Information Intelligent Design

Gregory Chaitin asks, if the universe is information, not matter, does that help explain consciousness?

Spread the love

Gregory Chaitin is best known for Chaitin’s Unknowable Number, a paradoxical truth that Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) would have liked.

Here he asks how mathematics can help with the “Hard Problem of Consciousness”:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bit-Bang-Amazon-It-site.jpg

Robert J. Marks: I’ve always looked at panpsychism as kind of a weird philosophy. I’m wondering if there’s any way that it can be tested. I doubt it. It’s going to be interesting to see if it can. But it is the position that consciousness is part of the universe just like mass and energy and all of the other stuff.

Gregory Chaitin: Well, they’re idealistic philosophies, which say that the universe is spirit really and matter is sort of an illusion. So that’s sort of related to an idea that I’ve been backing, which is the universe is made from information, that that’s the basic ontological basis.

The normal view if you dabble in metaphysics is that the universe is made from mathematics. That’s a Pythagorean idea, that God is a mathematician. And I prefer to say God is a … a computer programmer or a programmer.

There’s a book by a theologian, an Italian theologian, a priest, on this subject called Bit Bang. La nascita della filosofia digitale [2013]. It’s a wonderful book. Unfortunately, it’s only in Italian.

It’s saying that the universe is built out of information is like saying that the universe is really built out of spirit or the universe is in the mind of God; it’s not a material object. And the new version that physicists love is to say the universe is built out of quantum information. They want to try to get everything out of quantum information, including spacetime due to entanglement between qubits, for example. That’s a fashionable topic.

News, “Can mathematics help us understand consciousness?” at Mind Matters News

See also (more Chaitin):

Why human creativity is not computable. There is a paradox involved with computers and human creativity, something like Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems or the Smallest Uninteresting Number. Creativity is what we don’t know. Once it is reduced to a formula a computer can use, it is not creative any more, by definition.

The paradox of the first uninteresting number. Robert J. Marks sometimes uses the paradox of the smallest “uninteresting” number to illustrate proof by contradiction — that is, by creating paradoxes. Gregory Chaitin: You can sort of go step by step from the paradox of the smallest “uninteresting” number to a proof very similar to mine.

2 Replies to “Gregory Chaitin asks, if the universe is information, not matter, does that help explain consciousness?

  1. 1
    Concealed Citizen says:

    Umm, no. Nothing can “explain” consciousness.

    Consciousness is primary.

    Reason can’t even describe the difference between the conscious state of red and blue!

    Hahaha.

    Explain consciousness. Hahaha. Hahahahahahaha.

  2. 2
    William J Murray says:

    So that’s sort of related to an idea that I’ve been backing, which is the universe is made from information, that that’s the basic ontological basis.
    ….
    It’s saying that the universe is built out of information is like saying that the universe is really built out of spirit or the universe is in the mind of God; it’s not a material object.

    Hmm .. Chaitin’s views sound very similar to that of someone in this forum.

Leave a Reply