mardi 23 juin 2009

Designed intelligence

The idea of a super-intellect designing and creating our Universe seems to me nearly stupid, it's hard to believe there are millions of people who want to believe and believe in such nonsense. Historically, they are inheritors of the antique tradition of considering human intellect something divine, glorifying the intellect at the expense of other human physical and psychological features. Such an idea was alien to some other traditions, e.g. to Judaism. But the Christian theology took it over from the Greek-Roman tradition, and we are conditioned to believe that our intellect, our I.Q. is something that makes us very special. We want to believe that our ability to reason, to calculate, to write poems and treatises, to discuss philosophical and scientific problems is something that we have in common with our Creator. It is quite easy to understand that any intellect, any neuro-computer, any living being has in its body, is a product of evolution, is a response to environmental challenges, although this response may well be enticingly complex and hard to understand. Still, our intellect is just a response to the specific environmental conditions here, on planet Earth. It is strange to suppose that there is an intellect, a brain capable of calculating such a structure as our Universe or Multiverse. If we believe in such a super-computer, we must ask how has it some into existence, who has created, designed it, what environmental conditions have been necessary to its birth. It is harder to imagine a self-emerging super-computer than a self-emerging universe. Of course, we can imagine a hierarchy, probably an infinite hierarchy of intellects where the lower one is designed by the higher one. But do we really need to believe in such things? Is it more logical, more satisfying than believing in the flying spaghetti monster?

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