It’s a good question whether Woese would have recognized the Archaea for what they were, had he not been in the habit of thinking for himself. Maybe he would have just been satisfied to shoehorn them into the conventional scheme somewhere.
Maybe viral “cold case” detective work will become a new specialty. Newman agree that seniors should be avoid public gatherings but doesn’t think mass quarantine of the entire population is the best strategy because it prevents the development of herd immunity.
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) as a virus. Updated on an ongoing basis.
Rob Stadler: By studying the simplest forms of life and laboratory efforts to synthesize life, we know that the simplest living organisms are extraordinarily complex. Al life contains highly interdependent subsystems and hierarchical layers of information that flows between the subsystems.
Roger Sperry’s Nobel Prize-winning split-brain research convinced him that the mind and free will are real.
(Wallace, Darwin-s co-theorist, was a working-class stiff whom Darwin’s set elbowed out. He was not a materialist (naturalist) and he thought evolution could be consistent with meaning and spirituality. Darwin abhorred such ideas. This review was originally published at New Oxford Review.)
A scientific test should identify precisely what humans can do that computers cannot, avoiding subjective opinion: The “broken checkerboard” is not the ultimate scientific test for intelligence that we need. But it is a truly scientific test in the sense that it is capable of falsifying the theory that the mind is reducible to computation. Read More…
If we ignore the overall uncertainty.
We often hear that what’s hard for humans is easy for computers. But it turns out that many kinds of problems are exceedingly hard for computers to solve. This class of problems, known as NP-Complete (NPC), was independently discovered by Stephen Cook and Leonid Levin.
The long article behind the paywall refers to the “increasingly outdated concept of what constitutes a species,” “just one of dozens of competing definitions.” Increasingly outdated and uncertain, yes. But remember, the Darwin revolution was about—wait for it!—On the Origin of SPECIES.
It’s a lot like Darwinian evolution except that, in this case, people are willing to talk about it.
Holloway: This test for intelligence, the Turing Test, was invented by and named after the mid-twentieth century computer pioneer Alan Turing. It is a subjective test in that it depends on whether an artificial intelligence is capable of convincing human testers that it is a human. But fooling humans, while impressive, is not really the same thing as actually possessing human-level intelligence.
Food for thought: “Weirdly, it’s easier for us to generate beautiful images of skulls than it is to know what these frogs eat,” Blackburn said. “Natural history remains quite hard. Just because we know things exist doesn’t mean we know anything about them.”
Why not two or four spatial dimensions? One researcher, James Scargill, argues that we could possibly have made do with two dimensions.
Among other things: “Things appear deceptively dire if we calculate death rate solely by reference to reported COVID-19 cases; but the picture is deceptively benign if we measure deaths against an inflated conjecture about the non-reporting population. ” – McCarthy