Looking at the history of science we see two things: its great success as a study of physics and the related sciences reducible to physics, e.g. biochemistry. A rising level of difficulty of subjects approached by science, but with no sciences as yet, …with a prolonged interval of ‘as yet’.
In that context, the Darwinian theory emerged over protests of many, and under suspicious circumstances: wasn’t it Wallace’s theory taken over by Darwin in the oversimplification of its theoretical stance. It was almost retired in the late nineteenth century, but sometime around the thirties to fifties of the last century, the neo-Darwinian synthesis emerged against protest and the rising religious tide of religious critics.
Those who saw clearly asked themselves how entire professional bodies of scholars and scientists could allow a pseudo-theory to emerge and become a fake science endorsed by credential parrots.
In the rise of science, we see the cutoff point: as the basic sciences rise to the level of economics, psychology, sociology and history and in every case fail.
In retrospect, the subject of ‘evolution’ was in the higher camp where science failed to create a solid foundation. For a century and a half the public has been subjected to a strangely dogmatic evolutionary ideology with the chances of dissent for members of the science community essentially nil. Figures like Dawkins have staged a virtual inquisition on the subject, along with a cult of atheism. This has made the slightest expression of critique a career breaker, with a bare few of exceptions, such as Fred Hoyle. In that vacuum, the creationist movement mutated into the much more sophisticated intelligent design movement which as however not able to produce any real theory of evolution themselves. The claim that biological structures show design is trivial, the further claim of intelligent design being probably true but stated in misleading terminology (no doubt deliberate in order to promote religion) that can dispense with the additional term and consider indeed the nature of biological design, the at speaking in metaphors seems intelligent. The whole design argument was a huge red herring. Obviously, biological entities show design, so what? The issue is really the failure of science to explicate teleology, once banished in physics in the era of Newton, then reinvoked by figures such as Kant and Lamark as necessary for a science of biology. But they were first of outcasts of the new idiot paradigm of Darwin.
The point here is that in the scale of rising science, most of reality at the level of evolution and above can’t as yet be scientized. The whole legacy shows that scientists are either exceptionally stupid or can indulge in mendacious claims about what is science. And they soon learned how easy it is to control opinion on the matter.
That brings us to the question of Ai and the new hyped claims. We know that when scientists confront something they can’t reduce to basic level science they simply create propaganda and enforce it on the public.
Ai is contradictory here: it is producing a whole slew of fascinating innovations, but from the case of Darwinism we know that when the mystery of certain hi-level subjects resists reduction, that scientists will invent hype and impose in on the public, knowing that the prestige of science will back them up.
The hype world of AI seems a lot like that, but still in motion as it grapples with things beyond its powers, the core issue being now that of consciousness. From the time of the idiot Turing Test idiocy, the question of consciousness has been a scientific obsession with Ai pressed into the field as the great mechanical hope. The field of AI is fascinating indeed, and we should note in passing the interest here in relation to evolutionary action. But the field of consciousness has never found its resolution in science. The whole idea of the Singularity is mostly nonsense given the standards of the discourse, such as the Turing test. Mostly it all seems paranoid, as the false claims for ‘intelligent’ machines are used to promote the claim that science can resolve the mystery of consciousness. To be fair this is more an accident waiting to happen where Darwinism was an accident that did happen, with permanent damage to the reputation of science. Darwinism has fooled many to this day, and the result, in the end, will be the crippled reputation of science. As usual we suspect the ideology of social darwinism as backup to economic ideology
The AI field is filled with fascinating novelties, but it is very doubtful if it will resolve the issue of consciousness. There would be no real problem here save that as in the essay by/on Lovelock’s Gaia myth some would judge our state on the way to a future controlled by AI, that is by scientists who need a myth of the robot to replace the reality of the human-biomachine. The disaster hasn’t occurred yet so while with Darwinism the response is ‘you idiot’, with AI it is more ‘watch your step, buster’…
My interest in the quantum world and classical physics is second to none, but we seem to be passing a watershed when the old framework of science is meeting is final destiny, perhaps via string theory.