19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Extraterrestrials as Gods

[T]here are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine. … As Arthur C. Clarke put it, in his Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In what sense would they be superhuman but not supernatural? In a very important sense, which goes to the heart of this book. The crucial difference between gods and god-like extraterrestrials lies not in ...
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23 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Intelligence Arises out of a Need to Maximize Entropy

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. [...] "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]." ...
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The more entropy, the more possibilities. Intelligence therefore seeks to maximize "future histories" in order to keep the number of possibilities maximized.

13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Darwin and Abraham Lincoln Were Born on the Same Day

Charles Darwin (fig. 4.1) was bom on the same day as Abraham Lincoln—February 12,1809. Like Lincoln, he was a liberating force for humankind, but instead of freeing people from slavery, he freed biology from the bondage of supernaturalism. Philosophers of science have long pointed to Darwinian evolution as the greatest scientific revolution within biology, comparable to the role of Newton's or Einstein's revolutionary ideas in physics or the plate tectonics revolution in geology. Before Dar...
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And they both freed humans from chains that bound them.