Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up



Yale Criticized for Nixing Muslim Cartoons in Book: Should the Ivy League school change its motto? Lux et veritas (Light and Truth) no longer seems appropriate.


German Science Advisor Recommends Global CO2 Budget for Every Man, Woman and Child: Hmm, will this be before or after our new "punisher religion?"


Reincarnated: Our Son is a World War II Hero Come to Life: "A lifelong Christian, it was not the answer he had sought for his son's behavior. But he came to believe James was the reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot; a man who had been shot down in his plane and struggled to escape as it caught fire; a hero. The idea seems so preposterous as to be unbelievable. Yet in their new book, Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation Of A World War II Fighter Pilot, Bruce and his wife, Andrea, lay out some compelling evidence.


Why AI Is a Dangerous Dream: "Q: Are we close to building a machine that can meaningfully be described as sentient? A: I'm an empirical kind of guy, and there is just no evidence of an artificial toehold in sentience. It is often forgotten that the idea of mind or brain as computational is merely an assumption, not a truth. When I point this out to 'believers' in the computational theory of mind, some of their arguments are almost religious. They say, 'What else could there be? Do you think mind is supernatural?'''


Anti-Darwinism: A Collection:
A non-exhaustive list of VFR entries on Darwinism.


Shakespeare and Monkeys: One of Lawrence Auster's new essays includes a point by me on how Shakespeare and monkeys disprove Darwinist theory. Huh? Well, click on the link.


Space Butterfly: A beautiful pic.


Also, please note that I've added a bunch of new websites to my Blog List. Some of these bloggers (
Roissy, for instance) are people I strongly disagree with, but - at a minimum - they're interesting and write (at least tangentially) on topics pertaining to The Mustard Seed.

5 comments:

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

Arguing that the mind is not supernatural is religious behavior? That does not even make any sense. Sounds like this guy is just projecting. Also, computer programming is not the only way to create an AI.

Creating an artificial mind is no different from creating an artificial limb, which we can already do. It's just a lot more difficult and complicated.

Todd White said...

JCS:

You wrote, "Arguing that the mind is not supernatural is religious behavior? That does not even make any sense."

Then you wrote, "Creating an artificial mind is no different from creating an artificial limb, which we can already do. It's just a lot more difficult and complicated."

Read what you wrote carefully.

In stating that creating an artificial mind can be done by merely applying what we've learned about artificial limbs, you are making a statement based on faith - precisely the kind of "religious behavior" that the author of the article observed, and you condemned.

Based on my study of the AI/mind issue, it is more likely that mind is of a level of complexity so advanced (indeed, a level of complexity suggesting a non-material source) that mind will not be able to be incorporated into computers (and thus, the AI project will not fulfill the grand dream of its members).

For example, the conservative pundit John Derbyshire, who rejects religion, still calls himself a "Mysterian" because he feels that consciousness is a concept that will always be beyond the reach of science.

See 2 Derbyshire pieces: "The Dream of AI" and "Towards a Science of Consciousness."

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/HumanSciences/artificialintelligence.html

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/HumanSciences/scienceofconsciousness.html

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

I did not say an artificial mind can be created by applying what is known about creating artificial limbs, I said that it's no different. In both cases you are creating an artificial version of a human body part. The brain is just much more complicated than other parts.

A computer AI would be possible if you could make a perfect computer model of a brain. Which is only a matter of time.

Consciousness will always be beyond the reach of science? That's a pretty bold statement to make, considering that science will, barring any disasters, have essentially limitless time to research things. The proto-scientist of ancient Greece couldn't even imagine, let alone talk about, the technology that will exist in a few thousand years.

Todd White said...

JCS: “I did not say an artificial mind can be created by applying what is known about creating artificial limbs, I said that it's no different. In both cases you are creating an artificial version of a human body part. The brain is just much more complicated than other parts.”

TW: We don’t know that. That’s an assumption. Yes, there’s some evidence to support that assumption. But there’s also a lot of evidence AGAINST it. Personally, I’m not confident that science will ever be able to create an “artificial mind” because “mind” – in my humble opinion – requires a non-material source.



JCS: “Consciousness will always be beyond the reach of science? That's a pretty bold statement to make, considering that science will, barring any disasters, have essentially limitless time to research things.”

TW: Well, for starters, I didn’t say that. But since you asked, here’s my position: If – and it’s a big “if” – science developed the ability to create consciousness – it would be through tapping and transforming a non-material source. How would that work? I have no idea. But I’m not worried about that. Since we can’t even define conscience yet (see those 2 John Derbyshire links I sent you), I think we have bigger issues to address first.

Todd White said...

Update here:

http://mustardseednovel.blogspot.com/2009/10/is-that-all-doctor.html