RE: [asa] robot minds (New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones)

From: Ryan Rasmussen, P.E. <Ryan.Rasmussen@pulte.com>
Date: Fri Dec 11 2009 - 12:07:21 EST

"I just mean that nothing externally is being added to the bundle to make it 'come alive.'"

I want to see your robot to develop it's own intelligence ex nihilo. It is called "artificial" afterall. It's 'conciousness' is purely a product of a vastly superior external consciousness.

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 11:44 AM
Cc: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] robot minds (New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones)

Bill said:
"The robot is no different from a blender or a dish washer."

There's a difference in what the electricity does. In a simple machine, it does simple work (for example, add a motor to autowash clothes). In a 'thinking' computer it can actually 'learn.' It can try things, and try something else if the previous doesn't work. But even in the case where (maybe?) no learning is involved, such as in the Darpa car challenge, the car still "appears" to think as it has to be able to navigate an obstacle course. I believe it is a rudimentary form of 'thinking.' The point being is that we know this 'rudimentary mind' has no spiritual components at all,,, no soul.

Bill said:
"When they are "turned on," a potential difference is established, causing current to flow. Is this potential physical?"

It doesn't matter. The point of the illustration is to say that physically the machine is the same before and after hitting 'on' (if the power source is a battery). There is no change in the bill of materials. By saying it is the same, I don't mean that it is not changing... I just mean that nothing externally is being added to the bundle to make it "come alive."

Bill said:
"Many forces have at one time been considered nonphysical (e.g., graviational forces and magnetic forces)."

And at one time it was thought that the force of a magnet came from the magnet having a 'soul.'

Bill said:
" When we say
that a program "decided," we mean that if a variable has one value, it does X; and if the variable has another value, it does Y. "

Now you are bringing up a matter of freewill. Would a computer be considered as having a 'freewill' if it was a learning computer and could randomly try new things? But that's a different topic.

To clarify, this is how I see it:

Moorad says that things that are non-physical are supernatural. I disagree.

I say that the mind of man is non-physical but yet still natural. The mind 'emerges' from the brain. (This emergence should be so obvious as you can observe it evolve yourself when watching a child grow from birth to adulthood. In the same way, there is 'dissipation' of the mind in old age, which we also observe in elderly relatives.)

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Powers [mailto:wjp@swcp.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:35 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: RE: [asa] robot minds (New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones)

Bernie:

I'd have to think about this some more, but my initial response is to resist your example.

The robot is no different from a blender or a dish washer. Aside from the "intelligence" that went into creating a robot, a blender, or a dish washer, they consist in a pile of physical objects. When they are "turned on," a potential difference is established, causing current to flow. Is this potential physical? and what about the current? Physical objects are influenced by forces. Are these forces physical? This is not an easy question. Many forces have at one time been considered nonphysical (e.g., graviational forces and magnetic forces). There were good reasons to make this distinction. But it seems we have really abandoned all of these distinctions today. It appears the common convention is that what is natural is equivalent to what is physical.
But this is really a matter of semantics.

I don't think that modern understanding would say that a "turned on"
blender had a nonphysical component. Something is different, but that's because you've changed the conditions. We expect that when you change conditions that things change.

As for "robots" thinking, you'd better define "thinking," no easy task.
A computer program does not "think" by my way of thinking. When we say that a program "decided," we mean that if a variable has one value, it does X; and if the variable has another value, it does Y. It has no "choice" in the matter. Whereas, when I am involved in making a decision, there is no compulsion. I can "decide" that doing X is the best thing to do, and then not do it. Even if I am doing something so simple that it might be programmed, I am under no compulsion. I could be sorting coins, putting pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in different places. Even though there is a rule that dimes go in sack S, the rule is not bidding on me. I can choose to follow it or not. If a robot does something like this, we call it 'broken.'

bill

On Thu, 10 Dec 2009,
Dehler, Bernie wrote:

> Bill said:
> "Would you care to name something that is natural, but not physical?
> I don't think emergent properties are an example, but if you think
> they are, you are going to have to explain what you mean by physical."
>
> Good questions.
>
> Try this for an example, and tell me where it is inaccurate.
>
> Example: Dancing robots:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vwZ5FQEUFg
>
> Consider:
> 1. A robot with power turned off.
> 2. A robot with power on and doing his programmed dance.
>
> Physically, they are 100% the same. No parts were added or removed.
>
> So even though they are 100% the same physically, yet there is something different. There are movements and actions. If it had artificial intelligence or a vision system, it would also react to the environment. With artificial intelligence, it would do "thinking." This is a primitive mind. So this mind is not physical, yet it is an abstract object to capture the idea that there's something new that emerges when the power is on. There is no physical mind in this artificial thinking robot, yet we will refer to its thinking ability as it's "mind."
>
> I know I'm being a little messy with terms (property vs. object) because I'm also figuring it out. Summary: The mind is not physical, but is an emergent "object" from a physical structure (brain for human; microchips for robot).
>
> So when you say ""Would you care to name something that is natural,
> but not physical?" I'm saying the answer is the 'mind' of an artificially thinking Robot. Same with a human mind, but the robot mind is more primitive and something we can fully comprehend because we fully made it.
>
> ...Bernie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Powers [mailto:wjp@swcp.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:31 PM
> To: Dehler, Bernie
> Cc: AmericanScientificAffiliation
> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>
> What does it mean to say that X is an emergent property?
>
> X is an emergent property of a physical object P.
> Emergent has meant that while a physical state P entails an emergent
> property E, it is not the case that an emergent property E is
> associated with a unique physical state, i.e, the relationship is not one-to-one.
>
> To my way of thinking emergent properties are either
> 1) a magical way of saying that something is not a physical property,
> because we can't explain it, but we really think it is a physical
> property, or
> 2) it really is just a physical property.
>
> In either case, to say that an emergent property is not physical is
> obfuscation. To try to say it is natural, but not physical, is an
> interesting idea, one I'm certain many people would be interested in.
>
> Would you care to name something that is natural, but not physical?
> I don't think emergent properties are an example, but if you think
> they are,you are going to have to explain what you mean by physical.
>
> bill
>
> On
> Wed, 9 Dec 2009, Dehler, Bernie wrote:
>
>> Moorad said:
>> "The evidence that consciousness is not physical is that purely physical devices cannot detect it---by means of a consciousness meter."
>>
>> Aren't Doctors trained and able to tell if a person is conscious or not?
>>
>> And I didn't say consciousness is physical- I said it is an emergent property of physical matter.
>>
>> You seem to be saying that something must be either either physical or supernatural, the only two choices? You are conflating 'physical' with 'natural' and then saying if it isn't physical it is supernatural?
>>
>> ...Bernie
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 9:05 AM
>> To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> The evidence that consciousness is not physical is that purely physical devices cannot detect it---by means of a consciousness meter. We can "detect" our own consciousness because we are physical/nonphysical/supernatural and infer that others like us also can "detect" their own consciousness.
>>
>> I can hold a brain in my hand, but not the consciousness that was previously there.
>>
>> Moorad
>> ________________________________________
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
>> Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie [bernie.dehler@intel.com]
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:34 AM
>> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> Hi Moorad-
>>
>> RE (your article):
>> http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7049/is_3_60/ai_n28562903/
>>
>> You said:
>> "The notions of life, consciousness, and rationality lie at the foundation of the humanity of humankind, but cannot be reduced to the purely physical."
>>
>> I believe that consciousness does emerge from the brain, so it can be reduced to the "purely physical." As an analogy, consider a robot that is able to "see" and do work, such as make welds in a manufacturing plant. Although it can "see" and "think," it is all reduced to the "purely physical" and is all naturalistic. Now a child can look at it, and if you told them there was some kind of 'supernatural life' inside that robot, they would believe you, because of lack of knowledge.
>>
>> So what logic am I missing in us having a disagreement? Do you have any evidence that consciousness can't be reduced to the purely physical, considering the mind as an emerging product of the brain?
>>
>> For a better example of a robot, see this:
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vwZ5FQEUFg
>>
>> ...Bernie
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 7:34 PM
>> To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> Hi Bernie,
>> You seem to be fixated on "God did it" too much. When I study the
>> physical aspect of Nature, which is what a physicist does, I do not bring God into the models I use to describe Nature. How can I anyway? You try it while doing physics. I have done work on the Big Bang and never invoked God. These models are helpful in our attempt to understand the workings of Nature. Such models are representations of Nature, facsimiles of it, but not the real thing. Models are very much like a map of a city. [BTW, all our mental constructs of thoughts are actual models of our perceptions, sensations, and memories.] I really do not care how life came into being---God or no God. It is a very difficult scientific problem. Period. There is no sense of banging one's head against the wall and achieve nothing but a headache. One attacks problems that one has a change to solve. One should not delude oneself thinking of solving very difficult problem. Sometimes the solution may fall in your lap. Witness Maxwell and his discovery that light is an example of an!
  electromagnetic wave. Do you think Maxwell was looking for that? Similarly, Dirac suggested the existence of antiparticles when he combined relativity and quantum mechanics. Dirac did not know what would come out of his studies but he thought that such unification ought to be attempted.
>> Why did me, as a Christian, work in the very early universe. Well, I
>> had some ideas that I could carry out and was interested in the consequences of my ideas. The results were interesting and thus I published them. In fact, a noticed a numerical coincidence that lead me to write an expression of the fine-structure constant in terms of other fundamental constants. [My formula appears in the famous book, "The anthropic cosmological principle" by Barrow and Tipler.] Scientists really deal with the physical, regardless how it came into being. Whether God brought the whole shebang into being and upholds it or not is not at all relevant to physics. The question of origin is not at all important in 99.99% of the physics that gives rise to all the applications that we all enjoy.
>> Let me repeat, physicists, I would say scientists in general, are not interested in ontological questions, e.g., how did the whole thing came into being. Of course, we are getting to areas of physics where such questions are being asked. However, such areas are notoriously speculative. You may be interest in this letter I wrote, "Can science make the "breath" of God part of its subject matter?"
>> http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7049/is_3_60/ai_n28562903/
>> Hope this helps.
>> Merry Christmas Bernie,
>> Moorad
>>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
>> Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie [bernie.dehler@intel.com]
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:24 PM
>> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> Hi Moorad, you said:
>>
>> "No serious scientist who is a Christian says, "God did it" and so there is no sense of trying to find out how."
>>
>> Ok- so you think Christian scientists will look to unravel mysteries even if they think God may have done it by miracle.
>>
>> But you said earlier:
>> "However, I think the attempt to solve the problem of the origin of life may be a waste of time. It seems to be a very difficult problem since one has no idea of how to characterize life in terms of purely physical terms."
>>
>> Are you saying it is a waste of time because maybe God did it by miracle, so looking is futile? Or are you saying it may be a waste of time because the mystery is so huge with so little clues? Or do you think both?
>>
>> If a Christian thinks that God made the big-bang 'de novo,' then why bother wasting time on a naturalistic explanation with string theory and multiverse theory?
>>
>> I would think that if I were a theist I'd argue that a theist might have the upper hand because they wouldn't waste time looking for naturalistic answers to supernatural events, thereby freeing themselves to work on real problems instead of impossible problems. In this way, if it turns out there is no God, the atheist scientist wins, and makes new discoveries on the frontiers of science. But if there's a God, the theist is much more efficient working on real issues while the atheist spins his wheels in the mud of frustration, looking for answers and causes where none exist.
>>
>> So bottom line, I don't understand how a theist, who thinks God made
>> the big-bang 'de novo,' would be motivated to work on trying to
>> determine what brought the big-bang into existence. Can you
>> enlighten me? It seems like it would be working directly opposite
>> their convictions. (If it was working just for the paycheck, I'd
>> understand that, as many people do that; but I don't se other reasons
>> available.)
>>
>> ...Bernie
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Alexanian, Moorad [mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu]
>> Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 1:48 PM
>> To: Dehler, Bernie; AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> Bernie,
>>
>> One of my attitudes towards doing research in physics is that of attacking the problems that I think I can solve. I think any scientist who is attracted to the problem of finding how life originated ought just to do honest research. However, I think the attempt to solve the problem of the origin of life may be a waste of time. It seems to be a very difficult problem since one has no idea of how to characterize life in terms of purely physical terms.
>>
>> I do not think that a person who believes that reality is more than the physical is handicapped when doing science. In fact, his/her space of thought is wider than that of the atheist. It is like the old saying, "two heads are better than one."
>>
>> Bernie, you must realize that when one is dealing with profound problems, the problems may be more in the realm of the ontological thus beyond science. Science does not deal with notions of existence and so may not be equipped to solve deep problems, say, like how the universe came into existence, etc.
>>
>> No serious scientist who is a Christian says, "God did it" and so there is no sense of trying to find out how. In fact, just as you can look at the paintings of your favorite artist, you may want to go beyond the mere physical and know something about the author of the art form. That is what many Christian who are scientists do.
>>
>> Merry Christmas,
>>
>> Moorad
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]
>> On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
>> Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:07 PM
>> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> Moorad said:
>> "I am not saying that an atheist cannot search the truth and know without presupposing the above; but the atheist's way of knowing can be consistent with the above yet inconsistent with his stated beliefs."
>>
>> I think the atheist has the advantage. That is because the driving force for the atheist is to find a naturalistic solution, and all modern science, and breakthroughs, have to do with naturalistic understanding. Not one breakthrough or anything in science is based on a supernatural premise. Therefore, the supernatural can only be viewed as scientific baggage, I think.
>>
>> For example... How did life originate? A Christian could say "Who cares, God did it." The atheist will search for an answer, knowing there has to be a natural explanation, because God and the supernatural don't exist. The Christian scientist then may tag along because it sounds like an interesting investigation, and there is some attention to be gained if any breakthroughs are found. But the Christian is not fully, 100%, convinced in the search for a naturalistic explanation since "God did it" (de novo) could be a possible answer for any scientific investigation that is on the fringe of understanding (origin of life, multiverse, etc.).
>>
>> Now if ID has a hypothesis of supernatural intervention and that becomes accepted by scientific peers, then we will have a watershed event which will overturn all modern views of science.
>>
>> As I understand it, the scientists of old were mainly Christians because it was a Christian-controlled field. Now that scientists can be secular (religion not an issue), I wonder if there will be any Christians on the leading edge of new discoveries on the really fuzzy frontiers where it is easiest for Christians to day "God did it" (de novo style). Origin of life and multiverse theory are the two interesting frontiers, I think. Probably also is the search for extra-terrestrials.
>>
>> ...Bernie
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]
>> On Behalf Of Alexanian, Moorad
>> Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 7:50 AM
>> To: John Walley; AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: RE: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> I truly believe that the Christian faith is the correct metaphysics to regulate all the different kinds of knowledge we have. I do not want to enumerate how that is so for each kind of knowledge, including science. Note I said to regulate and not to make direct implications.
>>
>> As a Christian, I am pleased that our faith is guided by searching the truth. "And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32.
>> "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." John 1:3.
>>
>> "...resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3.
>> Of course, some of these cannot be used to do science. Nonetheless, one can find that violations of the above ontological statements would undermine science, epistemology, etc.
>>
>> I am not saying that an atheist cannot search the truth and know without presupposing the above; but the atheist's way of knowing can be consistent with the above yet inconsistent with his stated beliefs.
>>
>> Merry Christmas to you all,
>>
>> Moorad
>>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
>> Behalf Of John Walley [john_walley@yahoo.com]
>> Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:43 PM
>> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation
>> Subject: [asa] New Age Cults and the Georgia Guidestones
>>
>> This is one of the reasons why I have always had a hard time taking AGW serious as a Christian concern. About 60 miles from my house is this modern day Stonehenge like monument that was built anonymously years ago with the New Age 10 Commandments engraved in it in all the major languages of the world.
>>
>> The first and foremost commandment is: 1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
>>
>> Although I am not a mathematician, by my calculations that means about 90% of us have to go. So that would be 2-3 of those of us that are regular posters on this list.
>>
>> Why would anyone build this? And why would anyone believe this? And what are we supposed to make of it? But my concern is that if we hand over the kind of power and control we are talking about in AGW legislation to the government and some of these New Age occultists get into power, it could be dire. As Christians, are not any of you others concerned about this?
>>
>> John
>>
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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