things.

Funny about that, because the only known mathematical systems only exist in the minds of people: people conjure them up in their minds; people represent them with special symbols; people differentiate the special symbols; people manipulate the symbols.

Mathematics only exists because people create symbols, and differentiate (discern difference in) the symbols, and move the symbols. People are the main component of mathematics.

Undeterred, physics and mathematics have come up with the bad idea that a mathematical system could exist that grows and develops, a mathematical system without the element provided by people. I.e. WITHOUT the element that differentiates the system and WITHOUT the element that moves the system.

This is the current state of physics and mathematics: physicists and mathematicians have never noticed that it is PEOPLE doing physics and mathematics. Physicists and mathematicians need to extricate themselves from their symbolic systems. And the way to extricate themselves is to add an element that differentiates their systems, and an element that moves their systems. This element can only be symbolically represented by Boolean and algorithmic symbols.

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Sep. 23, 2021 @ 11:49 GMT
I wonder what in a strictly deterministic world could at all be defined as truly “intelligent”. Although in a strictly deterministic world every thought and every inference a human being makes is predetermined, nonetheless there are scientific results that SEEM to be intelligent. I infer from this that in such a strictly deterministic world (merely a counterfactual world in our minds?) some intelligence must have set up the whole deterministic chain such that at least the impression of intelligence is created. But is the inference that there must be some real intelligence involved in existence (and be it only at the beginning of the Big Bang) justified? And is the mere creation of some false “impressions” within a human intelligence by a real intelligence (at the point of the Big Bang) really an intelligent move? And if the answer to this last question is “no”, does this mean that there is no intelligence at all existent but only “correlations” (another world for “randomness”). And if everything is built up merely by some correlations, where does the intelligence come from to realize that “it's merely correlations”?

I would prefer to choose my own thoughts intelligently instead of being predetermined to inference something about I do not know whether or not it is really based on some reliable logic. And I would infer that a real intelligence at the beginning of the Big Bang would prefer this also. So if we skip intelligence all together (at the beginning of the Big Bang as well as in the thought processes of human beings) in favour of a mysterious determinism, what would be left over from our beloved sciences?

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 23, 2021 @ 22:50 GMT
Hi Stefan,

The equations and variables, that represent the laws of nature, can only represent mathematical relationships. What one can represent with Boolean and algorithmic symbols, that one CAN’T represent with equations is: 1) the logical organisation and global interconnection of information in a living thing; and 2) the free assignment of new numbers to variables in response to situations (if these new numbers have been assigned, then other numbers for other variables are changed due to passive law of nature relationships).

What this means is that there exists necessary, logical, interconnecting, free aspects of the world that we can only represent via the use of Boolean and algorithmic symbols. No matter what mathematicians do, it is impossible to derive this aspect of the world from the equations that represent the laws of nature.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 23, 2021 @ 23:03 GMT
P.S.

No matter what mathematicians do (and no matter what complexity theorists do, with their ideas of "emergence"), it is impossible to derive this aspect of the world from the equations that represent the laws of nature: this aspect was there all along, it is a foundational aspect of the world.

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Sep. 24, 2021 @ 08:57 GMT
Unfortunately there is not much participation here on this site.

So it would be interesting (at least to me) to see an essay contest about the quest what the term “intelligence” does imply and what it doesn't imply.

Moreover, I asked myself (in my posts above) whether or not it is “intelligent” to take a (super-) deterministic world for guaranteed where every thought and...

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 25, 2021 @ 01:08 GMT
Stefan,

First, one has to try to define the essential features of “intelligence”. Otherwise, how would anyone know, or agree with, what one was talking about?

If one is claiming to describe the real world, then one needs to describe intelligence in terms of the symbolic language of physics and mathematics and, I would claim, in terms of the symbolic language and steps of computing (i.e. Boolean and algorithmic symbols). So Stefan, what terms are you going to use to describe “intelligence”? You need to use terms that connect “intelligence” to the real world.

I would claim that the essential features of intelligence are the ability to discern difference in the world, and the ability to analyse these differences, leading to “higher-level” information about the world. I.e. any significant level of intelligence is pretty much the same thing as consciousness in living things; but, a basic level of intelligence is necessary and inherent in the world.

If one wants to claim that a significant level of “higher-level” information about the world existed at the beginning of the world, then that is a much more difficult thing to do; that is an impossible claim to make.

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Sep. 25, 2021 @ 06:27 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

thanks for your reply.

You are correct, that's what I was after – what the term “intelligence” means, what intelligence is.

Assuming that there is a certain degree of “free will” in the real world, I am forced to conclude that one essential feature of intelligence is that whoever uses this intelligence, she/he has goals that it wishes to realize. Your...

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Lorraine Ford replied on Sep. 25, 2021 @ 23:56 GMT
Stefan,

I would say that we individual human beings, and the rest of the (temporary) individuals in the living and non-living world, are the intelligence, the consciousness, of the world. And also, we (temporary) individuals are what moves the world.

If you will forgive me for saying so, the situation is more piteous, more heart-rending than religion with its virtuous obedient people, and hopes of salvation, would allow. What exists is the world; you can only love what exists; you can only love the world. But what is love? Despite what some might say, we don’t yet have the intellectual infrastructure to understand such a thing. As opposed to a religion, I think that panpsychism is a more reasonable view of the world.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Sep. 27, 2021 @ 01:19 GMT
We live in an age of computing. But physics, mathematics and philosophy, and their woolly-headed followers, are almost completely systems-illiterate.

1. Let's recap what a systems-illiterate physics gets so very wrong about the nature of the world:

Physics says that no matter what you do, whether you rape, pillage and murder, or you fly planes into the twin towers, no matter what you do, you couldn’t have done otherwise because the laws of nature are causing your outcomes, you are not causing your outcomes.

No matter what the law courts might say, physics says that you couldn’t have done otherwise. Physics says that you can’t try to do something different, because that too would only be what the laws of nature cause you to do.

Physics says that it’s the laws of nature that change every number for every variable; it’s the laws of nature that have an effect on the world. Physics says that you personally have no effect on the world because physics says that you yourself can’t assign the numbers for your own variables.

2. A systems-illiterate physics gets the nature of the world so very wrong because they’ve only got their equations. But there are ABSOLUTELY NO EQUATIONS that can, in any way, account for top-down causation by people or other living things.

Genuine top-down causation is the assignment of numbers to variables by people and other living things in response to situations. But you need to use Boolean and algorithmic symbols to symbolically represent this type of system.

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