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Opinion Page
This page is just starting.  I will post things of interest that I find on the web and once in awhile my opinion on a subject.  I should warn the reader that my opinions are often not politically correct but base on my observations and drawing my own conclusions.

Kurzweilai.com

This site is about the future.  Ray Kurzweil is a well known inventor and Futurist.  If you go to the site, bookmark it so you can go back.  The article on the Singularity is terrific.  What is the Singularity?   Humans are unique on our world and have the ability to develope technology.   This technology and computational capability is expanding at a double exponential rate.  This comes from developements in our tools that allow us to discover things at faster rates.  Because of this, when we think something is about 50 years in the future it will probably occur in 10 years.  Humans extrapolate things in a linear fashion based on what we know today but Mr. Kurzweil shows it happens much faster.  We are on the upward part of the curve.  The Singularity will occur this century.  It is the point where we and machines are essentially merged and knowledge and understanding of the universe is a trillion times what we have now.   In my viewpoint, we will look like gods  to someone from a civilization at the developement state we are presently in.  Read Ray's article and see the other contributers on the site.  This is better than science fiction.

Ray states in his article on the coming Singularity:

"But I regard the freeing of the human mind from its severe physical limitations of scope and duration as the necessary next step in evolution. Evolution, in my view, represents the purpose of life. That is, the purpose of life--and of our lives--is to evolve. The Singularity then is not a grave danger to be avoided. In my view, this next paradigm shift represents the goal of our civilization.

What does it mean to evolve? Evolution moves toward greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and more of other abstract and subtle attributes such as love. And God has been called all these things, only without any limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially, it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably toward our conception of God, albeit never quite reaching this ideal. Thus the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form may be regarded as an essential spiritual quest."  

"By the second half of this next century, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine intelligence. On the one hand, we will have biological brains vastly expanded through distributed nanobot-based implants. On the other hand, we will have fully nonbiological brains that are copies of human brains, albeit also vastly extended. And we will have a myriad of other varieties of intimate connection between human thinking and the technology it has fostered."


The Technological Singularity
by Vernor Vinge
Department of Mathematical Sciences, San Diego State University

Originally Published 1993

This is the article that introduced the idea of The Singularity. The original version of this article was presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993. A slightly changed version appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review.

Intelligent Design (God) vs Evolution
There is a movement underway to try to show that all the plants and animals (man being the primary concern) were made by an intelligent agent. This movement is funded by the Christian religious right and questions the premises of evolution while admitting that evolution may play a minor part in changes. This is done so evidence of evolution doesn't negate the ID principle. The idea is that a God must have created humans and all life because it is too complex for random mutations in evolution to have created them. To read a more detailed article go to LA Times article.

Now the ID people are not your normal bible thumping literalists, they seem to believe it took a long time but the DNA was made by something other than natural forces. Phillip Johnson, a UC Berkley professor is a primary proponent of ID. One goal of this group is to get a larger number of religious people of different faiths to push for open debate on the subject and to introduce it into schools. On the surface this sounds OK but there are a number of problems with it.

1) Debate does not replace scientific evidence. People have opposing opinions on everything, someone and often many are flat wrong. This does not usually change their opinion or belief. There is a great deal of evidence supporting evolution and practically none supporting a god.

2) While expecting scientists to look back millions of years and prove where humans came from, no expectation is made of the creationists to prove there is a god that could have done the creation.

3) Who created the god that then created the earth and or the universe?

4) While debate of ideas is good for young people in school, they are not nearly as knowledgeable as they believe themselves to be. There is great peer pressure to conform and in this case, conforming with the majority, is believing in creation. Most students are subjected to religious dogma from birth and it is ingrained, so few if any, will challenge the dogma. To do so will invite the wrath of fellow students. Tell a group of adults that you are an atheist and watch their reaction. Kids don't have a developed conscience and are much more cruel.

5) If a debate convinces some or many that a god must have created mankind and all flora and fauna then do the convinced now extend it to mean that a god still exists? If a god still exists then is religious belief and practice a better way than science? These are easy conclusions to draw once the debate begins. Have we ever asked a believer to prove the existence of their god? Frankly, they can't and they know it so they simply say they have faith.

ID proponents want it both ways, evolutionists must prove every detail of evolutionary history while ID believers must never have to prove the existence of a god.   Let them provide a scientific test to prove god exists first, then we can talk about intelligent design.

For more reading and arguments against creationist science go to:  http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/

Ron