The Universe and the Human Mind

Don Herbison-Evans ,

5 December 2015

It appears to be possible that we are in a black hole that came into existence approximately 14 billion years ago, out of which we cannot get. By analogy, we might assume that every black hole we observe in our universe is actually another universe, full of gas and photons and neutrinos and stars and of course black holes. Our black hole/universe is presumably one of many black holes in a a super universe, which is itself a black hole in another super-super universe , etc. By my saying 'etc' here, you will no doubt recognise an infinite regress.

A unique feature of the human mind is its ability to recognise and understand infinite regresses such as this one. So far, no computer program simulating the mind has been written that recognises infinite regresses. Indeed Turing's proof of that the Halting Problem cannot be solved by computer suggest computers can never be programmed to recognise infinite regresses. This ability to recognise infinite regresses appears to be transcendental.

But this discloses a limitation of the human mind, and shows that we cannot understand everything. We do not understand how we recognise infinite regresses, for if we could then we would be able to encode that in a computer program simulating the human mind. Maybe in due course, we will understand how to do this. Sadly, then the human mind will no longer be unique.