Re: [agi] Two draft papers: AI and existential risk; heuristics and biases

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2006 - 01:28:24 MDT


This is a badly incorrect summary of the history of science.
Experimentation has been incredibly important in science, and it seems
extremely foolish to deny this. Listing examples is so easy it's
almost absurd to do so.... Quantum theory, special relativity theory,
chaos theory, molecular biology ... jeez ... this is a really stupid
argument!!! Take the experimentation out of science and you don't
have science anymore. Darwin may have thought of the basics of
evolutionary theory via observation rather than experiment, but Mendel
did experiments and of course modern genetics which is much of the
basis of contemporary evolutionary theory is heavily experimentally
based.... Goodness...!!!

ben g

On 6/7/06, Michael Vassar <> wrote:
> I think that you are giving experiment too much credit here. In practice
> much revolutionary science (think X-Rays) happens due to new experimental
> observation, but the very most revolutionary science often doesn't.
> Darwin's theory was grounded in pure logic and inspired by a huge general
> body of pre-existing observational and experimental data. The same is true
> of Newton. Gallileo's belief about equal free-fall velocities and his
> ballistics theories are basically simply assertions of an unappreciated null
> hypothesis, as is the more recent work of Judith Rich Harris. Even
> Einstein's general theory of relativity is arguably of this type.
> Practically all revolutionary computer science, quantum computing, and
> Dirac's prediction of antimatter provide a few more examples.
> >Now in practice, I admit that there have been cases where the experimental
> >observations told us which hypotheses we needed to test; nearly all
> >revolutionary science, as opposed to routine science, happens this way.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:56 MDT