On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 10:16 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> But if a human beats you at an intelligent task he would have been
>> programmed to do so - by evolution, by parents, teachers and various
>> other aspects of the environment. So the intelligence of the human is
>> really the intelligence of his programmers.
> This assumes some kind if tabula rasa era toy model of human development. As
> you can see from the differences between conjoined twins, who have the same
> nature and nurture, the same environment, that they are not the same people
> and do not necessarily have the same kinds of intelligences.

It's not exactly a tabula rasa since there is an enormous amount of
information pre-programmed into a human when they are born.

Two identical computers with identical programs taking environmental
input from sensors only millimetres apart could produce radically
different outputs. For example, the environmental input could be the
least significant digit in a temperature measurement and be used as a
seed in a random number generator.

> Human beings
> are not programmed, they have to willingly participate in their own lives,
> they have to direct their attention to discover their own personal
> preferences.

If you prefer, human beings are programmed to to willingly participate
in their own lives and to direct their attention to discover their own
personal preferences. "Willingly participate" means they decide to do
something that they want to do. "Unwillingly participate" means they
are coerced, for example by threat or by forcibly taking control of
their body and moving it. "Direct their attention to discover their
own personal preferences" means they try something and see if they
like it, and if they do they store it in memory as a preference. This
is something that has evolved because it is adaptive. Organisms that
discovered something unpleasant and stored it as a preference did not
tend to do as well.

Stathis Papaioannou

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