Category: brains and computation vs contemplation
Memristors are in effect tunable resistors; where a resistive state can be programmed [and changed, so far a very finite number of times]. This means they can store and process information, especially by carrying out weighted-product summations and vector-based matrix array product summations. Such are very powerful physically instantiated mathematical operations. For example, here is […]
One of the key ideas and driving assumptions of modern evolutionary materialistic scientism is that mind can be explained on brain without residue. In an extreme form, we can see it in Crick’s the Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of […]
A thought on soul-body-spirit (and on the meaning of “death” in the Judaeo-Christian frame of thought)
While scientific topics tied to AI are a main current focus — I will shortly add another headlined comment on why — there are several philosophical and theological topics that keep on coming up in and around UD. So, pardon a quick note on those wider themes. Here, on the soul and linked ideas from […]
|February 10, 2018||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, Computing, AI, Cybernetics and Mechatronics, Humor, knowledge, language, Medicine, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, UD's Sci-Tech watch|
Robo-Doc will see you? Maybe, but not just now. This item popped up from the usual suspect tabloid paper sites while searching on AI and memristors. I have tracked down a couple of more reputable sources so, here goes from China Daily (which is also on the spot): >>A robot has passed the written test […]
While we’re on a roll on AI and its import at the hands of evolutionary materialistic scientism dressed in a lab coat, BA77 has linked a comic strip — see here (main site here; cf. twist on The Cave currently top of the heap) — that is at first funny then soberingly serious: As in, […]
|February 3, 2018||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, brains and computation vs contemplation, Computing, AI, Cybernetics and Mechatronics, Conservation of Information, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Humor, UD Guest Posts|
Sometimes a comment is too good to leave there in the combox. So: LM, 2 in the AI intelligent agency thread: >>It brought to mind the evolution of AI. It all began with lightning (electrons) striking rocks (silicon) for billions of years (might a nearby warm pond be helpful?) until now we have the delicate […]
This is a theme of increasing significance for the ID debate, but also it has overtones for an era where AI technologies may be driving the next economic long wave. Which is of instant, global importance, hence the Perez idealised Long wave illustration: However, this is not about economics (save, as a context for major […]
The Voynich manuscript has long been a mysterious object, seemingly a medicinal or magical survey of plants, or someone’s play on such documents, but written in an unknown alphabetic script: AI is now being brought to bear on the matter. According to phys dot org: >>U of A computing science professor Greg Kondrak, an expert […]
AI — artificial intelligence — is emerging as a future-driver. For example, we have been hearing of driver-less cars, and now we have helmsman-less barges: As The Guardian reports: >>The world’s first fully electric, emission-free and potentially crewless container barges are to operate from the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam from this summer. The […]
|July 11, 2017||Posted by kairosfocus under Animal minds, Astronomy, brains and computation vs contemplation, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Mathematics|
In our time there is a tendency to treat Mathematics as though it is a natural science. This reflects in part the shift in meaning of the term Science in recent centuries, from knowledge and systematic bodies of more or less established knowledge, to the natural sciences based on inductive reasoning on observation and experiment. […]
|November 17, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, Intellectual freedom, Mind, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
. . . as in, it’s a delusion: >>When the machines take over our important decisions we will do the same thing we do now – we will imagine that we are making the decisions on our own. Today our important decisions are made with emotions, and rationalized after the fact. We incorrectly call this […]
Sometimes, popular debates and commenters can put their fingers on a key issue, almost in passing. In this case, in addressing the cognitive dissonance issue triggering many reactions to the rise of Donald Trump to US President-Elect (I confess, my own surprise* . . . ) Dilbert’s Scott Adams has dropped a real clanger of […]
|November 12, 2016||Posted by johnnyb under Animal minds, Artificial Intelligence, brains and computation vs contemplation, Comp. Sci. / Eng., Mind, Minds, Naturalism, Neuroscience, Video|
John Searle gives a nice talk at Google about real intelligence vs. machine intelligence. The conversation is interesting for a number of reasons, including some historical background of Searle’s famous “Chinese Room Argument.”
BTB, RVB8 vs deplorably “lazy” ID-iots who “deny science” and insist on trying to “detect a designer”
UD News’ Walking dead thread offers an opportunity to address some common talking points and/or assumptions of many objectors to design. In this case, I replied to some key claims by RVB8, at 21 in the thread: [KF, 21:] >>I see your intended sting in the tail at 18 above: Actual experiments to detect a […]
|August 30, 2016||Posted by DLH under brains and computation vs contemplation, Complex Specified Information, Design inference, Intelligent Design, Mind|
Statistician William M. Briggs reports an amazing medical case where the “skull was filled largely by fluid, leaving just a thin perimeter of actual brain tissue.” Here’s the kicker: And yet the man was a married father of two and a civil servant with an IQ of 75, below-average in his intelligence but not mentally […]
|November 26, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, Computing, AI, Cybernetics and Mechatronics, Darwinist rhetorical tactics|
First, a happy thanksgiving. Then, while digesting turkey etc, here is something to ponder. One of the underlying issues surrounding the debates over the design inference is the question of responsible, rational freedom as a key facet of intelligent action, as opposed to blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. It has surfaced again, e.g. the WD400 […]
BTB, 4: Evolutionary Materialism as “fact, Fact, FACT” and its self-falsifying self-referential incoherence
|November 13, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, brains and computation vs contemplation, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
One of the challenges commonly met with in re-thinking origins science from a perspective open to design, is that the evolutionary materialist narrative is too often presented as fact (not explanation), and there is also a typical failure to recognise that materialist ideology cannot be properly imposed on science. Likewise, there is a pattern of […]
Answering Popperian’s challenge: “why doesn’t someone start out by explaining how human beings generate emotions, then point out how the universality of computation does not fit that explanation . . .”
|July 4, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
There are some key motifs that often come up in discussions of design theory and linked ideas. Popperian, as captioned, has posed one of these. Notice, his view, that we GENERATE emotions, suggesting a dynamo churning away and generating electricity. That is, the motif that would reduce explanations to mechanisms is here revealed. I think […]
|July 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under brains and computation vs contemplation, evolutionary materialism's self-falsification, Intelligent Design, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
I think BA77’s reply deserves to be headlined, as a part of the issue on self-falsification of evolutionary materialism. First, a picture: Now, the clip: >>as to Lombrozo’s comment here: “in the last 20 years or so, research in psychology and the cognitive science of religion has increasingly focused on another factor that contributes to […]
Blowing the whistle: But, Emperor Evolutionary Materialist Scientism (by being self-falsifying) is parading around naked . . .
|April 18, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, brains and computation vs contemplation, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
In recent days the issue of the want of rational coherence of evolutionary materialist scientism has become a major focus at UD. For cause. In the most recent thread on it, BA says in the OP: I had an epiphany today. I think, after all this time, I finally get it . . . . […]
But it’s worse than all that. For it won’t do for the naturalist to say: “OK, so we’ve got to swallow some bizarre stuff. But we’re just following the argument where it leads!” What argument? There’s no fact of the matter here either – no fact of the matter about which argument one is presenting, and in particular no fact of the matter about whether one’s arguments conform to valid patterns of inference. In the case at hand, there is simply no fact of the matter about whether Rosenberg’s own arguments (or those of any other naturalist) are sound or entirely fallacious. So why should we accept them? I suppose Rosenberg could always do what any serious philosopher would when dealing with those who stubbornly disagree with him – start a petition to pressure the APA to settle the question in his favor. But until that happens, we’ll just have to wait on pins and needles.
So, that’s one fatal problem . . . . There are other incoherencies too. For example, Rosenberg keeps telling us that this or that commonsense feature of human nature is an “illusion” – despite the fact that illusions themselves are intentional phenomena, and thus the sort of thing which, on Rosenberg’s account, naturalism entails doesn’t exist. Rosenberg also seems to think that blindsight phenomena give us a reason to be eliminativists about phenomenal consciousness. But this is incoherent too, because the only reason we judge something to be a case of blindsight in the first place is that we have phenomenally conscious experiences to compare it to. Furthermore, Rosenberg assures us that the mind is merely the product of a long process of selection which favored those who were skilled at detecting other people’s motives. But since “motives” are themselves intentional mental phenomena, they can hardly coherently be appealed to in an account of how the mind originated. (Nor will it do to suggest that Rosenberg means only that our more complex minds evolved in order to detect other people’s motives; for it is the existence of any intentionality at all which poses a uniquely difficult problem for naturalism, not merely the existence of complex minds like ours.)
Of course, these are very old and very well-known problem with eliminative materialism, and eliminative materialists typically pooh-pooh them or (more commonly) simply ignore them. Even non-eliminativist naturalists do the same. What none of them do is actually answer such objections, except with “solutions” which also presuppose intentionality and/or consciousness and thus simply raise the same difficulty at a higher level. The problem is obvious, and obviously fatal, and yet amazingly, it is rarely addressed (Rosenberg’s essay completely ignores it). Victor Reppert and William Hasker have put forward what I think is the correct explanation of this bizarre state of denial: Even naturalists who are not eliminative materialists suspect that their position may inevitably lead them in an eliminativist direction, and they want to keep the option open. Precisely because the obviously fatal objection to eliminative materialism is so obvious and so fatal, the typical naturalist pays it little or no heed, lest he be forced by it to give up naturalism itself – a position which is, as Hasker puts it, something like “a theological dogma” for those philosophers committed to it. Like children, they hope the problem will just go away if they pay it no attention . . . [there’s a lot more!]
But, food for thought — at least for those not content to chase their tails in a closed, self-falsifying loop of thought on a view that undermines even the possibility of rational thought.
There comes a point where someone needs to point out that The Emperor is parading around stark naked and everyone around him is pretending otherwise, to protect the system of mutually supportive interests. (Remember, in the old story, the tailors said that their magic cloth was an incompetence detector, i.e. if you were incompetent you could not see it. And so, from the Emperor himself down, they swallowed and institutionalised foolishness rather than first demand demonstration of the power to make such a detector. Thus, proving . . . their incompetence . . . )
Again, sobering. >>
The question now on the table, then, is the fallacy of the closed, ideologised mind:
This fallacy manifests itself in a habitual pattern of thought, feelings and argument that is:
(a) question-beggingly committed to and/or
(b) indoctrinated into thinking in the circle of a particular view or position and/or
As a result,
(d) the victim of closed-mindedness becomes unwarrantedly (i.e. fallaciously and often abusively) resistant to new or alternative ideas, information or correction.
That is, it is not a matter of mere disagreement that is at stake here, but of
(e) stubborn and objectively unjustified refusal to be corrected or to entertain or fairly discuss on the merits ideas or points of view outside of a favoured circle of thought.
In extreme cases,
(f) the closed minded person who has access to power or influence may engage in the willfully deceptive (and even demonic) practice of actively suppressing the inconvenient truth that s/he knows or should know.
By contrast, a properly educated person is open-minded but critically aware: s/he is aware of the possibility and prevalence of error, and so (i) habitually investigates and then (ii) accurately, objectively and fairly describes major alternative views, fact claims and lines of argument on a topic, (iii) comparing them on congruence to his/her real-world experience and that of others s/he knows and respects, general factual correctness, logical coherence and degree of explanatory power; thus (iv) holds a personal view that results from such a process of comparative difficulties, while (v) recognising and respecting that on major matters of debate or controversy, different people will hold different views.)
That is, per Lewontin in his notorious 1997 NYRB article:
. . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> notice the loaded, implied “equivalence”], the demons that exist only in their imaginations [–> loaded language], and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, thatwe are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
[From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. Bold emphasis and notes added. If you have been led to imagine this is “quote mined,” kindly cf. the fuller annotated quote as linked.]
Philip Johnson’s retort, in First Things, the following November, was well deserved:
The issue now is, is there — at long last — an openness to squarely face and deal with this issue? Doubtless, we shall see. END