Registered: Dec 2003
Your question is interesting, but I think that the problem you identifiy is the least of the worries. Let me make a pass at it like this:
Lets say we're not talking about nature, but we're talking about something like consciousness. Consciousness is experienced only from the context of self. If this is true then a program that is supposed to also be consciouss can never really be verified to have a consciousness identical to the consciousness you experience and are trying to duplicate. In order to verify this you would have to actually exist inside the program because you could only experience the consciousness created by the program in the context of self.
That might sound trippy, but think about it for a while.
Now, consider that you as a human are nature, a pile of particles interacting by the rules of nature. Realize that as you are made of nature, and you are attempting to understand nature, then any model of the universe will have the same fundamental limitation as any model of consciousness: because our observations of nature are equal to natures observation of itself, any model we create to mimic these observations can only be verified from within the context of the model itself.
Because we would be the creators of the model, we obviouslly exist outside of the model and are prohibitied from these experiences.
The above, and your question, are really mathematically proved by the Incompleteness Theorem.
If we consider nature to be a logical system, and we consider humans, and human knowledge to be contained in this system, then it is a FACT that we will never be able to prove that our model of nature _is_ nature because the model exists as a result of nature itself.
Again, I apoligize if this is way too trippy. But then, if you like this sort of thing, and your questions seem to suggest that you do, you might give the following a contemplative read:
To answer your question directly, you are right (as Goedel has demonstrated) that we can never prove that we have the correct model, but it is not because we lack the processing power. It is because we are prohibited from the context required to mimic the experiences we have as creatures in nature.
Last edited by MikeHelland on 04-19-2004 at 02:42 PM
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