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Amr: the computer scientist
Associate professor at Indiana University Assistant professor at the University of Oregon Postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers University, Göteborg Ph.D. from Rice University M.Sc., B.Sc. from Cairo University
February 3, 2002 Science and Spirit Association 2
Amr: the Muslim
February 3, 2002
Science and Spirit Association
Computer Science Computability Theory; Logic Logic and Revelation Islam
February 3, 2002 Science and Spirit Association 4
What are computers good for? February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 5 .
2002 Science and Spirit Association 6 .Computers « automate tasks and processes that humans can do (generally a lot faster) February 3.
1.000.1. 3.000 bytes (characters) 1 terabyte: about the information contained in a million unabridged dictionaries February 3. For example.2.15.9 becomes 0.000.10.18.Easy tasks Sorting. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 7 .000.15.22.2.188.8.131.52 The record for sorting is 1 terabyte in 50 minutes 1 terabyte = 184.108.40.206.6.
Harder tasks Find p and q such that p*q = n It took the international community 17 years to solve a challenge problem where n = 143816257578888676692357799761466120102182967212423625625618429357069 35245733897830597123563958705058989075147599290026879543541 The RSA public key encryption relies on even larger numbers: the whole thing is based on the assumption that factoring large numbers is a hard task for the computer! February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 8 .
2002 Science and Spirit Association 9 .More hard problems February 3.
112 cities 110 processors 22 years of computation time February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 10 .Largest solved TSP instance 15.
Status There are lots of very important and very interesting computational problems that are hard to do with current technology February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 11 .
Is there a limit « or is it just a matter of buying and building more powerful computers with faster and faster processors. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 12 . and larger and larger memories? February 3.
2002 Science and Spirit Association 13 . you want to check if it is a virus. Before downloading it. no matter how much computing power you have!!!) Example: There is a program that you want to download and execute.Undecidable problems Theory of computation asserts that some problems are undecidable (unsolvable in principle. Is it possible to be absolutely certain that the program is not a virus? February 3.
the execution is actually safe.p) then delete_all_files else return_normally February 3.I) can // tell us whether it is safe to // execute program P with input I weird (p) = if check(p.Perfect virus detection. Not. If our clever program says the execution is not safe. Assume that we have an incredibly clever way to check that programs are safe« What happens if we execute weird(weird)? If our clever program says that the execution is safe. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 14 . So our clever technique can·t possibly exist! // Let P be a program // Assume that check(P. the execution is actually not safe.
There exist tasks that cannot be done using computers. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 15 .Computers « « automate tasks and processes that humans can do (generally a lot faster). February 3.
So what? The fact that computers cannot be used to automate certain tasks implies that rational thought (logic) is inherently an unsound or incomplete way of understanding the universe. February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 16 .Fine.
Logic Aristotle. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 17 . the ´first teacherµ Al-Farabi ( the ´second teacherµ Gödel ). February 3.
Aristotle« Start with axioms which denote ´trueµ facts If everything the logic proves is ´trueµ then the logic is called sound If everything that is ´trueµ can be proved then the logic is called complete 18 Use rules of inference to deduce more ´trueµ facts February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association .
February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 19 .Al-Farabi Applied logic to the study of language (Arabic) Developed a philosophical method to reconcile Islam and Aristotle·s logic Still believed that human reason was superior to revelation.
the wicked brother is in Hell. God responds that dying early was better for him because God foresaw that he would have grown up to be wicked. The third brother complains that by dying as a child he was not given the opportunity to worship God and enter Paradise.Muslim Theologians Both reason and revelation necessary. To this. February 3. Debated for 300 years. which is superior? The 3 brothers: the good brother is in Paradise. To this the second brother asks why he was not made to die at a young age? Consensus emerged that revelation is superior. and the one who died as a child is in a place less than Paradise. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 20 .
2002 Science and Spirit Association 21 . February 3.Gödel By the beginning of the 1900s. the consensus of the mathematical community was that all of mathematical facts could be derived using logic. His argument is very similar to our argument that the perfect virus detector cannot exist: a simple yet devious mathematical fact which refers to itself in a way that asserts that it can·t be proved. Gödel in an astonishing 1931 article showed that this was impossible.
The idea was that this system would represent every statement you could possibly make about natural numbers. For real. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 22 . Like Euclid's Geometry. die-hard mathematicians." you would be able to prove strictly and mechanically. Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica was the most famous attempt to find such a system. and would provide a mechanical way of deriving theorems from those axioms. the words "true" and "false" would become shorthand for "provable" or "disprovable" within the system. and seemed for a while to be the pinnacle of mathematical rigor. such a system would start off with a few simple axioms that are almost indisputable. one of the big mathematical goals was to reduce all of number theory to a formal axiomatic system. February 3. from the axioms. that it is either true or false. So if you made the statement "every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. It was a very lofty goal.Some quotes « In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
2002 Science and Spirit Association 23 . but which cannot be proven in the system. In other words. It didn't just find a hole in Russell and Whitehead.Continued« Gödel's theorem dashed this hope completely. Gödel showed that for any formal axiomatic system. More specifically. Kenny Felder February 3. which would presumably have been patched: it showed that the entire goal is unachievable. there is always a statement about natural numbers which is true. mathematics will always have a little fuzziness around the edges: it will never be the rigorous unshakable system that mathematicians dreamed of for millennia.
But. to understand Gödel's proof is to find a sort of liberation. Rucker. Infinity and the Mind February 3.. what it seems to say is that rational thought can never penetrate to the final ultimate truth .. to understand the essentially labyrinthine nature of the castle is. But.More quotes« Although this theorem can be stated and proved in a rigorously mathematical way. more profoundly. This is partly a by-product of the potent mystique Gödel's name carries. For many logic students. to be free of it. the final breakthrough to full understanding of the Incompleteness Theorem is practically a conversion experience. paradoxically. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 24 . somehow.
we cannot understand our own mind/brains .. no matter what axiom system is involved .. Bach February 3.. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 25 . Just as we cannot see our faces with our own eyes. Escher. Hofstadter. Gödel. is it not inconceivable to expect that we cannot mirror our complete mental structures in the symbols which carry them out? All the limitative theorems of mathematics and the theory of computation suggest that once the ability to represent your own structure has reached a certain critical point.More quotes« Gödel showed that provability is a weaker notion than truth.. The other metaphorical analogue to Gödel's Theorem which I find provocative suggests that ultimately. that is the kiss of death: it guarantees that you can never represent yourself totally.
our small understandings are 'the system modeling itself' (system meaning reality in this case). 2002 Science and Spirit Association 26 . The model must model the model of itself. So Gödel's incompleteness is something to expect. Since we are within the system.. It is even something that can be intuitively understood without a mathematical approach and proof: the incompleteness concept appears in clearly recognizable form in Zen Buddhism.htm February 3. Completion of the model can never happen because of the basic self-referential paradox: the model is within the universe. The universe includes the model. ad absurdum. so in effect the universe would have to be larger than itself. The model must model itself.myrkul. Or you can view it iteratively: the model models the universe. http://www.More quotes The symbolic systems we use to describe the universe are not separate from the universe: they are a part of the universe just as we are a part of the universe.org/recent/godel.
does not prove certain true facts. or . 2002 Science and Spirit Association 27 . Falsehood February 3. then logic shows that logic: -either proves everything including the falsehoods. Fact Fact Fact Fact Fact Fact Fact Falsehood Fact If you don t believe in logic you can t even distinguish facts from falsehoods in this region.Our Universe Falsehood Fact Fact Fact Fact Fact Falsehood Fact Fact Falsehood Falsehood Fact Falsehood Falsehood But if you do believe in logic.
2002 28 . One can: Never venture beyond the limits of logic Venture beyond the limits of rational reason in search of the truth Science and Spirit Association February 3.The Ultimate Truth Logic (rational thought) gets into contradictions and is not appropriate beyond a certain point.
2002 Science and Spirit Association 29 .Searching for the truth Muslim theologians a thousand years ago wrote the ´Book of Five Fundamentalsµ which starts as follows: If it is asked: What is the first duty that God imposes upon you? Say to him: Speculative reasoning which leads to knowledge of God« February 3.
those are they whom Allah has guided. February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 30 .Revelation: mercy and guidance Speculative reasoning may go astray. [39:18] Those who listen to the word. Revelation is a mercy and guidance. then follow the best of it. and those it is who are the men of understanding.
speculate. February 3. reflect. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 31 . until you believe Once you believe.Main message of revelation Revelation repeats the same message over and over and over: Think. reason. you must believe in the whole thing And then you must act to ascertain that the belief is real.
are steadfast in prayer.2 This is the Book.M.L.First chapter of the Qur·an after the opening prayer starts with« 2. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 32 .1 A.4 And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee. to those who fear Allah. 2. in it is guidance sure. and sent before thy time. 2. without doubt. and spend out of what We have provided for them. and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. 2.3 Who believe in the Unseen. February 3.
3] Read and your Lord is Most Honorable. [96. [96.2] He created man from a clot.5] Taught man what he knew not.1] Read in the name of your Lord Who created.Historically the first verses were« [96. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 33 . February 3.4] Who taught (to write) with the pen [96. [96.
191] Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee. save us then from the chastisement of the fire: February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 34 .Reflection« [3.
2002 Science and Spirit Association 35 . 75.39 And of him He made two sexes.Belief & speculative reason 75. (the same).36 Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled. the power to give life to the dead? February 3. 75. male and female.37 Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? 75.38 Then did he become a leech-like clot. then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. (without purpose)? 75.40 Has not He.
and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily.Belief is not just lip service! 2. the help of Allah is (always) near! February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 36 .214 Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity.
Part of belief system: Money The Earth and all its resources belong to God. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 37 . The goal of a trustee is not to accumulate resources at the expense of others. Humans are trustees on Earth. but rather to work to multiply the resources and then to make sure they reach those who need them the most. February 3.
Proving your Belief: Money matters The bank promises you 7% interest (that is seen) God promises 700% for charity and even more (that is unseen) [2:261] The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah's way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears. Are you going to put your money in a savings account or give it to the poor? February 3. in every ear a hundred grains. Allah is AllEmbracing. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 38 . All-Knowing.
"My Lord hath honoured me.17 Nay.Money: a test not a sign of honor 89.18 Nor do ye encourage one another to feed the poor!89." 89. when his Lord trieth him.19 And ye devour inheritance . giving him honour and gifts. (puffed up). restricting his subsistence for him.15 Now. then saith he (in despair). nay! but ye honour not the orphans! 89.16 But when He trieth him.20 And ye love wealth with inordinate love! February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 39 .all with greed. "My Lord hath humiliated me!" 89. as for man. 89. then saith he.
106 That is their reward.103 Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?18. on the Day of Judgment. while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?" 18. give them any weight. because they rejected Faith.105 They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works.104 "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life. 18. and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. Hell. February 3. nor shall We.How about charity without Belief? Not clear but: 18. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 40 .
2002 Science and Spirit Association 41 .No guarantees anyway! 70.28 Surely the chastisement of their Lord is (a thing) not to be felt secure of-February 3.27 And those who are fearful of the chastisement of their Lord-70.
So« Believe in the Unseen Reason speculatively Seek guidance Do your best Hope for the best Repeat« February 3. 2002 Science and Spirit Association 42 .
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