Welcome to my blog. Here is a continuation of our discussion of ID from somewhere in this huge posting at Telic Thoughts.
“According to the dictionary defintion, I think that my own definition of intelligence is almost "bang on," since all of those processes mentioned by Merriam-Webster can be seen to be related to the ability to process non-quantum information, except MAYBE that of actual "understanding" and "mental acuteness," since these may be more a result of consciousness. Other than these two concepts, both AI and non-conscious biological processes seem to have all the rest of the definition in play as a result of information processing.”
“My focus is more on the ability to learn or adapt. I consider it primary. Anything that can learn and adapt is intelligent. If it can't, it isn't intelligent.”
I have toyed with that concept myself, however the ability to learn or adapt seems, at least to myself, to be somewhat ambiguous. How can you define learning any other way than processing information (keeping in mind that storing information in memory is a part of information processing). As to adapting ... I’m not too clear on your use of “adapt.” Are you using it here in merely an evolutionary sense? If this is the case then I understand what you are saying, in that adapting would necessitate the ability to change by storing new information.
And then, on the flip side, we have a calculator which processes information but does not learn, which makes it an un-intelligent information processor. However the AI in my game is still intelligent because it possess the ability to adapt.
So, I agree with your definition here and I will have to slightly update my own definition.
Intelligence = the ability to process and store new information, thus possessing the ability to learn and adapt. See a more detailed definition at the top of the left hand column under “my view of ID” in “definitions.”
“I would define "information processor" as a computer. A designer would be a specialised computer. A computer that takes information and creates a design.”
“Ah, I see. You are taking a more literal definition of design, no? Are you saying that a design is only something which is actually manufactured? But still. it (designing) is again the result of information processing. Thus a designer is an information processor, and I would go further to say that any information that is processed which create function (now there's anther term that may need to be
defined) is a design and thus must semantically and necessarily originate from a designer.
So, my question becomes, "can an information processor, process information that is not designed (or a design); or is the AI in my computer game creating the design of a war-savy culture in Civ. IV?" You may say that the AI creates an illusion of design, however, I believe that it is more a representation of an actually war-savy civilization, thus constituting a design.”
“hmmm, I think you went too far. To me, "design" is organised information. Information goes in to a computer, information comes out. A "Designer" is a specialized computer that has, as it's output, a "design".
Implimentation of the design isn't a requirement.”
I do agree with you that organised information is a design. As such a program and its result or function are designs. However, I don’t see why information itself is not a design.
So my question is: “what is the difference between “not-organized” information and organized information (your definition of design)?” How do you define design as anything other than that which is produced by an information processor, and could you please provide example so that I understand what you are saying.”
“Like I said, based on this line of thinking, the problem isn't detecting design, the problem is explaining what isn't designed.
A simple rock is the product of information processing.”
You are on to something here. This is true, however, we already know the program which designs the rock – the physically attractive properties of chemicals which are guided by laws of nature. However, tell me ... What designs information processors?
“But still. it (designing) is again the result of information processing. Thus a designer is an information processor, and I would go further to say that any information that is processed which create function (now there's anther term that may need to be defined) is a design and thus must semantically and necessarily originate from a designer.”
“Unless we draw boundries this definition means all things are designed. From the tiniest electromagnetic wave to full grown human.
I don't mind, but you might, if your intent is to claim ID is something other than defining the obvious.”
First, can you tell me why my definition of design necessitates that all things are designed and produced by a designer?
Secondly, can you tell me why it is so OBVIOUS that everything is designed (if this is indeed what you refer to when you say “defining the obvious”)?
And yes, when dealing with programs, laws, and information/processing systems, ID theory is scientifically stating the obvious. It takes great effort and blind faith and denial of reality to ignore it.
BTW: If there is a difference between intelligence and mere information processing, then there is a difference between a designer, an intelligent designer, and a conscious designer.
Calculator = designer (processes information)
Cell/AI program = intelligent designer (adapts and processes information)
Conscious designer = humans/higher animals (purposeful designers)
The key here, now, is to understand the origin of information processors, which is what ID theory is all about.
“This is the distinction between our two definitions of intelligence. The biomass learns and adapts. It learns through whatever evolutionary process you wish to accept and it remembers via DNA and whatever other mechanisms you wish to accept.
I submit that trying to dismiss biomass's intelligence as a whole would be like dismissing human intelligence because toenails don't think. In fact, Biomass is more universal than humans both as an information processor and as a learning machine. Either way, biomass is intelligent by either of our definitions, IMO.
(remember awareness isn't a requirement for either of us)”
I’m still not sure if you are correct here. We both agree that the biomass is most definitely a conglomeration of intelligence -- a conglomeration of adaptable information processors. However, the analogy of the biomass to a human, IMO, is flawed. The human itself is intelligent because of its brain (a specific information processing, adaptable organ) which LEADS the rest of the conglomeration of intelligence NOT MERELY BECAUSE of a conglomeration of intelligence such as toenails
and livers. It is the brain which leads the human and causes it to be intelligent. However, there is no brain to lead the biomass, just a conglomeration of interacting intelligent information processors.
However, the office environment is intelligent because there is a brain (company boss) which leads the information processors (employees) in a specific direction for the creation and storage of further information.
However, for the sake of argument, I will concede that the biomass in indeed intelligent since its brain, instead of being a physical unit, can be thought of as more of a process – evolution (as long as an INFORMATION INCREASING DIRECTION is a necessary result of the evolutionary process).
“"PHILOSOPHY of science" isn't science by my definitions, it is philosophy.”
I DID NOT say that “PHILOSOPHY of science” WAS science. I was merely pointing out that science itself is rooted in philosophy ... ie: it is a philosophical system in which to interpret and describe reality and it just happens to work very well. Philosophy = a viewpoint of reality and science is one such practical and knowledge producing viewpoint. Logical thought produces philosophies and science is one of them. Science involves philosophies of logic – the importance and flaws of systems
such as induction, deduction, and inference mixed with testability, repeatability, predictablility, and falsifiability. The philosophy of science also deals with extrapolations and interpretations of data. Science wishes to explain all phenomenon in terms of laws of cause and effect – that is its PHILOSOPHY.
“Philosophy deals with ideals, beliefs and concepts. Science deals with reality.
Separating the philosophy of science, from science itself isn't a problem for me.”
Science deals with reality in terms of beliefs and concepts. A scientific discovery is only as good as the brain which produces and interpretes it.
The belief behind science is that we CAN accumulate knowledge of the workings of our universe because everything operates in a law like manner and the “how” of phenomenon can be discovered using certain tools and methods.
The concepts which underlie science are the concepts of math, logic, and laws.
And science does deal with reality (depending on how you philosophically define “reality”)
The philosophies of science, although they are not science, are foundational to the workings of science.
I will add that science works amazingly well to produce knowledge, technology, and advance the quality of life -- these are further ideals of science.
“We may be having a problem with definition of knowledge.
When does philosophy become religion?
The Pythagoreans practically worshiped ideal shapes, especially the dodecahedron.
To me, Philosophy is the search for Truth. And there is a subtle difference between knowledge and wisdom.”
Knowledge ... hmmmm ... that may be hard to define. How do YOU define knowledge?
I see wisdom as the ability to just be able to properly apply the right knowledge in a specific situation.
A person’s PHILOSOPHY is their (hopefully) coherent view of reality. As such, if reality = that which is true, then philosophy is most definitely the search for truth. However some philosophical systems deny existence, reality, and truth itself. Some systems of philosophical thought tell us that there actually is NO knowledge, thus nothing to know or that we can not KNOW anything. I see these as either completely self-defeating or else just plain impractical and useless, and hardly a
definition of OUR reality in which we at least appear to exist. I prefer a more straightforward philosophy which doesn’t just shrug off everything as an illusion.
A person’s philosophy may contain a religious view, and once one has decided on a certain philosophy – ie: there is a higher being from which reality flows – they may choose to adopt a religous view or doctrine of what they OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do with their life.
Thus philosophy is a viewpoint OF reality and religion contains doctrine and morality and shows what one OUGHT to do WITH their life within that reality.
Thus philosophy becomes religion when it tells you what you OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do with your life as a result of the philosophy.
IE: my philosophy (viewpoint of reality) takes on scientific, philosophical considerations, and history to inform me that God exists, Jesus dies for my sins yet is now alive, etc. However, this is where things change a bit with Christianity compared to most other religions that I am aware of. While I definitely do my best to live my life by Jesus’ standard, many Christians myself included, do no see
themselves as basing their morality on a bunch of rules and regulations (doctrine) but on their relationship and “connectedness” with God which causes them to desire to love others. Of course this is in line with Jesus’ greatest command of Love. Thus many Christians don’t see Christianity as a “religion (full of does and don’ts)” but as a relationship with God.
Of course, from here, the Christian’s morality is to be consistent with that which shows God’s love to others and looking at Jesus life does provide the perfect overall example. So, for the purpose of this discussion the religion of a Christian entails the Love which arises from his/her relationship with God, which provides moral and thus an objective definition of what the Christian OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do – thus a religious context
“Sorry, even an Atheist has a belief system, and a doctrine that comes from it. There may be only one member to his/her "religion", but it would still be a religion unless you insist it must be based on "God" and no sustitute.
I use the term "philosophy"..”
I never said religion was based on God and no substitute. I said that (IMO) religion is a doctrine of what one OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do as based on their philosophical views.
However, defining atheism as a religion may have an impact on the relation between religion and science, thus shattering NOMA. If atheism is a religion and NOMA informs us that religious doctrine can not be scientifically verified or disproved and that science can not be guided by religious doctrine, then the religious doctrine of atheism (whatever that would be -- materialism?) has no place in science.
The reason that I see atheism as non-religious is found within my definition of a doctrine (a necessity of religion) as “that which one OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do as based on that persons belief (or philosophy).” Thus there is an explicit connection and interplay between doctrine and morality. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing that the atheist OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do if there exists no foundation of purpose from which reality originates, which is why the atheist can not lay claim to
either OBJECTIVE morality, doctrine, or religion. All of the atheist's views must be subjective. ie: created by subjective humans and guided by evolution, culture, and majority rule, instead of an objective law which is then discovered by subjective humans.
Herein lies the difference between a religious system and a philosophical system. A religious system uses philosophy and results that arise from that philosophy to tell us what we OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do, however a philosophical system is merely a belief in what CAN and/or DOES exist or even in that which DOES NOT exist in regard to reality. Ie: philosophy of science = natural laws do exist and we can study them to add to our knowledge of reality. If there was a religion of scientism, it would tell us what we OBJECTIVELY OUGHT to do with our life based on the findings of science.
“Once again, based on the definitions everything living and non-living are completely compatible with the ID theory you may be proposing.”
I now have those posts on my blog which clarify my position on ID theory. (Upper corner of the left margin – “my view on ID”)