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machine brains

Aaron Boyden aaron_boyden at banet.net
Sat Feb 20 21:56:07 EST 1999

Neil Rickert wrote:

> Sorry, Aaron, but the claim is absurd.  Church's thesis is about what
> we would consider to be computation.  It is a mathematical thesis
> which says nothing about the real world.

Well, not exactly.  It says that a human being can't compute any function that can't be
computed by a Turing machine (well, it says that any function that's computable at all is
Turing-computable, but my version follows trivially).  Given how easily any activity you care
to name can be interpreted as computing a function, that's a very dramatic result.  Thus the
efforts of, for example, Lucas to demonstrate their ability to compute non-Turing computable
functions.  Unsuccessful efforts, of course, but you already knew that.

Aaron Boyden

"I may have done this and that for sufferers; but always I seemed to
have done better when I learned to feel better joys."
                                             -Thus spoke Zarathustra

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