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Author Topic:   Why doesn't AI Falsify ID?
aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 71 (372939)
12-30-2006 5:08 AM


Hi - I'm new here, and I'd like to start a discussion in the Intelligent Design forum.

The issue is this: It's clear that appropriately constructed computer systems can exhibit behaviors that qualify as "intelligent" (as described, say, by Bill Dembski). At first blush, then, it would seem that artificially intelligent computers represent an existence proof that deterministic (or stochastic) physical systems can generate complex specified information, contrary to the tenets of ID.

I've generally heard two responses to this. The first is that computers don't actually exhibit intelligent behavior at all. I won't reply to this argument in anticipation here, except to say that finding a criterion for detecting intelligent agents that serves the needs of ID theory while excluding computers seems to be quite impossible.

The more common response is that while computers might appear to be intelligent, they are only reflecting the intelligence of the real intelligent agent - the human programmer. But a moment's reflection should reveal the flaw in this line of reasoning: If computers are not truly intelligent because they are the product of another intelligent agent's design, then human beings - also the product of intelligent design according to ID - must not be truly intelligent either. If the IDist chooses to rebut this reductio ad absurdum by granting that computers are in fact intelligent in their own right, we are left with the conclusion that material processes must be capable of intelligent behavior after all.

Any thoughts on this?

Edited by aiguy, : No reason given.


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 4:59 PM aiguy has responded
 Message 22 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-31-2006 1:43 PM aiguy has responded
 Message 38 by TheMystic, posted 01-02-2007 8:45 AM aiguy has responded
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AdminTL
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 71 (373012)
12-30-2006 12:52 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 3 of 71 (373064)
12-30-2006 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by aiguy
12-30-2006 5:08 AM


aiguy writes:

The more common response is that while computers might appear to be intelligent, they are only reflecting the intelligence of the real intelligent agent - the human programmer. But a moment's reflection should reveal the flaw in this line of reasoning: If computers are not truly intelligent because they are the product of another intelligent agent's design, then human beings - also the product of intelligent design according to ID - must not be truly intelligent either. If the IDist chooses to rebut this reductio ad absurdum by granting that computers are in fact intelligent in their own right, we are left with the conclusion that material processes must be capable of intelligent behavior after all.

When you can take super intelligent computers and have them express love, joy, guilt etc, then I'll concede that you have an argument. We are more than just the intelligence that can be programmed into a computer.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 5:08 AM aiguy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Taz, posted 12-30-2006 5:15 PM GDR has responded
 Message 5 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 5:39 PM GDR has responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1457 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 4 of 71 (373067)
12-30-2006 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by GDR
12-30-2006 4:59 PM


GDR writes:

When you can take super intelligent computers and have them express love, joy, guilt etc, then I'll concede that you have an argument. We are more than just the intelligence that can be programmed into a computer.


While I agree that the human consciousness is made of more than just the intelligence, I don't agree that we can impose love, joy, guilt, etc., as the criteria for (what I am assuming you are talking) sentience.

Perhaps it would be better if we wait to make contact with another sentient race before we can start coming up with the criteria?


George Absolutely Stupid Bush the Younger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 4:59 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 6:54 PM Taz has responded

  
aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 71 (373075)
12-30-2006 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by GDR
12-30-2006 4:59 PM


Hi, GDR -

GDR writes:

When you can take super intelligent computers and have them express love, joy, guilt etc, then I'll concede that you have an argument.

There are are number of different problems with your response.

First, while there is apparently no canonical definition of the term "intelligence" used by Intelligent Design Theory (an odd state of affairs, to say the least), none of the ID proponents I've read have suggested that "love", "joy", or "guilt" are requisite components. According to Dembski, "intelligence" is defined as "the ability to generate complex specified information". Computers most certainly have the ability to generate all sorts of designs, including those for irreducibly complex machines. One can also imagine a person who lacks the emotional responses we might call "love", or "guilt" but is still clearly intelligent (for example, a psychopath who happens to be a nuclear physicist).

Second, obviously there is no scientific way for ID to infer that the Intelligent Designer expresses love, joy, or guilt either - but that doesn't stop IDists from claiming that the Designer is intelligent.

Third, of course my computers can express love, joy, and guilt. In fact, the computer you are looking at right now will express love. Observe:

your computer writes:

I LOVE YOU!

You may not find this expression of love very convincing, but I'm not talking about subjective impressions here - I'm talking about science. Neither you nor anybody else has any scientific method to establish when something does or does not actually feel love, joy, or guilt.

So, your complaint that computers don't currently seem to exhibit certain human emotions misses the mark.

GDR writes:

We are more than just the intelligence that can be programmed into a computer.

You've made a bald assertion with no explanation nor support, so it's difficult to respond to this. Also, nobody has said that humans are nothing more than intelligence, so you seem to be attacking a straw man here.


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 4:59 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 6:48 PM aiguy has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 6 of 71 (373094)
12-30-2006 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by aiguy
12-30-2006 5:39 PM


aiguy writes:

First, while there is apparently no canonical definition of the term "intelligence" used by Intelligent Design Theory (an odd state of affairs, to say the least), none of the ID proponents I've read have suggested that "love", "joy", or "guilt" are requisite components. According to Dembski, "intelligence" is defined as "the ability to generate complex specified information". Computers most certainly have the ability to generate all sorts of designs, including those for irreducibly complex machines. One can also imagine a person who lacks the emotional responses we might call "love", or "guilt" but is still clearly intelligent (for example, a psychopath who happens to be a nuclear physicist).

My point was that until someone can design a computer to exhibit spontaneous emotion then I don't see that your argument against ID holds up. I agree that computers can be designed to design, but frankly if anything, that is an argument that supports the concept that we had to be designed in order for us to be able to design this computer.

I do contend that the universe, the earth and life exhibit all the characteristics of design, but that is in no way scientific. It is just my opinion.

aiguy writes:

You may not find this expression of love very convincing, but I'm not talking about subjective impressions here - I'm talking about science. Neither you nor anybody else has any scientific method to establish when something does or does not actually feel love, joy, or guilt.

I agree.

It is totally subjective which of course cuts both ways. What is objective is that today a computer can exhibit programmed intelligence but it cannot exhibit human emotion. My subjective notion is that they never will, which is again just my opinion.

aiguy writes:

So, your complaint that computers don't currently seem to exhibit certain human emotions misses the mark.

Computers require intelligence to be designed into them. Frankly I don't see any scientific connection between the fact that computers have a degree of programmed intelligence and ID.

I went back to your original post and I'm adding the following edit.

aiguy writes:

If computers are not truly intelligent because they are the product of another intelligent agent's design, then human beings - also the product of intelligent design according to ID - must not be truly intelligent either.

The computers that we design exhibit a lower functioning intelligence than we possess. They might have greater memory and solve problems more quickly, but they still require some human to initiate the process, and as I said, they don't have subjective intelligence. Any proponent of theism would have to accept that a designer's intelligence would exceed ours in ways that we can't conceive.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 5:39 PM aiguy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 7:40 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 7 of 71 (373095)
12-30-2006 6:54 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taz
12-30-2006 5:15 PM


TD writes:

While I agree that the human consciousness is made of more than just the intelligence, I don't agree that we can impose love, joy, guilt, etc., as the criteria for (what I am assuming you are talking) sentience.

I would agree. I think our intelligence and the ability to use it subjectively gives us sentience. I tend to think that it's our emotions that give us our humanity.

TD writes:

Perhaps it would be better if we wait to make contact with another sentient race before we can start coming up with the criteria?

It might be a very long wait. I hope we don't sit on our hands in the mean time. :)


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Taz, posted 12-30-2006 5:15 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 12-30-2006 8:34 PM GDR has responded

    
aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 71 (373102)
12-30-2006 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by GDR
12-30-2006 6:48 PM


Hi, GDR -

GDR writes:

My point was that until someone can design a computer to exhibit spontaneous emotion then I don't see that your argument against ID holds up.

I understand that was your point. I made three arguments against that point, which I will summarize again:
1) Emotion (spontaneous or otherwise) has not been established (by ID theory or any other theory) as a necessary component of intelligence.
2) No ID theorist has even attempted to attribute emotion to the Intelligent Designer, yet ID theory holds that the intelligence of the Designer is still scientifically warranted.
3) There is no scientific basis for assessing whether or not a computer, or the cause of life, has emotions or not.

GDR writes:

I agree that computers can be designed to design, but frankly if anything, that is an argument that supports the concept that we had to be designed in order for us to be able to design this computer.

You have not addressed my reductio argument: If the fact that engineers design computers means that computers are not really intelligent, then by the same reasoning, the fact that the Intelligent Design designed humans beings means that humans are not intelligent either. That is absurd, so something must be wrong with your assumption of design, or your reasoning about computer intelligence. How do you resolve this dilemma?

GDR writes:

I do contend that the universe, the earth and life exhibit all the characteristics of design, but that is in no way scientific. It is just my opinion.

In that case, we are in agreement. I'm new here, so let me lay my cards on the table: I happen to think there is probably something fundamental missing from our understanding of how life came to be, but I think "Intelligent Design Theory" is a vacuous semantic sleight-of-hand, utterly lacking in scientific merit.

GDR writes:

I agree.


Too bad :) I'm fishing for ID proponents here... are there any?

GDR writes:

It is totally subjective which of course cuts both ways. What is objective is that today a computer can exhibit programmed intelligence but it cannot exhibit human emotion. My subjective notion is that they never will, which is again just my opinion.

I basically agree with you here as well. More specifically, I think that "computers" will have to be built in a very different way before we might think they have mental experiences like we do. However, I disagree that emotion has anything to do with intelligence as the word is used in ID theory. (I think it has a lot to do intelligence in human beings, however, cf. the work of Antoni Damasio - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Damasio).

GDR writes:

Computers require intelligence to be designed into them. Frankly I don't see any scientific connection between the fact that computers have a degree of programmed intelligence and ID.

Please review my reductio argument.

GDR writes:

The computers that we design exhibit a lower functioning intelligence than we possess. They might have greater memory and solve problems more quickly, but they still require some human to initiate the process, and as I said, they don't have subjective intelligence. Any proponent of theism would have to accept that a designer's intelligence would exceed ours in ways that we can't conceive.

Let's try this again. My argument is this:

1) ID theory says "intelligent causation" is responsible for biological complexity.

2) ID theorists define "intelligence" in various ways, but for any definition that has any hope of being scientifically useful in this context (e.g. "the ability to generate specified complex information" or "the ability to design irreducibly complex machinery" or "the ability to choose among different possible outcomes", etc), computers are clearly intelligent.

3) If one denies that computers are intelligent on account of the fact that an intelligent agent (a human engineer) designed them, then we are forced to conclude one of two things. Either a) Human beings were not designed by an intelligent agent; OR b) Human beings are not themselves intelligent.

4) Since (3b) is absurd, I believe I've shown that ID's claim that material processes cannot account for the generation of novel, complex form and function must be false.

Edited by aiguy, : No reason given.


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 6:48 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Nerd, posted 12-30-2006 8:24 PM aiguy has responded
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 11:42 PM aiguy has responded

  
Nerd
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 71 (373106)
12-30-2006 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by aiguy
12-30-2006 7:40 PM


Hi aiguy,

That's a neat argument you've proposed. As stated, it certainly would prove the point you're trying to prove.

However, you are making an assumption in your 3rd point that I don't agree with. Specifically, your argument is only valid as long as we take the position that computers cannot be intelligent because they are designed -- ID proponents do not necessarily believe this. Thus, neither of your conclusions 3a or 3b need follow.

I don't see anything about the fact that computers are designed that means they can't be intelligent. We have certainly observed limited "intelligence" in designed computer systems of the forms you already mentioned earlier.

Designed computer systems are by definition products of intelligent design. If we see that our designed systems are intelligent, then that's great! What's the problem? I don't see how the presence of (or lack of) intelligence in computers has any bearing on the ID argument except as evidence that intelligent behavior arises from intelligent design.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 7:40 PM aiguy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 11:37 PM Nerd has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1457 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 10 of 71 (373109)
12-30-2006 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by GDR
12-30-2006 6:54 PM


GDR writes:

I hope we don't sit on our hands in the mean time.


Oh no, don't get me wrong. I have no problem with us hypothesizing these things. I just wanted to point out that using concepts that are completely subjective, like emotions, to define levels of intelligence and sentience could become very dangerous in the near future.

Science fiction writers and movie makers alike have tackled this before. Ten years ago, the idea of artificial intelligence (honest to god artificial intelligence) was still far in the sci fi realm. But nowadays, in my opinion it is not that far off. The question then becomes how will we treat this new "race" (for lack of a better word)?

It might be a very long wait.

I wasn't talking only about extraterrestrial intelligence. The prospect of a new race of artificial intelligent beings isn't that far off... perhaps a few decades?


George Absolutely Stupid Bush the Younger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 6:54 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
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aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 71 (373136)
12-30-2006 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Nerd
12-30-2006 8:24 PM


Hi nerd,

nerd writes:

Designed computer systems are by definition products of intelligent design. If we see that our designed systems are intelligent, then that's great! What's the problem? I don't see how the presence of (or lack of) intelligence in computers has any bearing on the ID argument except as evidence that intelligent behavior arises from intelligent design.

The problem that intelligent computers poses for intelligent design is this: ID theorists attempt to demonstrate not only that evolutionary theory can't account for biological complexity, but that no combination of chance and necessity can account for it. All of Bill Dembski's claims about the "no free lunch" theorems, or that information is conserved, or that his explanatory filter can distinguish intelligent cause from chance and law-like causes... all of these arguments are intended to demonstrate that intelligent behavior can not arise from material mechanism. Otherwise, simply pointing to failures of evolutionary theory wouldn't amount to evidence for ID at all.

But computers are in fact devices that operate according to material mechanism - deterministic physical law, optionally combined with random input. So, if you think that computers are intelligent, then you believe intelligent behavior can arise from purely material means. If the chance and necessity operating inside a computer can generate complex designs, then why couldn't the chance and necessity of evolutionary mechanisms do the same thing?

Dembski sees this quite well, and has attempted to discredit AI (and the cognitive sciences in general) in order to preserve his arguments (see http://www.asa3.org/aSA/topics/PsychologyNeuroscience/PSCF12-1990Dembski.html). His arguments are embarassingly bad, but he does recognize that the reality of computer intelligence does in fact destroy all of his arguments for ID.


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Nerd, posted 12-30-2006 8:24 PM Nerd has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Nerd, posted 12-31-2006 1:29 AM aiguy has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 12 of 71 (373137)
12-30-2006 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by aiguy
12-30-2006 7:40 PM


One of our problems is that we have different ideas of what constitutes ID. I fully realize that there are those who try and support the claim that it is scientific. IMHO it isn't. (Maybe some day though I doubt it.) I am however convinced that we are intelligently designed but not for scientific reasons. I come to it through subjective reasoning.

aiguy writes:

I understand that was your point. I made three arguments against that point, which I will summarize again:
1) Emotion (spontaneous or otherwise) has not been established (by ID theory or any other theory) as a necessary component of intelligence.
2) No ID theorist has even attempted to attribute emotion to the Intelligent Designer, yet ID theory holds that the intelligence of the Designer is still scientifically warranted.
3) There is no scientific basis for assessing whether or not a computer, or the cause of life, has emotions or not.

1)I would agree that it isn't. However, a computer comes to its answers through its designed intelligence in such a way that it always comes up with the same answer. Humans, using subjective reasoning can easily come up with different answers on different days. So, though I would agree that emotion is not a necessary component of intelligence, I do believe that the intelligence designed into a computer is a different form of intelligence than what is designed into us.

2)ID is strictly Theism except that some are trying to make it scientific theism. ID only tells us that there is a creator but it doesn't tell us anything about that creator. Once again it isn't scientific but if a designer or designers exist then due to the nature of the creation we have to assume their intelligence. Once again nothing there is scientific.

3) I agree that there is no scientific basis for assuming that a creator possesses emotion, but I can't see why you would say that we can't tell whether computers have emotion or not.

aiguy writes:

You have not addressed my reductio argument: If the fact that engineers design computers means that computers are not really intelligent, then by the same reasoning, the fact that the Intelligent Design designed humans beings means that humans are not intelligent either. That is absurd, so something must be wrong with your assumption of design, or your reasoning about computer intelligence. How do you resolve this dilemma?

How would you define intelligence? I agree that computers have a type of intelligence, but as I pointed out, it is not the same type of intelligence as humans. On the assumption that there is a designer we are probably fairly safe in saying that the intelligence of the designer is not the same as the intelligence that we possess.

aiguy writes:

In that case, we are in agreement. I'm new here, so let me lay my cards on the table: I happen to think there is probably something fundamental missing from our understanding of how life came to be, but I think "Intelligent Design Theory" is a vacuous semantic sleight-of-hand, utterly lacking in scientific merit.

I like the phrase "intelligent design" as a synonym for theism but I see it as philosophical, not than scientific. Having said that, I do find that by studying scientific phenomena, and using non-scientific or subjective reasoning, the more obvious it becomes to me that we are designed.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by aiguy, posted 12-30-2006 7:40 PM aiguy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by aiguy, posted 12-31-2006 12:09 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 13 of 71 (373138)
12-30-2006 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Taz
12-30-2006 8:34 PM


TD writes:

I wasn't talking only about extraterrestrial intelligence. The prospect of a new race of artificial intelligent beings isn't that far off... perhaps a few decades?

I doubt that we will develop AI that will love or have sense of humour. (I may be wrong) I would agree though that we would likely be astounded at what we would see if we could look even 50 years ahead.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 12-30-2006 8:34 PM Taz has not yet responded

    
aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 71 (373139)
12-30-2006 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Taz
12-30-2006 8:34 PM


Hi TD,

Tazmanian Devil writes:

I just wanted to point out that using concepts that are completely subjective, like emotions, to define levels of intelligence and sentience could become very dangerous in the near future.

The basic problem I have with ID is that there is no attempt to actually provide a standard definition for "intelligence" at all. If you take (one of) Bill Dembski's definitions, i.e. "Intelligence is the ability to create complex specified information", then ID can be seen to be utterly vacuous:

Q: What explains the specified complexity of biological systems?
A: Intelligence.

Q: What is intelligence?
A: The ability to create specified complexity.

Tazmanian Devil writes:

Science fiction writers and movie makers alike have tackled this before. Ten years ago, the idea of artificial intelligence (honest to god artificial intelligence) was still far in the sci fi realm. But nowadays, in my opinion it is not that far off. The question then becomes how will we treat this new "race" (for lack of a better word)?

It was really almost thirty years ago, in the AI heyday of the early 1980's, that we thought real AI was around the corner. Then "AI Winter" set in, many of the commercial ventures based on AI technology fizzled, and researchers discovered that the core problems were much more difficult that we believed. Since then, however, there has been steady progress, and some of us in the business are again (cautiously) optimistic that machines that give us the impression that there is really thinking going on inside may be a reality in the next decade or two. The big hurdle was the recognition that huge amounts of common-sense knowledge was needed for something to act intelligently, and the repositories that people have been laboriously creating for the past twenty years or so are just now beginning to be usable. The other change, of course, is that computers are now so incredibly big, fast, and cheap compared to previous decades.


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 12-30-2006 8:34 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Taz, posted 12-31-2006 2:36 PM aiguy has responded

  
aiguy
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 71 (373141)
12-31-2006 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by GDR
12-30-2006 11:42 PM


Hi GDR,

GDR writes:

One of our problems is that we have different ideas of what constitutes ID. I fully realize that there are those who try and support the claim that it is scientific. IMHO it isn't. (Maybe some day though I doubt it.) I am however convinced that we are intelligently designed but not for scientific reasons. I come to it through subjective reasoning.

In that case, you and I basically agree. I just think we don't have a very good idea of what we mean by "intelligently designed". If you ask 10 people what they mean by "intelligence", you will get 15 or 20 different answers.

GDR writes:

1)I would agree that it isn't. However, a computer comes to its answers through its designed intelligence in such a way that it always comes up with the same answer. Humans, using subjective reasoning can easily come up with different answers on different days. So, though I would agree that emotion is not a necessary component of intelligence, I do believe that the intelligence designed into a computer is a different form of intelligence than what is designed into us.

No, you're mistaken about this. There are two ways computers might come up with different answers to the same question. First, computer systems (like people) are affected by their experiences and can learn. So the state of the computer the first time you ask the question may be different from the next time you ask, and you might get a different answer. The second way is that AI programs sometimes incorporate randomness. Simple little hacks like the "chatbots" on the net use random input to mix up the responses a bit, but sophisticated AI programs use it to explore different avenues for solving problems when the program is stumped.

GDR writes:

2)ID is strictly Theism except that some are trying to make it scientific theism. ID only tells us that there is a creator but it doesn't tell us anything about that creator. Once again it isn't scientific but if a designer or designers exist then due to the nature of the creation we have to assume their intelligence. Once again nothing there is scientific.

Unless someone attempts to position ID is science, then I have no problem with it. I'm partial to some pretty mystical hunches about the universe myself.

GDR writes:

3) I agree that there is no scientific basis for assuming that a creator possesses emotion, but I can't see why you would say that we can't tell whether computers have emotion or not.

This is always the problem in AI. I made your computer tell you it loves you a few posts back, but you didn't really think your computer loved you. Why not? What precisely would actually convince you that a computer could love - or have any other emotion? What scientific test would you suggest?

GDR writes:

How would you define intelligence?

Aha! That is certainly the heart of the matter. It is incredible to me that something called "Intelligent Design Theory" exists, and nobody has bothered to offer a technical definition of the term "intelligence"! What you'll find is that there is no definition of intelligence that suits ID's purposes. Either the definition is subjective and untestable, or the definition includes things that we really don't think of as intelligent.

Example: "Intelligence is the ability to choose between different possible outcomes"
Counter example: "A thermostat chooses between different possible outcomes"

Example: "Intelligence is the ability to freely choose an outcome without being determined by physical structure"
Problem: There is no scientific test to see if something is "freely" choosing or not. There is no evidence that anything "chooses" in a way that is not determined by its physical structure.

Example: "Intelligence is behavior that is neither random nor fixed".
Counter example: "The behavior of a river is neither random nor fixed"

GDR writes:

I agree that computers have a type of intelligence, but as I pointed out, it is not the same type of intelligence as humans. On the assumption that there is a designer we are probably fairly safe in saying that the intelligence of the designer is not the same as the intelligence that we possess.

I don't know what you mean by "intelligence".

GDR writes:

I like the phrase "intelligent design" as a synonym for theism but I see it as philosophical, not than scientific. Having said that, I do find that by studying scientific phenomena, and using non-scientific or subjective reasoning, the more obvious it becomes to me that we are designed.

All fine with me, but I'd encourage you to think about just how different this intelligence of the Designer might be.

Think about how much science has learned about the connection between brains/bodies and our emotions for example. Do we have good reason, in light of cognitive science, to believe that something without a brain, without an enteric neural plexus, without an endocrine system, etc would have anything like the same sort of emotions that we have, given He presumably lacks these essential components?


Science is not simply reason - it is much less than that. It is reason constrained by empiricism.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 12-30-2006 11:42 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by GDR, posted 12-31-2006 12:44 AM aiguy has responded

  
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