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Re: My opinion of Chapter 7 of Beginning of Infinity

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  • Richard Fine
    ... I m not so sure. By search we re talking about a class of approaches that progressively enumerate points in a space in some way. But I think that the
    Message 1 of 73 , Aug 31, 2011
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      On 8/30/2011 6:36 PM, John Clark wrote:
      > On Mon, Aug 29, Richard Fine<richard.fine@...> wrote:
      >
      >> Well, our disagreement is about the difference between 'creating
      >> knowledge' and 'search,' right?"
      >>
      > I very much doubt investigating that "difference" will bring any
      > enlightenment, not philosophically and certainly not scientifically.

      I'm not so sure. By 'search' we're talking about a class of approaches
      that progressively enumerate points in a space in some way. But I think
      that the space of all ideas isn't enumerable - it's
      real-valued/uncountable - so a 'search' approach could, at best, be
      operating on an limited-precision abstraction of it. Creating knowledge,
      by contrast, doesn't need to have limited precision.

      >> I don't know whether either of them [Popper and Deutsch] have asserted that
      >> there is knowledge in DNA
      > I don't know about Popper but in his new book Professor Deutsch did indicate
      > that genes have knowledge, and although I don't want to argue over the use
      > of a word, he also indicates that knowledge only comes from the scientific
      > method; but if induction does not exist where did the genes knowledge come
      > from? Evolution certainly didn't engage in critical thinking.

      Evolution consists of conjecture (variation) and refutation (selection),
      which Popper claimed is the only means by which knowledge can be
      created. I'm not sure whether it's "thinking" but it definitely meets
      the criteria for knowledge-creation.

      >> "Google detects spelling mistakes, because that's what it's been
      >> implemented to do, but it can't tell you that you're searching for
      >> completely the wrong thing."
      > But you and I have both searched for the wrong thing sometime in our lives,
      > does that mean we are not intelligent?

      That seems a non-sequitur to me. The issue isn't about making mistakes,
      it's about correcting mistakes.

      > And Google has more excuse for
      > getting it wrong than we do; If we ask Mr. Google to tell us all about
      > "Spears" how is he supposed to know we're interested in ancient weapons and
      > not in a modern pop star unless we tell him?

      Well, with zero background knowledge, neither Google the machine or Mr
      Google the person would be able to filter results correctly for us. Why
      do you ask?

      - Richard
    • John Clark
      ... I want to stay clear of the K word, around here it contains way too much metaphysical baggage for my taste. I will say that Lamarckism is just as logical
      Message 73 of 73 , Sep 8, 2011
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        On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 Alan Forrester wrote:


        > "David criticizes Lamarckism, pointing out that it is totally incapable of
        > explaining the creation of any kind of knowledge. Do you have a rebuttal of
        > that criticism?"


        I want to stay clear of the "K" word, around here it contains way too much
        metaphysical baggage for my taste. I will say that Lamarckism is just as
        logical as Darwinism, it's just not the way biology works on planet Earth,
        perhaps elsewhere things are different. And even on Earth Lamarckism is the
        way ideas evolve, when a mind is infected with a new meme it modifies it,
        and when that mind infects a new mind for meme reproduction the acquired
        characteristics are also reproduced. That's why its astronomically faster
        than biological Evolution.

        John K Clark


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