Mind, Evolution, and ComputersJoseph R. Abrahamson
Science deals with knowledge of the material world based on objective reality. It is under constant attack by those who need magic, that is, concepts based on imagination and desire, with no basis in objective reality. A convenient target for such people is speculation on the machinery and method of operation of the human mind, questions that are still obscure in 1994. In The Emperor's New Mind, Roger Penrose attempts to look beyond objective reality for possible answers, using, in his argument, the theory that computers will never be able to duplicate the human experience. This article attempts to show where Penrose is in error by reviewing the evolution of men and computers and, based on this review, speculates about where computers might and might not imitate human perception. It then warns against the dangers of passive acceptance when respected scientists venture into the occult.