Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

I just read on Charles Murtaugh's site about an inventor in England who claims that robots should be considered life, and given the associated rights. The inventor has a lot of support, apparently, including well known evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins of "The Selfish Gene". I probably would disagree with Dr. Dawkins on this one, unless the robots can pass the Turing test, in which case I might re-evaluate. Questions of what life is aside (!!), the "evolutionary implications" of this comments that Charles makes mystify me. He mentions that this could be construed as evidence for Intelligent Design, to which I respond, huh? Just because it is possible for humans to design things doesn't mean that they couldn't arise by undirected natural selection, and vice versa. ID v. natural selection is a question of how things come to be, not what they turn out to be!! This robotics business is interesting on its own, as a question of Artificial Intelligence and Alife, but has nothing at all to do with Darwinian evolution.