In a chapter in a forthcoming book, Mind and Matter: Modern Dualism, Idealism and the Empirical Sciences (Discovery Institute Press), design theorist William Dembski explores the strengths and weaknesses of John Archibald Wheeler’s perspective that the universe is, at bottom, information:
Dembski takes issue with Wheeler’s approach: “It’s one thing to say that measurement requires information. It’s another thing to say that the thing being measured is created by the observer doing the measuring. That seems a bit much, and the ontological status of these observers raises thornier questions than it resolves.” P1 Indeed. In such a world, how did the observers who take these measurements come to exist? Also, to what extent is the view that reality is bits an artifact of how we measure it? … Dembski wants to establish more firmly than Wheeler could that nature is indeed, at bottom, informational. He goes on to introduce and defend informational realism.News, “It from bit: What did John Archibald Wheeler get right—and wrong?” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: Dembski agrees that the universe is, at bottom, information but proposes “informational realism” as a sounder approach to unpacking the idea. More later.
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