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Posts: 2714
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 25 2011,07:00   

Guts seems pretty intelligence, so it's rather odd he can't grasp some very basic points about emergence and termite behavior. He says he has computer experience, but for some reason, he has no understanding of the basic theory. A savant, perhaps.

aiguy: My argument to you is essentially that social insects provide a good example of how natural, intelligent behavior can be reduced to simple rules, which leads to the conclusion that other simple rules (natural laws in fact) can in principle lead to the production of complex form and function.

Guts: If they are based on simple rules, how is it that they can adapt to local conditions?

The funny thing about emergence is that it can be difficult to describe in detail. Like the Mandelbrot set, zn+1 = zn2 + c, the rule is very simple, and you just can't see the inherent complexity of the graph. It has to be shown, not explained. If Guts has never seen a simple simulation of swarm intelligence, that might explain his ignorance.

Guts: What is your evidence that they are simple rule based individuals?

aiguy: citation, citation, citation

The other area of confusion has to do with the concept of reduction, and is rather funny. Aiguy says that complex programs can be reduced to a few simple UTM instructions. Guts takes this to mean that there are only a few lines of code rather than a lot of lines comprised of a few types of instructions (in parallel to lots of termites, each following a simple rule set). Nothing seems to get through to him on this.

Proudly banned three four five times by Uncommon Descent.
There is only one Tard. The Tard is One.

  3497 replies since Sep. 22 2007,13:50 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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