Saturday, July 19, 2008


Where Do We Start? Where Does It End?

iRobot's Roomba-The beginning of the end?Well over a year ago I posed questions about whether a conscious Artificial Intelligence would believe in God. Although I haven't done much research, other than idle musings (for which I am particularly gifted), I have stumbled across some articles that might start my exploration.

Seed Magazine (March 2008) has an article Out of the Blue by Jonah Lehrer about an attempt to recreate the workings of the brain in a computer starting with a slice of a rat brain. The project is ambitious and intriguing. There is no doubt that they can do this, given enough time, money and advances in hardware. While I believe their approach will provide great insights into how the brain works physically and this may provide ideas that can be incorporated into an AI, recreating the human brain is not a good path to creating an AI.

IEEE has a an online site called Spectrum which dedicated an issue to a concept in the Artificial Intelligence community called Singularity. Singularity is not clearly defined. According to Vernor Vinge, it is when "with technology we can in the fairly near future create or become creatures of more than human intelligence."

The Singularity is too ill-defined to say much about it. Many of its proponents expect it will take the form of enhanced, super intelligent humans or open the option of immortality when a person's mind can be transferred or copied to a non-human host (a computer). Like Blue Brain, this is not a path to AI.
If you want to build an F1 race car you don't start with a Dodge Caravan. A Dodge Caravan is a great vehicle and does what it was designed to do well, but it can't be evolved or incrementally transformed into an F1 race car. This poor analogy is actually a starting point for other trains of thought. What is the purpose of human life? What would be the purpose of an Artificial Intelligence?

My final suggestion is an article in the June 2008 issue of Discover magazine, Deus ex Machina/When Robots Live Among Us by Fred Hapgood. This is an interesting article. I put this article last on purpose. It concentrates on robots that will look and act like us, but as you read, question the assumptions. There are glimpses here of a future that doesn't need humans.

The development of a conscious Artificial Intelligence will be the greatest achievement of human intelligence and its last.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


Will Robots Pray?

Would a conscious artificial intelligence pray to God like Pinocchio to make it a real boy?

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Would A Robot Worship God?

The furor over Intelligent Design (ID) has died down. At least I don't hear news stories about it. I'm guessing that advocates of ID haven't evolved into logical creatures so I'll assume they all gathered in their caves to debate the issue amongst themselves.

Recently, some new ideas have started to interest me. While artificial intelligence has not developed as quickly as predicted a few years ago, recent articles lead me to believe that we are getting closer. As machines and software become more powerful we will some day have machines that can pass the Turing test. At some point machines will become conscious. I guess at that point we will debate if they are really machines any more.

But my interest goes a little further and is sparked by some discussion as to whether or not there is a god gene. I think this means that there may be a gene that makes people more likely to accept sensations as having spiritual sources. We have evolved characteristics that help us to be more successful in our environment. Attributes that make us smarter (larger, more complex brains), more adaptable (walking upright, opposable thumbs), even social traits that help us survive. We are social, not solitary creatures. The traits we exhibit as a species reflect the accumulation of those attributes that have proved valuable and have helped us survive and, in fact, prevail over other species. Much of what we are and how we act is the response to environmental pressures.

One of the consequences of consciousness and the ability to think about what the future might hold, is a fear of the future and a fear of the unknown. This fear can be valuable by making us more cautious. Fear can make us more resourceful. We develop skills to counter threats we fear. When the unknown is identified we can determine if it represents a threat or not. If it is a threat, we can develop ways to control the threat. We can destroy the threat, develop defences or avoid it. In man's early years, most of the world was unknown and threatening. People were ravaged by threats they couldn't understand and therefore fearful. They were conscious of their mortality and could fear death. Death was certain for them and their loved ones, but what lay beyond life was unknown. Most of the world to early man was unknowable. An antidote to fear is hope. An antidote to fear of the unknown is a hope that there is a power that can control the unknown. Man searches for assurance that there is some existence after death inevitably occurs. It is therefore reasonable and logical that humans would acquire characteristics that would engender hope. That would be the god gene(s).

A conscious artificial intelligence may be created by software specifically constructed for that purpose. If so, should we program in a belief in God?

If conscious artificial intelligence develops by hardware designed to learn on its on, will it develop a belief in God on it own? Will that belief be sustained as it's intelligence and awareness grows? Will a conscious artificial intelligence have emotions? Will it know fear? If the fear is great enough, will it seek sources of hope? Will it believe we are god?

When I talk about a belief in god, I mean a belief in God. A belief in an entity that created reality and that actively intervenes in our daily lives. I doubt that an artificial intelligence would see us as a god. We would be its inventor and we might be its executioner.

As time permits I hope to do some research and see what other's have said in this area.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Prayers Are Not Answered

In my previous post I mentioned that I had asked XNU (the intelligent designer), what she thought about teaching intelligent design in schools. This led to an astounding discussion. What she said is that most proponents of intelligent design (and most religions) have it wrong.

While she did put the universe and all it includes into motion, she stopped tinkering with the design or making changes long ago. Even before humans evolved. The work is all up front and then she sits back and watches. She didn’t say directly, but I got the distinct impression that our universe was not her first or last attempt. I definitely believe that she doesn’t consider our version her best work.

So the intelligent design people and the evolutionists are both correct, in a sense. But XNU could not be sure how this universe would evolve so teaching intelligent design has no benefit. Science and evolution offer a better path to understanding the world XNU put into motion.

I asked XNU exactly where in the evolution of our world did she stop. Did she create complex cells with DNA and then stop or did she stop sooner or later? She smiled (I think) and basically said that her goal for this universe was to design a world that would continually evolve into a better place. Intelligent beings are one step on that path. As intelligent beings she would expect us to figure that out ourselves.

I asked her how we would know we had the right answer and she said “When you do, it will be obvious to EVERYONE.”

At this point I had to ask, “You mean you don’t pay any attention to the basketball player that makes the sign of the cross on his chest before a free throw?” XNU’s exact words, I should say word, was “No”.

What about the religious quarterback who owes his big win to God? XNU replied. “I did nothing. Would you expect me to do the math on every game and figure out which team was more deserving of the win? I’d have to add in the prayers and good works of the fans and Monday morning quarterbacks and sportscasters. How could that possibly be fair? And if you are talking about pro sports, many of the athletes are not the finest examples of my work. In pro sports I’d have to make most games a tie, for best losers.”

I was aghast! “You certainly must listen to the Pope” I shouted in disbelief. Again the reply was “No. I set this world in motion and now I watch to see how well I planned. All my work and careful planning at the beginning would mean nothing if I interfered now.”

“So you don’t care about organized religions?”


”Prayer means nothing?”


“What about miracles?”

“Miracles are just very fortuitous outcomes. I have nothing to do with them. There is always a rational explanation, you just take the easy way out and call it a miracle.”

Needless to say, I was stunned. My knees went week and I just sat down on the floor in the middle of my attic. I’m not even sure how long I sat there

“So religions and prayer and the Bible are worthless? I asked.

I think I better wait for another day to give you her answer. Reliving this encounter has left me a little shaky.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Intelligent Designer Makes Contact

In previous posts I've asked the Intelligent Designer to make himself or herself known and explain how some things in life don't seem to be too intelligently designed. I have been contacted!

She is currently living in my attic and prefers to be called Xnu. At least that is how it sounded when I asked. And actually she is not a she. Sexual identity has no meaning for her, but I find it rather blasphemous to call her "it" so I decided to use feminine pronouns when talking about her.

While we are talking about sex, I asked her about why the way plants and animals reproduce is so complicated (see my previous post) and why are there so many different methods. She admitted that getting sexual reproduction worked out was not her best work.

She said she would only be in my attic a short time. She gets bored staying in one place for any length of time. She would have probably left earlier, but she claims there are some spiders living in my attic that don't look like her work and she was going to study them awhile.

I know the skeptics will refuse to believe that Xnu is actually in my attic, but, believe it or not, I have more proof than other proponents of intelligent design. I've got a picture! I asked Xnu if I could take her picture and she said sure. I was surprised when she told me that people take her picture all the time, they just don't know it. Usually she is pretty much invisible, but when she is close to you and she moves some people can occasionally catch a blurred image of her. Because she moves around so much and cameras are now so ubiquitous, she appears in images all the time. Have you ever developed a roll of film or taken a digital picture and all that came out was a blur? That was probably Xnu.

So here is a picture of Xnu taken in my attic. I hope this puts this intelligent design debate to rest. I asked her about whether intelligent design should be taught in schools and her answer was very interesting. I'll talk about this more in a future post.
Intelligent Designer Xnu
Xnu said she would probably be moving on soon, but she would keep checking my blog and if she saw an interesting question or observation she might stop by to leave a comment.

Nice lady.

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Friday, September 23, 2005


Asexual Reproduction

The intelligent designer, if there is one, sure seems to have gotten confused when it came to reproduction in animals and plants. We are all familiar with sexual reproduction, but many organisms use asexual reproduction. Some even use both sexual and asexual reproduction at different times. Most asexual reproductive strategies result in offspring that are clones of the parent (horror). Some species that use parthenogenesis reproduction (there are no males in these species) have females that act like a male and have simulated sex with another female (horror of horrors). In species that use gynogenesis, there are no males, but females must mate with males of another species, although these males contribute no genetic material to the offsprint. Did the intelligent designer have trouble getting the details of reproduction worked out, or is he/she just a little kinky?

Wikipedia, the user built web encyclopedia, is amazing. If you haven’t used it, you should. The scientific discussion below was mostly copied from Wikipedia. You can use the links to further explore this interesting subject.

There are several methods of asexual reproduction including binary fission. Asexual plants also use: regeneration, vegetative reproduction, and spore formation. (from Wikipedia, Reproduction)

Parthenogenesis (Partheno-genesis from the Greek παρθενος, "virgin", + γενεσις, "birth") means the growth and development of an embryo or seed without fertilization by a male. Parthenogenesis occurs naturally in some lower plants (called agamospermy), invertebrates (e.g. water fleas, aphids) and some vertebrates (e.g. lizards, salamanders, some fish, and even turkeys). (from Wikipedia, Parthenogenesis)

A form of asexual reproduction related to parthenogenesis is gynogenesis. In gynogenesis, offspring are produced by the same mechanism as in parthenogenesis, but with the requirement that the egg be stimulated by the presence of sperm in order to develop. However, the sperm cell does not contribute any genetic material to the offspring. Since gynogenetic species lack males, activation of the egg requires mating with males of a closely related species. (from Wikipedia, Parthenogenesis)

In hybridogenesis reproduction is not completely asexual but instead hemiclonal, with half the genome passing intact to the next generation while the other half is replaced. In hybridogenetic species, females mate with males and both individuals contribute genetic material to the offspring. But when the female offspring produce their own eggs, the eggs contain no genetic material from their father; instead the eggs contains an exact copy of the chromosomes those offspring got from their own mother. This process continues, so that each generation is half (or hemi-) clonal on the mother's side and half new genetic material from the father's side. (from Wikipedia, Parthenogenesis)

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Thursday, September 08, 2005


Hairy Logic

In a previous post I discussed the unintelligent design that put hair on toes. Actually, where hair grows and doesn't grow on a human seems to be haphazard. I understand the purpose of hair under arms and in the pubic areas. I can see the benefit of hair over the eyes and in the nose. I can also see how thick hair on the head and face would be useful in harsh environments. But then why do many men lose the hair on their head as they age? And why don't women have thick hair on their faces? If it was a good enough idea for men, why not women? A woman with a thick beard doesn't sound very appealing, but I'm sure we could get used to it. Who knows, if it were soft, like cats fur, it might be kind of appealing.

Why do we have a thin layer of hair over most of our bodies? It's not thick enough to protect us from the elements. Doesn't the body waste resources growing it? Wouldn't it be better to put that energy into keeping some hair on balding heads? Or grow the hair on your arms longer so you could wear short sleeve shirts year round? Think about it. With more hair on your feet, women could wear flip-flops in the winter!

Speaking of wasted resources. We have this useless hair and the current fashion for both men and women is to spend good money (and endure some horrendous pain) to remove it. Does that make sense?

And what about gray hair? Don't old people suffer from enough indignities without being stigmatized by the obvious change in hair color?

And finally, why is it when you get old hair starts growing in places it never grew before or starts growing longer and wilder? Isn't it ridiculous that a man goes bald at the same time his eyebrows, nose hairs and ear hairs grow like a jungle? You know you are old when your barber asks if he can trim your eyebrows, nose and ears!

If there is an intelligent designer, he/she must have been having a bad hair day when they designed hair.

By the way, the intelligent designer should feel free to jump in and post a reply anytime. I'm sure we'd all like to hear the logic behind hair.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005


Introducing The DEM Prize

I'm from St. Louis which has a rich tradition of monetary prizes used to advance science. Charles Lindbergh flying the "Spirit of St. Louis" won the $25,000 Orteig Prize. The Anasari X Prize recently won by Burt Rutan for sending his privately funded craft into space twice within two weeks is overseen by the X Foundation located in St. Louis.

I propose that everyone who would like to know who the intelligent designer is contribute one dollar ($1.00) to a fund. The first person or team that can prove who the intelligent designer is or was will win the prize. I suggest we call this prize the "deus ex machina Prize" or just DEM Prize.

People who believe in Intelligent Design (ID) should want to contribute to prove that they are correct. People who don't believe in ID should contribute to show the inability of ID advocates to prove that ID has a scientific basis. I'll donate the first dollar. I suggest President Bush donate the second. There are enough believers and non-believers with strong opinions that we should be able to offer a multi-million dollar prize. With that much money at stake, we should have many people competing.

All the members of each religious group could pray that their leader receive a divine revelation that identifies the intelligent designer with instructions on how to prove it. Not only would we know who the intelligent designer is or was, we would all know which religion will get us to heaven or the Galactic Federation Headquarters.

If enough people think this is a good idea we can set up a fund and discuss the rules for determining a winner. Since I'm a skeptic, we should also set a time limit for the prize and decide what to do with the money when no one wins.

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Unmask The Intelligent Designer!

I stumbled upon a Christian web site that questioned the motivation behind a Harvard announcement "that it will spend $1 million annually towards research intended to delve into some of the most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe." According to the article,

“This is not something that began recently or something that began in reaction to what’s going on in the larger environment,” said Harvard spokesman B.D. Colen. “It’s a project that began because scientists are seeking answers to some of the biggest questions ever posed.”
Proponents of Intelligent Design theory, however, who believe that the complexities of nature cannot be explained by mere random chance, are skeptical. The remarks of Harvard chemistry professor David Liu about the nature of the research project are of some concern to those who desire a purely objective scientific endeavour not driven by an ideological agenda.
“My expectation is that we will be able to reduce this to a very simple series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention,” Liu was quoted as saying in remarks that seemed to indicate, at least on his part, a pre-determined result or desired result of the research.

Did all these idiots fail their basic science courses or did they sleep through class? Nah, I bet they went to a school where the teachers couldn't tell the difference between science and religion. So a scientist has a theory which he or she intends to prove. She does this by running experiments or showing how her theory is supported by other observations. He or she publishes this in a scientific journal or book so other scientists can challenge, critique, support or confirm the scientist's assertions. If she can't make the case, the tests are not reproducible, her theory has no testable predictive value or her assertions can't stand up to further testing and review, her theory won't be accepted. Just because a scientist may have a theory that they intend to prove doesn't mean anyone else will agree.

How many proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) start with the assumption that there is an intelligent designer and then go about defending their belief?

I suggest the Discovery Institute round up some donors and start their own scientific research to explain the origins of the universe. Better yet, ID proponents are very coy about naming their intelligent designer. I challenge them to start scientific research to identify this designer. Is it the God of Christians? Is it Satan? Is it intelligent life from another universe? Is it Papa Smurf?

Science does not claim to have final proofs or absolute truths. A scientific theory lasts until a better scientific theory comes along. Science evolves as knowledge expands. ID relies almost exclusively on conjecture, belief and faith. That is not science. That is religion. If ID wants to be taught in school as part of the scientific curriculum, then it must adhere to the scientific process. Otherwise it must stay in religion class.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005


Goose Crap

Canadian Geese
I've been giving you examples that counter the idea of an intelligent designer, but even I've got to admit that once in awhile your discover glimpses that make you think there really might be a higher power.

For example, how long have Canadian Geese been around? Several million years? So how do you explain the fact that hidden in the genetic code of a Canadian Goose there are obviously genes for living in office parks and crapping on sidewalks? It's amazing!

This post is an example of the Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.

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Saturday, August 06, 2005


Multiple Religions Causes Obesity

Some people believe that we have so many languages as a result of God's desire to stop people from building the Tower of Babel. Since people could no longer communicate with each other, they were not able to work together and complete the project. Unfortunately, the plan worked too well and we now live in a world where the lack of a common language causes many problems.

With that in mind, why are there so many religions? How many wars have been fought and people killed to prove my religion is better than yours?

Think how much money would have been saved in small town America if there were only one religion. Many of these small towns have more churches than people. On this corner is a little church with a few members. On the next block is another church with a few members. Two blocks away is still another church. Think of the economy of scale if we had one religion and only needed one church in a town. The extra building materials could have been used to construct one heck of a community recreational center. Maybe then we wouldn't have so many problems with obesity.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


The Proof Is In The Eyes

At some point we needed to talk about the eye. The compexity of the eye is often cited as proof of intelligent design (ID). The human eye is marvelous, but the Bald Eagle has exceptional eyesight. An eagle's eye is about the same size as a human's but it has been estimated that it can see four times better. It may be able to see a rabbit from a mile away. I'd like to have eyes that see as well as an eagle. Why don't I? Did humans get version 1.0 of the eye and eagles got version 1.4? Was version 1.4 a better eye which was an improved version that the intelligent designer developed from things he/she/it learned while developing the human eye? Not likely. An omniscient and omnipotent intelligent designer wouldn't need to learn by trial and error.

Maybe the eagle has better eyesight because it flies so high and needs better eyesight than we do. No, that explanation is much to close to evolutionary thinking.

Actually, it is worse than that. The human eye is not version 1.0 of the eye. There are serveral different versions of the eye. For example, fish eyes do not work the same way human eyes do. Mollusks' eyes develop from different cells than human eyes. Some creatures have compound eyes. Spiders have eight eyes. Trilobites had compound eyes with lens made from calcite crystals. Snails have eyes that have no lens or retina and basically see only light or dark. (see Eyes in Wikipedia)

Some creatures who live their lives in total darkness have undeveloped eyes or eyes that skin covers making them useless. Why would an intelligent designer give a creature eyes and then make them useless? Since we don't have the knowledge of the intelligent designer, maybe there is a reason we just don't know about. Maybe, but it is a lot more reasonable to accept a Darwinian inspired explanation. The creature had functioning eyes at one point because it needed them. They are no longer funtional because eyesight was of no value in a completly dark cave and they atrophied. I suppose this is an example of evolution in reverse.

Eyes are indeed marvelous, but they do not prove intelligent design.

The Wikipedia article cited above and an article in the New Yorker magazine by H. Allen Orr, were used as sources for this blog.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Why Do Men Have Nipples?

When we talk about intelligent design, we have to talk about why men have nipples. Did men at one time have mammary glands and suckle their offspring? If they did, that's encouraging. Even men know that they are pretty useless. Men are currently needed for reproduction, but as soon as science finds an alternative, they are going the way of the DoDo. I guess I could talk about why an intelligent designer would have even made men, but I digress.

It is interesting how these discussions often lead to some deep and profound thoughts. For example, the Old Testament says God made Adam first. Do you think Adam had nipples? Since Eve wasn't in the picture yet, maybe the plan was for Adam to reproduce asexually (asexual reproduction is definitely a future TUD) and would therefore need breasts and nipples to suckle his children. Then when God made Eve, he realized that breasts look better on women so he took them off of Adam and put them on Eve. Leaving Adam with nipples was just an oversight. Well, it could have happened that way. Have you got a better explanation? Anyway you look at it, nipples on men does not imply an intelligent designer.

While we are thinking about the Garden of Eden, why do we still have snakes and apples? You'd have thought they would have been banished to the nether world. Instead, we've got snakes everywhere and apples are now associated with motherhood.

Sometimes I just don't understand and my head starts hurting. Which makes me think, why do we have headaches?

Photo from

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


Five Fingered Fraud

Why did the intelligent designer (if there is one), put five fingers on each human hand? Did he/she/it roll dice and up came a 4 and a 1? That wouldn't be intelligent design, so let's see if we can work through the reasoning.

Let's suppose you start with one finger on each hand. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that these hands are only good for picking noses.

So let's move to two fingers on a hand. That's not a lot better, although theoretically you could pick both nostrils with one hand freeing the other hand for other tasks. But if you convert one of those fingers to an opposable thumb, now you've got something. So it looks like a hand with the thumb and the finger next to it is about the simplest configuration that would make any sense.

OK, we see the need for the thumb and index finger, so why was the middle finger added? That's obvious, to make obscene gestures. So now we have reasons for two fingers and a thumb on each hand.

On to the next finger. Do we really need a ring finger, besides for hanging a ring on it? This one is also pretty obvious. Have you ever tried to hold a cold, wet bottle of beer with your thumb and two fingers? Take a close look at your ring finger. It's strong. You need a strong finger here to grasp heavy objects and hold them for a long time. The fact that the weight of the ring can become unbearable is inconsequential.

Surely the pinky finger is not needed. Its small size is occasionally helpful, like when you need to clean your ear, but all and all it doesn't have much use. Think how much easier it would be to play scales on a piano without a pinky. So I vote that the pinky is not necessary and represents bad design.

I'm sure some of you will insist that we need a thumb and all four fingers. Some of you would probably advocate for even more fingers or two thumbs instead of one. That gets too complicated. I'm a simple guy and three fingers and a thumb sounds fine. Look at the Sunday funnies, cartoonists are no dummies and most of the characters they design have only three fingers and a thumb.

When I have more time I'll talk about why we have five toes on each foot. But I can tell you this right now. I'll never agree to replacing the big toe with an opposable toe like a thumb. The thought of seeing a woman with an opposable toe in flip-flops is gross.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


Do Hummingbirds Have Condos In Central America?

Why do some hummingbirds migrate all the way to Central America? Why not California or Texas or Florida? The weather is fine in all these places in the winter. Maybe they get frequent flier miles.


Being Born An Atheist Is Unchristian

In a previous post I talked about how a single, universal religion could solve the problem of obesity, but there is a more basic reason why the multiplicity of religions bothers me. Many of these religions believe that their way is the only path to God and heaven. Some will tell you that they respect the beliefs of other religions, but that is just PC hooey. You don't see them rushing to convert because they don't really believe those infidels have a chance in hell to get to heaven.

What percentage of people practice the same religion as their parents? For example, how many children born into a Christian family still consider themselves Christians when they die. 95%? 90%? The number is got to be high and most of the deserters probably renounce religion rather than convert to a different religion. I would guess the number is about the same for other religions and even atheists.

Many Christians believe that if you don't find Jesus, you are not going to heaven. What about the child born to a family of Budhists or atheists? What are the chances he or she will end up a Christian? A lot less likely than a child born into a Christian family. Doesn't that mean that one child has a paved road to heaven and the other child is in a trackless wilderness with no map? How fair is that? Was the kid born to atheist parents a jerk in a previous life? If you were an intelligent designer, wouldn't it make sense to give these kids an equal start?

Maybe the Budhist kid that converts gets a seat at the head table in Heaven and the Christian kid has to sit in the back next to the door to the kitchen.

Or maybe the Budhist makes it to heaven and Christian has a one way ticket to you know where.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Pi And The Meaning Of Life

This TUD is a little involved, so read slowly.

Pi is a mathematical constant that is key to many branches of science. It is a number that seems to have an infinite number of digits with no repeating pattern.

If you were creating a universe, wouldn't it have made sense to make Pi an easy number? Why not 7? It's easy to remember and lucky! We know that Pi is 3.14.... in decimal (a numbering system that uses 10 digits). We probably use decimal because we have ten fingers (why we have 10 fingers and not 6 or 11 is a future TUD).

What if we had 8 fingers on each hand? We would probably count using hexadecimal (a numbering system based on 16 digits of zero thru f). Think about how much ink we would save writing really big numbers. It takes about 8 hexadecimal digits to represent a 10 digit decimal number.

Hang in there. The best is yet to come.

Here is a question for you mathematicians. If we represented Pi as a hexadecimal number, would it still be an infinite number of digits with no repeating pattern? I'm not a mathematician, but I'd wager it would (if not, I just discovered a whole new branch of mathematics). If so, why weren't people designed with 13 fingers on each hand? We would probably use a numbering system based on 26 digits. We could have used A through Z for the digits. Then Pi would hold all the knowledge in the universe. Somewhere in Pi would be the works of Shakespeare, the poems of Browning, the scripts for Saturday Night Live and an explanation for the meaning of life. It would all be there. All we'd have to do is keep discovery more digits in Pi.

Now that's what an intelligent designer would have done.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


Improving The Nose

Closeup view of nostrils
If you were going to design a human from scratch, would you put two nostrils in a nose in the middle of the face? I think not. Your eyes are separated aren't they? Why? Because that arrangement gives you depth perception. Why do you have an ear on each side of your head? That gives you directional hearing. So how much intelligence does it take to realize that humans should have one nostril on each side of their head? Probably just above the ear.

Intelligent design? I think not.

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


Hairy Toes

On my left foot I have two toes that each have a couple of wispy hairs. On my right foot I have three toes with hair and each toe is hairy than either of the toes on my left foot.

Even more to the point. What good are wisps of hair on your toes?

This post is an example of the
Theory of Unintelligent Design (TUD), things in the universe that don't seem to be created by intelligent design.


TUD - Theory of Unintelligent Design

Theory Of Unintelligent Design
President Bush recently endorsed the teaching of intelligent design along with the theory of evolution (see post WTHWYT - Unintelligent Endorsement). Enough is enough. I've been reading this nonsense about intelligent design for too long. Christians can believe this if they want and teach it in Sunday School, but it should stay out of public education.

Proponents of intelligent design claim that life is so complex that it couldn't have just occured accidentally and therefore proves the existence of an intelligent designer. I'd like to start the Theory of Unintelligent Design, hereafter known as TUD. I prefer to pronounce TUD like dud, but there is small group that prefers something closer to duuuude. We'll take a poll later. TUD will be a list of examples of things in the universe that don't seem to be designed intelligently.

For example, why shouldn't you be able to see farts? If you could see them, you could run before you have to smell them and you'd know who to blame.

Why are there 50 million breeds of cats? Wasn't it an immense waste of time to design so many? One would have been more than enough. The intelligent designer could have spent more time on humans and found a way to decrease the number of idiots. No matter which side of the debate you are on, ID or TUD, you've got to agree there are way too many people on the lower end of the IQ scale.

What about the appendix? Why would you put in the appendix and have it do nothing? Whoa, I just realized maybe it's there to give surgeons some extra income when they remove it. OK, scratch the appendix from the list.

Well, you get the idea. I'm sure some of advocates of TUD can come up with more ideas. Leave me some comments, but please don't call me any names. That would be so unChristian.


WTHWYT - Unintelligent Endorsement

President Bush in the Oval OfficeAccording to a Knight Ridder Newspapers article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning, President Bush has endorsed the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution. According to the article, the President said schools should teach both theories on the creation and complexity of life.

OK, I can understand that he feels he has to pay back the Christian right with judges, but this is even worse. Judge Roberts may be on the bench for 30 years, but how long will the effects of dumbing down America last?

I realize that the proponents of intelligent design can't understand the difference between the scientific theory of evolution and their theory. It's probably because their scientific education was sub-standard.

We all know that intelligent design is just creationism repackaged to disassociate the concept from Christianity and make it more generally acceptable. But I seriously doubt that any of the proponents would ever truly consider the thought that the intelligent designer might be Buddha or Waheguru or Satan or Papa Smurf.

President Bush is welcome to believe anything he wants, but why would the man who created "No Child Left Behind" to enhance the education of our children do something so unintelligent as to endorse the teaching of intelligent design? What The Hell Were You Thinking? I hope we find he was just misquoted.

Photo by Eric Draper

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