Friday, October 28, 2016

Hmm …

… What Would a Machine as Smart as God Want? - Scientific American Blog Network. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Dyson’s musings were inspired by the science-fiction writer (and philosopher) Olaf Stapledon, who died in 1950. In his books Last and First Men and Starmaker, Stapledon imagined what mind would become after millions or billions of years. He postulated that a cosmic mind will want to create. It will become an artist, whose works are entire universes.


  1. Anselm said that God was that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Despite my own love of art and creation, I can conceive of far greater things than Dyson's advanced-computer god.

  2. I would agree, Jeff. I think the mistake lies in thinking of God as another object of scientific inquiry. There is an interesting story told of Georges Lemaître, the astronomer priest who first proposed the Big Bang Theory. He was at one of the great observatories on an especially clear and beautiful night, and his companion, an atheist, said that on a night like this even he could see how Lemaître might believe in God. To which Lemaître responded that such a never would never have persuaded him of God's existence. His friend asked him, "Then why do you believe?" "I believe in God," Lemaître said, "because of the human heart."