I’m reading a book called From Bacteria to Bach and Back by Daniel C Dennet. He shared an idea today that blew my mind:
Darwin and Turing claim to have discovered something truly unsettling to a human mind—competence without comprehension.
The gist of the thing is that some folks (creationists) want to hold on to the notion of mystery. Explaining the world in merely mechanical terms harshes their mallow.
Turing showed that simple instructions based on conditional branching, if-this-then-that, could direct mindless computers towards AI.
Darwin demonstrated that there was no ‘omniscient and omnipotent creator’, simply that there was natural selection – iterations of improvement over time through chemical processes.
Darwin and Turin used a ‘strange inversion of reasoning’ to explain the processes and possiblities of evolution.
How come competence without comprehension is so unsettling to some?