And how it can transcend them via “intelligent design:”
We can expect huge advances on three frontiers: the very small, the very large, and the very complex. Nonetheless – and I’m sticking my neck out here – my hunch is there’s a limit to what we can understand. Efforts to understand very complex systems, such as our own brains, might well be the first to hit such limits. Perhaps complex aggregates of atoms, whether brains or electronic machines, can never know all there is to know about themselves. And we might encounter another barrier if we try to follow Weinberg’s arrows further down: if this leads to the kind of multi-dimensional geometry that string theorists envisage. Physicists might never understand the bedrock nature of space and time because the mathematics is just too hard.Martin Rees, “Black holes are simpler than forests and science has its limits” at Aeon
And now, about transcending those limits?
Abstract thinking by biological brains has underpinned the emergence of all culture and science. But this activity, spanning tens of millennia at most, will probably be a brief precursor to the more powerful intellects of the post-human era – evolved not by Darwinian selection but via ‘intelligent design’. Whether the long-range future lies with organic post-humans or with electronic super-intelligent machines is a matter for debate. But we would be unduly anthropocentric to believe that a full understanding of physical reality is within humanity’s grasp, and that no enigmas will remain to challenge our remote descendants.Martin Rees, “Black holes are simpler than forests and science has its limits” at Aeon
Be warned. In the middle of the bridge to the post-human artificial intelligence future sits a fat troll called the Halting Problem, waiting for an unsuspecting computer idealist to wander by…
See also: Astronomer Martin Rees Reacts To Suzan Mazur’s Darwin Overthrown
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