There has been much discussion about the recent appearance on Jeopardy of a computer named Watson. Watson has played against human contestants, and has provided uncannily accurate answers to some questions. Can Watson actually think? Does Watson have a mind?
Philosopher Jay Richards has published an interesting piece about IBM’s Watson computer trouncing Jeopardy champs looking at the consternation this caused for some people.
If it is reasonable to suggest that inflammatory political rhetoric can inspire murder, is it not reasonable to suggest that scientists who publicly dehumanize young children can inspire infanticide?
Tantalus Prime and I have had a discussion about the moral status of abortion and the scientific status of the human embryo (shorthand for human zygote/embryo/fetus).
Tantalus Prime and I have been discussing abortion. Tantalus takes exception to my observation that human life begins at conception. He believes that the humanity of a human zygote/embryo/fetus isn’t a scientific fact, but merely a matter of linguistics: The exact moment at which a fertilizing egg becomes human… is a horrible scientific question! Is asking the exact size beyond which a stream becomes a river a good scientific question? Of course not, because this is not an empirical problem but one of definition. Define the term human however you want, but don’t pretend it is an empirical question to be solved. Scientists can’t even agree on what constitutes a living organism, so what makes you think pinpointing the demarcation Read More ›