Life. Evolution. Quantum algorithms. A veil of obscurity disguised as light…

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A scenario of artificial intelligence could see the emergence of circumstances in which models of simple organisms could be capable of experiencing the various phases of life in a controlled virtual environment. This is what has been designed by the QUTIS research group at the UPV/EHU’s Department of Physical Chemistry, but the scenario is that of quantum computers: an artificial life protocol that encodes quantum behaviors belonging to living systems.

The models of organism designed were coined as units of quantum life, each one of which is made up of two qubits that act as genotype and phenotype, respectively, and where the genotype contains the information that describes the type of living unit, and this information is transmitted from generation to generation. By contrast, the phenotype, the characteristics displayed by individuals, are determined by genetic information as well as by the interaction of the individuals themselves with the environment.

To be able to regard the systems as organisms of artificial life, the basic characteristics of Darwinian evolution that were simulated by these systems were birth and its evolution, self-replication, interaction between individuals and the environment, which gradually degrades the phenotype of the individual as it ages and ends in a state representing death. The protocol also considered interaction between individuals as well as mutations, which were implemented in random rotations of individual qubits. (1)

Every time one reads such a description of how science managed to emulate something so fundamental as “life” or “death”, he must be very skeptical. For even the slightest hint of science understanding the core elements of our existence must be faced with nothing less than hard laughter.

Scientists playing around with what they do not know.

So many words.

So much effort.

Meaningless.

Do you believe you are your life?

Do you believe you are your death?

You are more than the sum of your cells.

You are more than the atoms that consist you.

As time passes by, we can see that the main promise of the Enlightenment for a better world cannot be kept. The world is not full of light, it is full of terror and death. The world is not more ethical, it is instead colder and more soulless. The world is not understood better. It is now hidden behind a dark veil of ‘knowledge’. A veil which disguises the dark secret we all try to keep from ourselves: That our ‘understanding’ destroys the cosmos we are in.

How can you have an ethical cosmos by calculating data?

How can you have a better world by analyzing theories?

The basis of living good is first of all… the “living” part.

And science has by default given up on this from the time it made the “data” and the “theories” its main goal. Life cannot be lived in theory. Advise cannot be given based just on hard cold data. You cannot know the earth, without making your hands dirty. You cannot touch the stars without crying upon the touch of a loved one.

We have forgotten that science is a verb, not a noun. (as this article here reminded us)

Science in the example above is not the emulation. But the process of trying to understand, feel and touch the very essence of our existence. Science is not the ridiculous idea that you can emulate life with a set of rules. Nor the childish notion of random mutations generating useful original information which can lead to order instead of random chaos. Science is the deep passionate believe that we can somehow reach the truth regarding our self.

Look at that butterfly.

It has come back for you.

To remind you something you once knew.

That the science you believe in is not inside the lab.

That the only thing algorithms can emulate are themselves.

That true scientists are only the ones who are not.

Science will soon realize that it is useless.

Only when it reaches a point where it is really useful.

At some point everything will be successfully emulated.

Including the emulation of life itself.

Which in turn emulates life.

Only to result in the emulation of itself.

And inside an infinite set of turtles.

To keep on searching for that super turtle.

Gradually realizing…

That there was no turtle to find in the first place.

Except the one we started emulating…

Sacred mountain. Unholy science.

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Hawaii now and then… [Source]

A mountain which used to be sacred, is for many years now a place for science.

Following a protracted legal battle and years long protests that left a state deeply  divided, the Hawaii Supreme Court in November 2018 cleared the final legal hurdle for a $1.4 billion telescope project to resume construction atop the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, a mountain considered sacred by many Native Hawaiians. In a 4-1 ruling on Tuesday, the court upheld a 2017 decision by the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources to grant a construction permit on Mauna Kea for the Thirty-Meter Telescope, better known as TMT.

The court said it had carefully considered the arguments put forth by the project’s opponents who’ve described the telescope’s construction as an attack on indigenous culture and a desecration of sacred land. But, per the ruling, it had ultimately determined that “astronomy and Native Hawaiian uses on Mauna Kea have co-existed for many years and the TMT Project will not curtail or restrict Native Hawaiian uses”.

The ruling also noted the telescope’s potential to “answer some of the most fundamental questions regarding our universe” – a benefit that won’t just be enjoyed by Native Hawaiians but all of humankind.

“We are not anti-science or astronomy,” Lanakila Manguil, an activist who’s been protesting against the TMT project for years, told HuffPost in 2017. “It’s about construction, development and industrial-sized work happening in conservation lands and particularly very sacred lands to our people.” The mountain, which measures about 32,000 feet from seafloor to summit, is home to burial sites and is where Native Hawaiians have been known to bury their umbilical cords as a way of connecting to the sacred land. (1)

In the old days we used to have sacred lands.

In the old days we used to walk on the land.

In the old days we used to dream of the stars.

Only because we believed we were part of them.

Now we want to look at them closely.

To observe and analyze them.

Now we do not have anything sacred.

Now we do not even believe in ourselves.

And we long so much to get out of that land.

And reach the stars.

Only because we believe we do not belong with them in the first place…

Believing in anything. As long as it is not Christian.

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I recently came up with another article on how the universe could possibly have more dimensions. (1)

This is not the first and certainly not the last time scientists make similar claims. The scientific community has been filled with theories claiming that there are more dimensions we cannot feel, multiple universes we cannot touch or new types of matter we cannot see…

You now, modern civilization has a deep hatred against anything relation to religion and especially Christianity (see French Revolution, “enlightenment” et cetera).

We are willing to believe into things we cannot and will never see (like the multiple universes) than accept the existence of a creator even as a possibility. We are willing to accept things we cannot and will never feel (like the multiple dimensions) than accept life as it is. We are willing to accept that we are nothing (e.g. just a set of lifeless matter with no free will) than accept anything remotely related to Christianity.

Most people might not realize it, but religion is much more scientific than science today. Because religion accepts what we feel (I have consciousness, I am not just a lifeless set of matter, I have free will) and it adheres to what we see (the cosmos is what we see – even miracles are accepted based on empirical evidence, in contradiction with theories like the above which are accepted based on anything but the existence of evidence).

Within our (supposedly) enlightened era, we have forgotten that light casts the longest shadows.

And even though we see the stars at the edges of the cosmos…

We fail to look at our self and deduce any meaning.

And even though we think too much about everything.

We fail to see that our thinking only generates questions.

And so we think of multiple universes. And so we look for multiple dimensions. In a world were we exist not. In a universe which just happened to be. Only because we hate the possibility of us being important. Only because we fear the possibility of us Being.

Look in the mirror.

Listen to you.

Look for the simple answers.

Sure, they look stupid.

But only because your questions are not stupid enough…

Eugenics works! So why not use it? A hard problem begging for a simple answer…

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In a recent online discussion where the idea of modern eugenics was brought up, many people were against it. Since eugenics bring up correlations with the Nazis it is easy for most people to discard such ideas as wrong or unethical. It is obvious that applying eugenics is wrong.

But all obvious things are very hard to prove.

In this case, someone simply asked “Why shouldn’t we engineer a baby not being sick?” and since then, this simple question has stuck into my mind. Sure, eugenics seems obviously wrong. But why? Why shouldn’t we make better babies? Only because we have bad memories of some people who at some point in time used similar techniques to do bad?

This sounds as stupid as fearing nuclear energy because at some point the US Air Force dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. Surely it did happen, but one has nothing to do with the other.

So why is eugenics wrong?

Why shouldn’t we eradicate disease if we can?

The argument that “eugenics will not work and will cause probably more disease” is a plausible one, but yet it is not enough. For sure eugenics are currently not so advanced that it is error-free. Editing the genome of a person could result in numerous other mutations that could in turn result in more dreadful diseases than the ones we try to eradicate. But this argument does not answer the question at hand. It simply defers the answer. What if we had a way to have a working method for eugenics and for editing genome without problems? Would we then accept eugenics as something good?

Imagining this perfect scenario where we have mastered eugenics in such a way that it can produce perfect humans with no diseases whatsoever, is the key to the answer we seek. You see, the problem of technology as Heidegger put it, is not that it does not work, but that it does.

Humans without disease.

Humans not dying.

Humans perfect in any way.

This is our dream. But we have been into that dream for so long, that we have forgotten it is a nightmare. Humans not dying, means humans enslaved into the material world were we do not belong in the first place. A cosmos without disease and pain, means a world where there are no warning signs. We might all fear pain and death, but philosophy does strongly indicate that these might not be issues after all, in a cosmos which strongly suggests that the material aspect is insignificant in front of the spiritual one that engulfs it. A world with perfect humans, is not a dream of a rational man but the hubris of an irrational psychopath looking for perfection is a world which is nothing but. A world with people not dying is no different than a world full of zombies.

In simpler words: Yes, a car might get you faster where you go. But that does not say anything whether your destination is the right one.

Eugenics is a way to build on modern materialistic dogmatism and enhance it to new unprecedented heights.

But is materialism correct as a philosophy?

Is the cosmos made of matter only?

Do you breath only because your cells do?

Do you think because your brain does?

Do you love because of chemistry?

Do you cry because of molecular interactions?

Sorry to break the news, but if your answer to the above is “Yes”, then it doesn’t even matter if eugenics works or not.

Because you are already dead.

“Cell phones do not cause cancer” and other Science-Money fairy tales. (as in “Smoking does not cause cancer”)

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According to studies, cell phones do not cause cancer. (1)

So reassuring.

In the same way the old days science was not sure whether smoking caused cancer, or was even convinced that in some cases it was even beneficial! (2)

On one side, there is the ridiculously slow pace at which science crawled towards the obvious (yes, if you put smoke in you something bad will happen). Even though smoking was around for years, official science starting to realize the connection between smoking and cancer only in the 1950’s. (3) (6) Surely science tries to reach a certain degree of certainty to say something, but this should never conflict with common sense.

“Putting tar inside your organism causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

“Putting radiation inside your brain causes nothing”.

Does that make sense?

Scientists should be clear when making statements and they should clarify what the lack of evidence for correlation does not necessarily mean that there is no correlation. Not clarifying this is certainly not a result of stupidity. After all, scientists should know better right?

And now we come to the other interesting point: How science and scientists can be manipulated by money. It had happened before with smoking. (4) Scientists of respectable positions we also part of a specific “council” for research on the subject of smoking with clean instructions not to actually find any connections with cancer. (5) (7)

You may say that these scientists did not represent science.

But what is science except the scientists who practice it?

Would you say that Pope does not represent Catholicism?

Many claim that science is all about methodologically and systematically analyzing something. Any errors related to its practice do not relate to science per se. It is a beautiful childish opinion. And as all childish opinions, it is very appealing. But it is wrong.

Not because a bad scientist represents science.

This is indeed false.

But exactly because science is all about the systematic analysis of things. This makes it void of any ethical obligation to follow any common sense outside its own methodological constraints, thus leaving room for research which claims that “we do not know” even in the face of the obvious. And there is where money comes in.

You see, no scientist will even admit that he is doing wrong or insufficient research. But what he will never admit is that given the proper statistics, almost anything can be supported. Give some funds on top of those inherent limitations of science and statistics and you will get this research paper stating “No evidence for cell phones related to cancer”.

At the end, a slight connection will be found.

Then some more serious evidence will ‘arise’.

And at the end, scientists will be certain that cell phones are dangerous.

Not sure it will be like that?

Well, you may be right.

Like the scientists who claimed that things heavier than air will never fly. (8) Now we laugh at those scientists. But their analysis and conclusions were not to be laughed at.

At the end, you are allowed to believe what you wish.

Put a cell phone next to your head and speak for hours.

Are you willing to testify for what you believe?

Do you believe that science puts anything in the line for you? And yet, you believe in science and not in those who did actually put everything in line for you. (who are they? find out yourself)

Science today is cut from ethics and the obvious ever since it claimed was against religion. Because religion is the art of the obvious and the ethical. You can read Harmonia Philosophica for more on that, but in any case it is easy to see that in the case of smoking science feel in the trap of its own convictions. Seeking certainty is not always the way to go when lives are at stake. And taking money while doing it does not make it look prettier. It happened with smoking. It had happen before (yes, science has been about money and corruption for many years now). And the same story seems to be repeated now with cell phones. Radiation had been constantly seen as a source of problems when it comes to mutations, but now for a magical reason there seem to be “no evidence” for problems.

Yes, science continually questions itself. And that is a good thing. For science.

But life and common sense cannot question themselves.

Yes science needs and seeks certainty.

But life does not offer certainty. (let alone the fact that science has anyway proved that it will never find it)

Yes science is not the experiments done by Mengele.

But he did make those experiments in the context of science. (and papers were published and research – from which you may even benefit today – was conducted based on them)

And humanity cannot accept that.

Yes scientists are just humans.

So why not admit that instead of playing God?

Yes science is cold and systemic.

But life should not be anything like that.

Yes, you can “prove” with proper assumptions and statistics that infinite parallel universe exist.

But smoking killed people down here, in this universe.

Hang up the phone.

Wait for science to decide.

Take a walk.

Do you need science to tell you that?

PS. And yes, there is research which shows that cell phones are linked to cancer. See here for one recent example.