Quote of the Day

Wolfram himself is a lapsed elementary particle physicist, and I suppose he can't resist trying to apply his experience with digital computer programs to the laws of nature. This has led him to the view (also considered in a 1981 article by Richard Feynman) that nature is discrete rather than continuous. He suggests that space consists of a network of isolated points, like cells in a cellular automaton, and that even time flows in discrete steps. Following an idea of Edward Fredkin, he concludes that the universe itself would then be an automaton, like a giant computer. It's possible, but I can't see any motivation for these speculations, except that this is the sort of system that Wolfram and others have become used to in their work on computers. So might a carpenter, looking at the moon, suppose that it is made of wood.

Steven Weinberg, "Is the Universe a Computer?", in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLXI, No, 16, 24 October 2002, p. 44.