From: Tim Tyler 
Subject: Re: Robot Evolution
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 12:19:03 -0500 (EST)

Phil Roberts, Jr. wrote:
> Tim Tyler wrote:

>  > The argument from Godel's theorem really is totally dead.
>  >
>  > If you don't see why, I recommend consulting the numerous
>  > refutations of the argument on the internet until you
>  > understand exactly what is wrong with it.
>  >
>  > There /may/ be other reasons for thinking machines
>  > cannot match the computational powers of humans -
>  > but the argument from Godel's theorem is simply defunct.
>  >
>  > It was been dead since the moment it was proposed - and
>  > only continues its zombie existence in the minds of those
>  > who don't understand it :-(
> Stripped to its bare bones, I suspect the Godel argument
> amounts to something like:
> a.  We have reason to believe that Peaono arithemtic is
>       consistent.
> b.  Therefore we have reason to believe that its Godel
>       sentence can not be proven within the system.
> c.  Therefore we have reason to believe its Godel is
>       "true".

That doesn't mention human beings or machines - and
thus is not the argument under discussion.

Stripped to its bare bones, the Godel argument amounts to:

* Machines have limits on their truth determining capabilites -
   in particular they cannot consistently assert the truth of
   their own Godel sentence.

* Humans do not have any such limit.

* Therefore, humans can do what machines cannot - so
   they are not equivalent to machines.

The problem should be obvious.  There is no evidence at
all supporting the second assertion.  There are /plenty/
of hard problems which individual humans are unable to
determine the truth of.

The whole idea is totally nuts - a relic from Plato's era.

Tim Tyler