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Old 18th April 2008, 08:12 AM   #92
Penultimate Amazing
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,629
Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
A typical sign of dogmatism is ignoring logical inconsistencies. For instance: On the one hand, the fact that computer-implemented algorithms cannot be improved by randomly changing bits or bytes, is declared irrelevant because "genes are not computer programs".
Goodness me. They can't?

You haven't heard of "genetic algorithms"? I spent something like five years of my life doing exactly that --- randomly changing bits and bytes in computer-implemented algorithms and looking to see which of the random changes resulted in performance iimprovements. I've personally published something like thirty papers based on findings generated by this technique.

More importantly, they're not papers about "genetic algorithms" per se. You can't get papers published about "genetic algorithms," any more, since the technique is so standard no program committee will consider it novel. GA are yet another optimization technique (like hill-climbing, but better at avoiding the problem of local maxima); any reearcher in any field of modelling, from aeronautics to zoology, is generally familiar with GA as a generic problem-solving technique if they're at all competent.

Should I return my Ph.D. on the grounds that what I did -- and what the committee saw me do, and accepted, and what thousands of researchers world-wide do routinely on a daily basis -- is impossible?

And by the way, panpsychism (or better: pandualism) is a fully legitimate hypothesis with a long tradition.
So is the four humour theory of disease; that dates back to Galen. Something else the two hypotheses have in common is that they're both completely and entirely wrong. Geocentrism? The flat Earth? Sympathetic magic? People have been wrong for a very long time.

I know that it is a long and difficult process to substantially change one's own world view,
Not at all. I'm a professional researcher. Show me some evidence that my worldview is wrong, and I'll change it. But you've got no evidence.

Last edited by drkitten; 18th April 2008 at 08:17 AM.
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