Quote (Quack @ May 10 2013,02:50) Quote (midwifetoad @ May 09 2013,08:38) Quote (Quack @ May 09 2013,07:51)From Science Daily
Quote Remnants of a supernova in the constellation Cassiopeia, about 11,000 light-years away. The stellar explosion took place about 330 years ago.
I have been looking at the quote for a long time. I expect scientific statements to make sense. What is it that I fail to understand?
The first light of the explosion reached us 330 years ago. Journalism strikes again.
That's what I wanted to think but I am the kind of guy that like to have the facts straight and unambiguous.
I'd feel like an idiot if I were to write like that. But he may have had a bad hangover
Id fell like I defec
Oh good grief, he's discovered instinct (innate behavior) vs learned behavior, & has drawn a really bad analogy between analogical biochemistry and digital electronics.
From there, he ignores complex behavior and behavioral cascades, in effect programs a behavioral cascade and thinks of it as learned behavior (somewhat ironically in a modelled arthropod!), and then reasserts his starting assumptions and desired conclusions that molecules are intelligent and that his unique misunderstood strawman version of evolutionary theory is rubbish.
GGIGO. Everything about Gary's reasoning is muddled, and the more you get into it the worse it gets. It's muddles on muddles all the way down. I think it's fractal! :)
Quote (afarensis @ May 10 2013,19:14)So, uh, which way is the specified complexity added?
I couldn't find it, better ask Dembski.
This may get Gary geared up to do more great things:
From talkorigins, wasnt able to extract link:
Quote A radical concept could revise theories addressing cognitive behavior.
Apr 19 2013 - 4:30pm
Chris Gorski, ISNS
(ISNS) -- A single equation grounded in basic physics principles could describe intelligence and stimulate new insights in fields as diverse as finance and robotics, according to new research.
Alexander Wissner-Gross, a physicist at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Cameron Freer, a mathematician at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, developed an equation that they say describes many intelligent or cognitive behaviors, such as upright walking and tool use.
The researchers suggest that intelligent behavior stems from the impulse to seize control of future events in the environment. This is the exact opposite of the classic science-fiction scenario in which computers or robots become intelligent, then set their sights on taking over the world.
The findings describe a mathematical relationship that can "spontaneously induce remarkably sophisticated behaviors associated with the human 'cognitive niche,' including tool use and social cooperation, in simple physical systems," the researchers wrote in a paper published today in the journal Physical Review Letters.
"It's a provocative paper," said Simon DeDeo, a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, who studies biological and social systems. "It's not science as usual."
Wissner-Gross, a physicist, said the research was "very ambitious" and cited developments in multiple fields as the major inspirations.
The mathematics behind the research comes from the theory of how heat energy can do work and diffuse over time, called thermodynamics. One of the core concepts in physics is called entropy, which refers to the tendency of systems to evolve toward larger amounts of disorder. The second law of thermodynamics explains how in any isolated system, the amount of entropy tends to increase. A mirror can shatter into many pieces, but a collection of broken pieces will not reassemble into a mirror.
The new research proposes that entropy is directly connected to intelligent behavior.
"[The paper] is basically an attempt to describe intelligence as a fundamentally thermodynamic process," said Wissner-Gross.
The researchers developed a software engine, called Entropica, and gave it models of a number of situations in which it could demonstrate behaviors that greatly resemble intelligence. They patterned many of these exercises after classic animal intelligence tests.
In one test, the researchers presented Entropica with a situation where it could use one item as a tool to remove another item from a bin, and in another, it could move a cart to balance a rod standing straight up in the air. Governed by simple principles of thermodynamics, the software responded by displaying behavior similar to what people or animals might do, all without being given a specific goal for any scenario.
"It actually self-determines what its own objective is," said Wissner-Gross. "This [artificial intelligence] does not require the explicit specification of a goal, unlike essentially any other [artificial intelligence]."
Entropica's intelligent behavior emerges from the "physical process of trying to capture as many future histories as possible," said Wissner-Gross. Future histories represent the complete set of possible future outcomes available to a system at any given moment.
Wissner-Gross calls the concept at the center of the research "causal entropic forces." These forces are the motivation for intelligent behavior. They encourage a system to preserve as many future histories as possible. For example, in the cart-and-rod exercise, Entropica controls the cart to keep the rod upright. Allowing the rod to fall would drastically reduce the number of remaining future histories, or, in other words, lower the entropy of the cart-and-rod system. Keeping the rod upright maximizes the entropy. It maintains all future histories that can begin from that state, including those that require the cart to let the rod fall.
"The universe exists in the present state that it has right now. It can go off in lots of different directions. My proposal is that intelligence is a process that attempts to capture future histories," said Wissner-Gross.
The research may have applications beyond what is typically considered artificial intelligence, including language structure and social cooperation.
DeDeo said it would be interesting to use this new framework to examine Wikipedia, and research whether it, as a system, exhibited the same behaviors described in the paper.
"To me [the research] seems like a really authentic and honest attempt to wrestle with really big questions," said DeDeo.
One potential application of the research is in developing autonomous robots, which can react to changing environments and choose their own objectives.
"I would be very interested to learn more and better understand the mechanism by which they're achieving some impressive results, because it could potentially help our quest for artificial intelligence," said Jeff Clune, a computer scientist at the University of Wyoming.
Clune, who creates simulations of evolution and uses natural selection to evolve artificial intelligence and robots, expressed some reservations about the new research, which he suggested could be due to a difference in jargon used in different fields.
Wissner-Gross indicated that he expected to work closely with people in many fields in the future in order to help them understand how their fields informed the new research, and how the insights might be useful in those fields.
The new research was inspired by cutting-edge developments in many other disciplines. Some cosmologists have suggested that certain fundamental constants in nature have the values they do because otherwise humans would not be able to observe the universe. Advanced computer software can now compete with the best human players in chess and the strategy-based game called Go. The researchers even drew from what is known as the cognitive niche theory, which explains how intelligence can become an ecological niche and thereby influence natural selection.
The proposal requires that a system be able to process information and predict future histories very quickly in order for it to exhibit intelligent behavior. Wissner-Gross suggested that the new findings fit well within an argument linking the origin of intelligence to natural selection and Darwinian evolution -- that nothing besides the laws of nature are needed to explain intelligence.
Although Wissner-Gross suggested that he is confident in the results, he allowed that there is room for improvement, such as incorporating principles of quantum physics into the framework. Additionally, a company he founded is exploring commercial applications of the research in areas such as robotics, economics and defense.
"We basically view this as a grand unified theory of intelligence," said Wissner-Gross. "And I know that sounds perhaps impossibly ambitious, but it really does unify so many threads across a variety of fields, ranging from cosmology to computer science, animal behavior, and ties them all together in a beautiful thermodynamic picture."
Chris Gorski is an editor for Inside Science News Service.
Original paper is here:
"Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the human “cognitive niche”—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a nonequilibrium process in open systems."
I think talkorigins is where Gary belongs. They endure IDiots to the end of times.
There's something I'd like you all to think about. First, read some crap from joey:
Joe GDecember 27, 2012 at 6:36 AM
(velikovskys) So what's that got to do with existence of God,just because God isn't required to move the planets doesn't mean God is non existent.
(joey) How do you know that God isn't required to move planets? Please demonstrate tat gravity could exist in a universe without God.
(velikovskys) How do you figure, societies which are atheistic have prohibitions on certain antisocial behavior ,rape ,murder, theft.
(joey) So what? That doesn't mean anything.
(velikovskys) So what makes it moral, Joe?
(joey) A designer who makes it so.
Notice that velikovskys used the word "God" and so did joey, but then joey switched from "God" to "A designer". You're all aware of the wedge document and terms like "cdesign proponentsists", "the designer", "intelligent design", "ID inference", "ID movement", etc.
The IDiot-creationists are certainly referring to their imaginary, so-called god when they say "the designer" or "intelligent design", etc., etc., because they don't want to use the words 'creator' or 'creation' or 'created' or 'creationist' because they want to ruin science and try to fool people and skirt the laws against teaching their religion in public school science classes and try to cram their religion into public policy/government and every aspect of everyone's life.
What's been bugging me and what I'd like you all to think about is that the IDiot-creationists have been somewhat successful in getting their opponents to use their terminology, which can make it appear that that terminology has or might have some credibility.
I have already used the following terms a lot but from now on I'm going to stick to the words 'creator', 'creation', 'created', 'god', yhwh, allah, or whatever is correct, and only use the words 'designer', 'design', etc., if necessary to point out the IDiots' dishonesty.
When the IDiots say 'design' or 'designer' they actually mean 'creation' and 'creator' so why should we go along with their attempts at deception? Why shouldn't we use the correct terms? Why should we play their deceptive games by any of their dishonest rules?
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 10 2013,22:44)The question is whether a memory that has contents which change over time is a RAM or a ROM?
Bits & Bytes - ROM and RAM
You can easily enough burn a neural network ROM chip but like a digital ROM chip after that the data stays whatever was burned into it, cannot be changed. Using a neural ROM instead of RAM takes away the system's ability to self-learn, form new memories of the world they are in, needed to adapt to new environments. Result is an unintelligent zombie that may at first appear to be intelligent but they are missing something necessary, a RAM, not a ROM.
Okay this is pretty good. Gary, you did respond to what I said this time. I acknowledge that, you explained what you feel you are specifying in saying RAM each time. This is good, but it still leaves some problems that need to be addressed. Let's try to substitute the meaning of RAM as you say you intended it into the quote I used earlier.
"when modeling using a neural network for a form of memory that can have changing values over time". Nope. Still doesn't make sense. You are putting your neural network (if there is such a thing at all) into RAM. There's really no need to state RAM at all, you are modelling it in a computer program and so it's pretty darned safe to assume that it's going into RAM. I don't think there's a need to specify to people that you're not planning to make your entire data set read only. But the way you have it phrased, you seem to suggest that you are using a neural network to perform the function of RAM. Your order is wrong, but the way you've used it in other places is wrong in other ways that makes me think there's other problems.
For instance, the way you seemed to imply that a brain is basically a block of RAM. Oh no it isn't. If you insist on continuing the computer analogy, a brain is both memory and a CPU. Frankly I think calling a brain an FPGA would be more accurate, because it's a system where the logic gates themselves can be rewritten. Computer memory is just numbers being rewritten. Meat brains rewrite their own architecture. New experiences cause new pathways to be formed, not just a new number stored in a new bank. Not even the seemingly fundamental circuit of a connection to a motor or sensor pathway is static. I've had some of my sensor neurons remap after a certain traumatic event, the short story is a certain kind of junk food snack cake was ruined for me because of a curious way in which my sense of taste was altered. Now you can simulate all of this within a conventional computer system, yes, but that doesn't mean that the brain is as simple as a conventional computer system. Just because you model it within RAM does not make it equivalent to RAM. You need to stop taking that unjustified leap and calling everything RAM.
I'm suggesting this again to you. When you talk about storing a certain data point in memory, that is a variable. It is not "a RAM". Maybe others here more experienced with this kind of thing could suggest a better word still, but RAM is a poor term that confuses more than it informs.
When referring to other things you need some more terms still. The brain is not a RAM bank. It is a weird kind of thing where the memory is the same thing as the CPU. It is a kind of hybrid logic system that combines electro-chemical messaging with dynamic hardware restructuring, all happening at the same time. You do it a grave disservice in reducing it down to the level of random access memory.
Paging Lizzie. Your domain name requires attention.
Quote (Febble @ May 11 2013,01:06)The emoticon went crazy, and added words to your last paragraph?
You got me!
I've corrected it.
The emoticon went crazy, and added words to your last paragraph?
"Also the ONLY way nature had anything to do with babies is if (and only if) life arose from non-life via purely natural processes (and then to the question, where did nature come from?)."
Will someone with more patience than I have please explain to joey where babies come from?
"As I have stated- you can only consider my or my wife's body parts as being part of nature if life originated via purely natural processes."
So, joey, yours and your wife's body parts are supernatural? All of them or just some of them? Will you please describe the allegedly supernatural parts so that they can be scientifically compared to natural body parts?
"How is sex a natural process? What is your basis for defining it as such?"
Did allah-yhwh design-create all of the sexual "body parts" and all of the ways that sex is done by every sexual organism?
A new report discussing a poll of Muslims around the globe suggests (PDF, p. 132) that "[m]any Muslims around the world believe in evolution."
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, second edition (Greenwood Press/University of California Press, 2009) in honor of her impending retirement as NCSE's executive director.
In February 2012, The Journal of Medical Ethics prepublished electronically an article by two academics from an Australian Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. Their paper had the title: "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" It developed arguments that many considered to legitimise infanticide for handicapped children. A vigorous debate ensued, with strong criticisms of the paper and its authors. The journal was also criticized for giving a platform to such views, which appeared to add so little to previous cases of advocacy of infanticide. Its editor, Julian Savulescu, contributed this on 28 February 2012:
"As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion. The novel contribution of this paper is not an argument in favour of infanticide - the paper repeats the arguments made famous by Tooley and Singer - but rather their application in consideration of maternal and family interests. The paper also draws attention to the fact that infanticide is practised in the Netherlands."
Consequently, on 2 March 2012, an "open letter" was produced by the authors that was intended to dampen down the flames:
"the article was supposed to be read by other fellow bioethicists who were already familiar with this topic and our arguments. [. . .] We started from the definition of person introduced by Michael Tooley in 1975 and we tried to draw the logical conclusions deriving from this premise. It was meant to be a pure exercise of logic: if X, then Y. We expected that other bioethicists would challenge either the premise or the logical pattern we followed, because this is what happens in academic debates. [. . .] However, we never meant to suggest that after-birth abortion should become legal. This was not made clear enough in the paper. Laws are not just about rational ethical arguments, because there are many practical, emotional, social aspects that are relevant in policy making (such as respecting the plurality of ethical views, people's emotional reactions etc). But we are not policy makers, we are philosophers, and we deal with concepts, not with legal policy."
Moving to the present, the article has now been formally published in an issue of the journal wholly devoted to the debate. Papers are included that present different views on the issues. Professor Udo Schuklenk authored a paper on academic freedom, from the perspective of one who is also an editor of a bioethics journal. In this paper, he expresses concerns about the flak that "academic bioethicists and academic bioethics journals are subjected to by political activists applying pressure from outside of the academy." He identifies two activists that he considers to be abusing academic freedom. The first is Wesley J. Smith, who writes the Human Exceptionalism Blog. The second is Michael Cook, editor of BioEdge. The main complaint appears to be that they are reading articles in academic journals but critiquing them in the public square. Defences of this practice have been made, along with corrections of misinformation, by Wesley J. Smith and by Michael Cook. However, there is also a criticism of the two authors of the controversial academic paper. He does not like their attempt to distinguish a philosophical argument from public policy:
"It is reasonable to demand that those who suggest that this is a purely academic exercise ask themselves why they came up with very practical conclusionsâ€”that now somehow they don't mean us (and their many critics) to take very seriously. [. . .] Still, bioethics analyses offering practical conclusions are not theoretical games. Michael Tooley and Peter Singer who have defended similar views for decades can undoubtedly tell many a story about harsh criticism and threats to their persons, but until today - to the best of my knowledge - they have not declared their views a mere thought experiment, undertaken for the sake of it, not really meant to be taken seriously, etc. They do take responsibility for views they hold, and they are right in doing so. Respect for free speech has a flipside, requiring of us to take responsibility for the views that we defend. On what other grounds could we expect our views to be taken seriously. What kind of debate could we reasonably have with discussants who - when cornered - will say 'I didn't really mean it'?" (page 305)
There is therefore some common ground here: it is entirely reasonable to infer that ethical stances lead directly to policy implications. This connection would appear to be clearly implied in the workplace of the two authors: the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. However, there are divergences of view over the issue of academic freedom.
"When all is said and done, this is an academic freedom issue. It has to do with ensuring both that we are able to ask difficult questions, and that we are able to defend conclusions that most people will disagree with. For what it is worth, the infanticide debate is not even a paradigmatic example of the culture wars between the religious and the secularists. Secular bioethicists such as the late Mary Anne Warren have been highly critical of the utilitarian rationale offered in this context. To her birth is a crucial marker event conferring moral standing to the newborn. Academics have always challenged assumptions taken for granted by the mainstream." (pages 305-306)
Academic freedom and academic responsibility go together. We do not have freedom to ignore views that we think are taboo. Anyone discussing issues of abortion and infanticide should take seriously reasons why people affirm the sanctity of life. This requires grappling with issues like mankind being made in the image of God. It is not a case of expecting ethicists to agree with these views, but they need to understand the arguments and engage with them. If they are expunged from academic discourse because these views are "religious", then the result is an imposition on the scope of discussion. This is a denial of academic freedom on upholders of the sanctity of human life who are not allowed to bring such arguments into their academic work. However, the words "sanctity" and "image" are lacking in these papers.
The root problem is that academic ethicists have absorbed a secularised worldview. Over a decade ago, Wesley J. Smith described it in this way:
"Mainstream bioethics reached a consensus long ago that religious values are divisive in a pluralistic society and thus have little place in the formulation of public policy. Those who believe in abortion rights but also hold that all born humans are equally endowed with moral worth, along with those who subscribe to the "do no harm" ethos of the Hippocratic oath, have little impact, since mainstream bioethics rejects Hippocratic medicine as paternalistic and shrugs off equal human moral worth as a relic of the West's religious past."
In this academic ethicists have adopted the philosophical naturalism of academia in general. This turns science into scientism and humans into molecular machines. Everything about humanity has to be portrayed through the reductionist filter of scientism. Our consciousness, our values and our sense of free agency must all be 'explained' via material causation. This straitjacket is illustrated in a recent article (in the Wall Street Journal)on the views of Dr Leon Kass, who has often found himself in a minority among bioethicists when it comes to abortion, euthanasia, embryonic research, cloning and other right-to-life questions.
"Take the concept of human dignity. In a 2008 essay highly critical of Dr. Kass's work on the Bush bioethics council, the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker questioned the value of dignity as a moral guide. "Dignity is a phenomenon of human perception," Mr. Pinker wrote. "Certain signals in the world trigger an attribution in the perceiver." The perception of human dignity, Mr. Pinker went on, is no different from how "converging lines in a drawing are a cue for the perception of depth." That such an outlook is both blinkered and dangerous, Dr. Kass thinks, should be obvious to anyone who has ever been in love or felt other great emotions. "There's no doubt that the human experience of love," he says, is mirrored by "events that are measurable in the brain. But anybody who has ever fallen in love knows that love is not just an elevated level of some peptide in the hypothalamus.""
Academics adopting the secular materialist worldview will always find themselves demolishing traditional values. They have failed to develop any ethical principles based on secular materialist foundations and they end up as pragmatists, postmodernists or social constructivists. Their conclusions about infanticide are entirely predictable. What is controversial is not that they say such things, but that they are so hostile to philosophical theism appearing in the pages of their academic journals. This is the crunch issue for academic freedom that has yet to be recognised.
After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?
Alberto Giubilini, Francesca Minerva
Journal of Medical Ethics, 2013; 39(5), 261-263 | doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411
Abstract: Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
In defence of academic freedom: bioethics journals under siege
Journal of Medical Ethics, May 2013, 39(5), 303-306 | doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100801
Abstract: This article analyses, from a bioethics journal editor's perspective, the threats to academic freedom and freedom of expression that academic bioethicists and academic bioethics journals are subjected to by political activists applying pressure from outside of the academy. I defend bioethicists' academic freedom to reach and defend conclusions many find offensive and 'wrong'. However, I also support the view that academics arguing controversial matters such as, for instance, the moral legitimacy of infanticide should take clear responsibility for the views they defend and should not try to hide behind analytical philosophers' rationales such as wanting to test an argument for the sake of testing an argument. This article proposes that bioethics journals establish higher-quality requirements and more stringent mechanisms of peer review than usual for iconoclastic articles.
Klinghoffer, D. What Darwin's Enforcers Will Say About Darwin's Doubt: A Prediction (Evolution News & Views, 8 May 2013)
Texas's House Bill 285 died in the House Committee on Higher Education on May 6, 2013, when the deadline for House committees to pass House bills expired.