### Questions in Information Theory IV: Philosophy of Science

Friday, November 12th, 2010 | Author: Konrad Voelkel

See also: Questions part I - Information and Entropy

Questions part II - Complexity and Algorithmic Complexity

Questions part III - Statistical Physics, Quantum Physics and Thermodynamics

#### Questions part IV - **Philosophy of Science** [Pop34] [Kuh62] [Fey75] [Mil09]

- Does the point of view of information theory provide anything new in the sciences? [GM94]

Does information theory provide a new paradigm in the sciences? [Sei07] - Is quantum information the key to unify general relativity and quantum theory?

Is information theory a guiding principle for a “theory of everything”?“I think there is a need for something completely new. Something that is too diﬀerent, too unexpected, to be accepted as yet.” – Anton Zeilinger, 2004

- (Why) are real discoveries possible in mathematics and other structural/formal sciences? [Bor07]
- Can we create or measure truly random numbers in nature?

How would we recognize random numbers?

What is a random number (or a random string of digits)?“Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin. For, as has been pointed out several times, there is no such thing as a random number — there are only methods to produce random numbers, and a strict arithmetic procedure of course is not such a method.” – John von

Neumann, 1951 - What is semantic information, what is meaning in science?

What do we expect from an “explanation”?“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” – Lăozı, 4th century B.C.

- How do the concepts “truth” and “laws of nature” ﬁt together? [Dav01] [Car94]
- Does is make sense to use linguistic terminology in natural sciences? [Gad75]
- Should physicists try to interpret quantum physics at all? [Dir42]
- Would it make sense to adapt the notion of real numbers to a limited amount of memory?

Can we build a theory of physics upon intuitionist logics?

#### References

- [Bor07] Borovik, Mathematics under the microscope, 2007.
- [Car94] J.W. Carroll, Laws of nature, Cambridge Univ Pr, 1994.
- [Dav01] D. Davidson, Inquiries into truth and interpretation, Oxford University Press, USA, 2001.
- [Dir42] PAM Dirac, Bakerian lecture. the physical interpretation of quantum mechanics, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 180 (1942), no. 980, 1–40.
- [Fey75] Paul Feyerabend, Against method, 1975.
- [Gad75] H.G. Gadamer, Truth and method (g. barden & j. cumming, trans.), 1975.
- [GM94] M. Gell-Mann, The quark and the jaguar, Freeman New York, 1994.
- [Kuh62] Thomas Kuhn, The structure of scientiﬁc revolutions, 1962.
- [Mil09] David Miller, Hard questions for critical rationalism, 2009.
- [Pop34] Karl Popper, The logic of scientiﬁc discovery, 1934.
- [Sei07] C. Seife, Decoding the universe: how the new science of information is explaining everything in the cosmos, from our brains to black holes, Penguin Group USA, 2007.