I asked the group, FQXi, to judge our naive model of the universe.

Life Is All About Problem-solving

Background: The Foundational Questions Institute invites papers to address various topics that are foundational to the physics industry. Thus, their name is perfect.

An article submitted is:

Determinant becomes undecidable, uncomputable and unpredictable.


Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability

“For a brief time in history, it was possible to imagine that a sufficiently advanced intellect could, given sufficient time and resources, in principle understand how to mathematically prove everything that was true. They could discern what math corresponds to physical laws, and use those laws to predict anything that happens before it happens.”

“That time has passed. Gödel’s undecidability results (the incompleteness theorems), Turing’s proof of non-computable values, the formulation of quantum theory, chaos, and other developments over the past century have shown that there are rigorous arguments limiting what we can prove, compute, and predict. While some connections between these results have come to light, many remain obscure, and the implications are unclear. Are there, for example, real consequences for physics — including quantum mechanics — of undecidability and non-computability? Are there implications for our understanding of the relations between agency, intelligence, mind, and the physical world?

“In this essay contest, we open the floor for investigations of such connections, implications, and speculations. We invite rigorous but bold and open-minded investigation of the meaning of these impossibilities for reality, and for us, its residents.”

Notes regarding future edits:  On page 5 of 10, in the paragraph about Gödel’s constructions, it says, “It didn’t exit until 2011.”  That should have been “It didn’t exist until 2011.”

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