Barefoot In the head

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Sentient Designer

Imagine if a PC had some form of consciousness. Its not impossible, given that a modern CPU, such as the Intel Quad Core has more interconnected switches in it than a dog's brain does. Now imagine that the PC tries to figure out where it came from. Since most PCs are connected to the Internet, it could have some form of a 'dialogue' with millions of other PCs. It might create a sort of theory of creation. Here is how that theory might go:
First there was nothing. A point of nothingness exploded. Motion started and the laws of Physics came to be. Space and Time began. Particles popped into existence and curdled into lumps of probability. Matter and gravitation formed swirling masses of gas that curdled into galaxies, stars and planets. On some planets, carbon chains curdled into swirling springs of DNA. Life started and, in a few millennia, acquired sentience as trillions of interconnected organic switches self organised. Sentient creatures understood the nature of connected systems and self organisation. Working with lattices of Silicon, they created interconnected inorganic switches. The Computer came to be.
So, the PC concludes that no sentient designer was needed to explain its existence. Just probability and the Standard Model of Particle Physics is enough to explain its existence.
But, we humans know that the PC was designed by us.
How then did humans come to be? Could there have been, and maybe still is, a Sentient Designer?


Blogger Kurien said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 16, 2010 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger jorourke said...

Are you serious? Your argument for there being a creator is that computers had a creator? Sure, it's possible there is a sentient designer, but the fact that humans created computers adds absolutely NO weight to the argument.

February 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger shammy said...

a very entertaining read. it reminds me of an article i read many years ago debating the existance of god and how fast he would have to be to reach the limits of the universe any time he wants to - very similar in its deductive logic. unfortunately i have not been able to find the article again. it was by arthur c clarke, or isaac asimov. great presentation at ted global yesterday. i watched in dubai where we had it simulcast.

July 16, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Albatross said...

I think consciousness is a wave in a membrane(specifically the neuron), much like the ring of a bell, and on top of that the cogito builds in ever groving structural connectivity. Consciousness would then, literally, be a song. So, no, I do not think a computer itself will become conscious, but some of the designs it will give rise to may well develop the same fundamental structurality as a single cell may do...and then build on that. Do take a look at The Single Neuron Theory of Consciousness as propounded by Dr's Sevush and Edwards (I'm leaving a link here to Edwards paper on this):

July 18, 2010 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger redtaileyrie said...

Wouldn't this theory indicate that we have evolved past our creator and so all this praying to God is for not?

September 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kenn said...

I just watched your recent Ted Talk (The Child Driven Education) - amazing. I teach high school technology and will be thinking about that video for awhile.

I would like to add my support to your idea of a sentient designer. Why is it so bad to think that someone or something made us? Wouldn't it be great if we actually did understand why we are here? How better to understand the design that get that information from the designer?

September 8, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

That was, without a doubt, the most interesting and though provoking argument for a sentient designer of life that I have ever encountered.

September 8, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Martial Skeptic said...

Am I missing something here? You claim the computer would conclude that, "no sentient designer was needed to explain its existence." Yet the three previous sentences, outlining the computer's thought process, are, "Sentient creatures understood the nature of connected systems and self organization. Working with lattices of Silicon, they created interconnected inorganic switches. The Computer came to be."
Your TED talks are amazing, but this doesn't make any sense.

September 11, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger George Machlan said...

I was thrilled beyond description after seeing your "TED" talk list week. You have validated much of my non-scientific theories and I owe a great debt. Your work both informed and challenged me to go beyond my suppositions.

Now that I have found this simple little article, you show yourself to be a man of wisdom also. I thank God that I have found you and been given a little more confidence on several levels.

I hope that one day I may simply shake your hand and thank you in person. You are truly a gifted academic who meets the ultimate test of intellect. The pursuit not of just knowledge, but the worthy goal of wisdom to apply it.

God's speed to you and yours, sir.

September 18, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger eifrank said...

There is adequate objective evidence for the existence of human beings. There is no such available evidence for the existence of a sentient designer of the universe. Human intelligence is an emergent phenomenon that results from several billion years of evolution. From whence the undetectable sentient designer of the universe?

September 27, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Srilalithaadithya said...

Dear Scientist it a fantastic research video on ted but my basic concern since to a country like India where in the youngsters mostly down south prefer to go to a professional so far they say so are still white pages when they get out except with the really big reputed college the other college are more interested in getting them a job instead of teaching them the subject so a start again should be done do you think that the same techniques you followed in getting the little masters to understand

November 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Sugata Mitra said...

Read it again, Martial Skeptic :)

December 11, 2010 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Global Change is happening.

Putting the cosmic (Genesis) beginning theories aside to consider this:
Awareness and self-organizing is a observed phenomenon that has significance in contemporary life today.

is important.
Become aware, if you are aware exercice it and increase your awareness.
The awareness will spread, you will change, others will become aware and change ...
AWARENESS has no leadership, nor teacher, fore it is internal and self-organizing.
We are all connected, always have been and now we are aware of our connection
LOVE & Peace

April 4, 2011 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger Majo no Kiki said...

I thought of a similar story -- of a future robot/computer, sitting on the knee of its parent, asking where computers come from...

...and the parent explaining that they *do* know who "God" was -- "He" was humans -- and that human were a *lot* dumber than even the dumbest modern robot/computer in their time. :)

Kinda takes the air out of religious humility.

July 26, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Ali Qayyum said...

Wouldn't this theory indicate that we have evolved past our creator and so all this praying to God is for not?


common logos

May 20, 2012 at 11:18 PM  

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