Thanks; will have to print your reply and come back.
Dr. Dick's paper:
Some relevent quotes from Chap. 1:
"Since the number of subsets to be examined are finite, they may be ordered. (2) Thus, in our mental model of the universe, let us attach a parameter "t" to the ordered set of examined subsets (those sets, the examination of which yields our mental model of the universe)."
"A specific value of t will indicate a specific subset of data available to be examined."
"In order to maintain a totally open mental model of the universe, t must be a continuous variable: that is, our mental model must allow for inclusion of any number of examinable subsets between any two given subsets (essentially the definition of a continuous variable). I will define time to be the parameter described above."
"The third concept I define will be an observation. I will define an observation to be a member of the set of examined subsets of reality."
"In the picture just developed, examination of the universe can be represented as a sequence of sets of numbers."
"The job of a research scientist is to determine from that sequence exactly what the rules of the universe are: that is, he is interested in constructing a mental model which will separate the actual observable universe from the set of all possible universes."
"In order for that result to be possible, the sequence must be produced by some unknown algorithm (i.e., it is presumed that the sequence is not random or without rules). Fundamentally, understanding the universe is essentially being able to predict some part of the observations without prior examination: i.e., rules will exist."
"Suppose, for the sake of argument, that we already know the algorithm. To begin with, the algorithm must be independent of time as, if it is not, the solution of our problem depends on when we begin the examination and different observers will obtain different solutions. (I am not being loose, "when" refers to the time as defined above.)"
"Secondly, if the algorithm is independent of time, then knowing the algorithm is insufficient to predict any particular observation unless the time of the observation is contained in some implicit manner. That is, it must be presumed that there are patterns of data which are possible and patterns of data which are not possible. (3)"
"Let us reexamine our observations as collections of possible patterns. Either the entire set of observations constitute a collection of unique patterns or some patterns appear more than once."
"We can make sure that only the first case occurs by adding unknowable data to our observations."
"This is the first occasion where I make a move counter to accepted scientific procedures; I would like the reader to carefully consider the reasoning behind this step."
"What I am actually going to do is to suggest that, were I all knowing, there would exist data in the universe which would provide the information necessary to separate the repeated patterns into identifiably different cases (since I can not know this information as the patterns are in fact actually identical, this additional information is clearly unknowable: i.e., a total figment of my imagination)."
"Scientific research is supposed to discover the rule which determines what data will be observed."
"Having added the concept of unknowable data for the purpose of making all available observations unique, I will make one further step in the same direction."
"Let me add additional unknowable data such that every possible observation consists of a unique pattern even after any arbitrary element is removed from that observation."
"If that fact is true, then the value of the removed element may be determined via the rule and the remainder of the pattern."