An initial consciousness could through design, refactoring, and replication build up the universe without any further miracles beyond the initial consciousness in the first place.
Behind this messy argument is a deeper concern I have that we are doing a disservice to young people by presuming that they really do need more than a decade to learn advanced skills. We can subject young people to more intense education than we are now, and that they could have college-graduate level skills before they become 18 years old. Yet, we think that such an expectation is unwise as if it risks losing something more valuable. Perhaps we fear the young person’s loss to easy access to the presumption of innocence.
The modern era of machine learning, though, presents us an example where we can begin to suspect a separate level of intelligence, and one that feeds on our intelligence. As we sense this happening, we realize that we’ll get no sympathy from the machine for the exact same reason we don’t recognize naturally occurring intelligence in non-humans.
With big data, we end up with deep historical data from distant events. There will be something needed to fill in the gaps that were mysteries at the time. That gap filler will be spontaneous data whether we acknowledge it or not. Even if we as humans leave the gap unfilled, we can’t be sure that our data analytics or machine learning algorithms won’t fill it. When it does, how can we be sure it won’t come up with a supernatural explanation that it keeps to itself?
Just like the fact that I can’t interest an advanced piano teacher doesn’t diminish the fact that such teachers exist, the fact that science can’t engage the immaterial teacher says nothing about the existence of such a teacher. The teacher is simply uninterested in engaging, and have every good reason to not engage.
Learning is an instinctual behavior. If we had to be taught how to learn, we could never learn that lesson.
A data-driven economy is not a free economy. While there remains promise that algorithms acting on vast amounts of rapidly arriving data can produce a better economy, I am suspicious that such an economy will eventually languish because it robs the human actors of their ability to negotiate. The vitality of a free economy derives from individual freedom to negotiate terms of engagement. Eventually, A data-driven economy may prove to be superior but it will succeed only by suppressing natural human negotiation. Human actors negotiating in a data-driven economy must negotiate with machines. Applying approaches that work for other humans to machines instead is criminalized as cybercrime. Human negotiation involves coming to terms with weaknesses as well as strengths. Exploiting weaknesses of machines is a crime.