image by Eric Platt & Dall•e: "Abstract art depicting a holographic universe with tiny mathematical symbols"
image by Eric Platt & Dall•e: "Abstract art depicting a holographic universe with tiny mathematical symbols"

Life as an Open System: Challenging the Mathematical View of Evolution

Recently I saw this tweet from Brian Roemmele. While I think Brian is a very interesting and creative thinker indeed (and I love Arthur C. Clarke as a science fiction writer), I would challenge the worldview put forth by Clarke in the video.

Beyond Information: A New Perspective on Life and Consciousness

I would argue that the view put forth by Arthur C. Clarke in the video (and in some of his later books) is a religious view, not a scientific-philosophical one. 

What does he mean by “organic evolution coming to its end”? It’s a view mirrored by thinkers like James Lovelock (and myself many years ago) – for example in his book “Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence ” – that life’s and evolution’s basis is information, à la Claude Shannon, the "father of information theory". It’s an interesting view, but limited and mathematical in essence.  

Truth, Love, and Beauty: The Uncomputable Aspects of Consciousness

Any mathematical system is by nature closed, as Kurt Gödel proved (see Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems). Mathematics is experienced within universal Consciousness-Life, an open system. Life is more than just information. It also has meaning, one that is shared and therefore possible to communicate; and it is possible to experience the attributes of Consciousness, namely Truth, Love and Beauty. These are direct, instantaneous, universal, eternal, inseparable (from each other and Consciousness), and not processes in time, and therefore cannot be reduced to mathematics and computed information. This can be verified by anyone empirically in direct experience. 

The Religious Underpinnings of AI Singularitism: A Critical Examination

Therefore what  Arthur C. Clarke, Lovelock and the AI "singularitists" (if that's a word – if it wasn't, it is now) and similar proponents of this view offer is in fact a religious one, not a scientific one: religious in the sense of being based in concepts and belief, not verified empirical fact, nor indeed, even common sense: what we call self-evident truth.   

If you want to claim there is no truth and it’s all just “narrative”, and relative, then we have nothing to discuss, as there is no common ground – it’s just a matter of forcing one’s view, and persuasion (and fascism, politically speaking).


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