Fw: TOE or TSD: that is the question! (was Genesis 1:1 - a standing miracle)

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Mon Aug 02 2004 - 00:05:07 EDT

MessageFrom: Roberts, Joe

I am not interested in joining this discussion other than to comment on the following:

    There are 4 kinds of logic in "expert systems" and perhaps some of these should

    be considered in these debates.

I have done some AI and can say that there are a lot more than 4:

1. First-order predicate calculus

2. Higher-order logics, as devised to solve the "frame problem" of robotics and maintain database consistency

3. Subsumption

4. Temporal logics (multiple) - reasoning about time, or in time, is entirely nontrivial

5. Fuzzy logics

6. Dempster-Schaffer logic (used for combining evidence)

7. Plenty of informal or implicit logics (some inconsistent), such as are found in augmented transition networks

8. Reasoning by default

9. Analogical forms of reasoning

10. Occupancy grids (used for combining evidence) in spatial reasoning

Ten should be a perfect number of them for now.

Otherwise, Joe, your point is well taken. Whenever we run into obstacles that persistently hinder further insight into a problem, it is always good to check whether the logic in which we are doing our conceptualizing is adequate for capturing the structure of the domain we are attempting to understand. A good case in point is the free-will/determinism issue. Donald MacKay showed that self-referencing logic, which we tend not to think in, is necessary to make headway there.

Logic is also implicit in language and the logic of Greek or especially Hebrew is not exactly that of English. This might cause some problems in interpreting scripture and relating it to modern science, with its own forms of logic. One instance that comes to mind are biblical superlatives, such as all. In the plagues of Egypt, all the cattle of the Egyptians die, only to get boils (or something like that) in the next plague - a favorite whipping-boy of simple-minded atheists. The statistical sense of all, meaning "a preponderance of", does not correspond to our use, meaning "without exception". Such linguistic-logical non-correspondences might be a factor in the science-Bible issue you are discussing.

Dennis Feucht
Received on Mon Aug 2 13:00:14 2004

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