Let me point out that there are really a family of Church-Turing
theses assertions.

On the one hand, for what is sometimes described as the *weak*
Church-Turing thesis, one imagines an idealized human agent, not
constrained by resources of time or memory (or supplies of paper
and pencil), but carrying out the kind of idealized computation
that Turing had described — using paper and pencil
calculations according to certain kinds of formal rules — and
the claim is that any such algorithm that could in principle be
carried out by such an idealized human agent can in fact by carried
out by a suitable Turing machine program. According to this version
of the thesis, therefore, the Turing-machine account of
computability has captured the correct notion of
computability-in-principle for an idealized human agent.

I believe that it is the weak Church-Turing thesis that most
mathematicians have in mind when speaking of the Church-Turing
thesis. A convincingly large piece of evidence for at least this
weak form of the Church-Turing thesis consists of the mathematical
fact that all the various notions of formal computability,
including Turing machines, modified and expanded Turing machines,
such as multi-tape machines and expanded alphabet or instruction
set Turing machines, but including also register machines, modified
register machines, flowchart machines, machines based on idealized
versions of the basic programming language, or C++ or whatever
other computer language, and so on. All these various notions of
formal computability have been proved equivalent — they can all simulate each other — and this makes us
think that we have correctly captured the notion of
computability-in-principle with any one of them.

And surely it is only the weak Church-Turing thesis that is used in
the arguments that Rogers mentions. When one describes a
computational procedure in the way that Rogers does, or anyone does
in the entire field of computability theory, one is describing a
computational procedure that could in principle be carried out by
an idealized human agent using only paper and pencil with plenty of
time and plenty of paper. So this is a use of the comparatively uncontested formulation of the Church-Turing thesis. As Andrej and the other commentators testify, there is nearly universal agreement on the accuracy of the weak Church-Turing thesis.

The point I want to emphasize, however, is that there is another
stronger version of the thesis, the *strong* Church-Turing thesis,
which asserts that not only are the idealized paper-and-pencil
computational procedures all simulable by Turing machines, but also
any algorithm procedure that we could in principle carry out in our
physical universe, however strange, is simulable by Turing
machines. This is a much stronger claim.

Frankly, the evidence for this stronger version of the
Church-Turing thesis is considerably weaker, in light of the
fact that we already know that the fundamental nature of physical
reality, including various bizarre quantum effects as well as
relativistic effects, such as time dilation, are quite bizarre. We
don't actually have much reason to think that it should not be
possible in principle to take advantage of them for computational
effect.

The quantum Turing machines may be a familiar example. Although we
already know a lot about quantum Turing machines, in fact these
will not violate the strong Church-Turing thesis, since they are in
principle simulable by ordinary Turing machines (although the simulation takes much longer time, so the new quantum machines may give rise to a new complexity theory, even though they give rise to the same computability theory). So there seems to
be no hidden violation of the strong Church-Turing thesis arising
there.

But meanwhile, there are other strange computational procedures
such as black hole
computation
and others, which seem possibly to offer a way to violate the
Church-Turing thesis, by taking advantage of the relativistic
effects such as time dilation that occur in our actual physical
world. See Philip Welch's article, The extent of computation in
Malament-Hogarth spacetimes,
for a great summary and mathematical analysis of this kind of
thing.

Jack Copeland has
particularly emphasized the distinction between the weak and the
strong Church-Turing theses.

formally, then we need a precise notion of "solvable", and the most popular choice is then "there is a Turing machine..." one. If you adapt this definition, Church's thesis is avoided. $\endgroup$ – Wojowu Aug 19 '16 at 11:44