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Seems I can't close tags properly. My apologies.


Analogies are great guess generators<< - derekz

I agree. Eliezer finished off by saying how analogies were often useful in mathematics. I agree, and would say that derekz has pinpointed the reason why. In maths, it's fine to guess so long as you then go and prove it. However I don't see why analogies can't be used in this manner outside mathematics. I'm happy to follow a line of reasoning that says "Birds have wings that flap - and the flapping is associated with flying. Moreover, that flapping wings would help flight fits in with my view of the universe and it's physics (however naive that may be). Hence flapping wings is a good thing to try when designing a flying machine." I would feel no shame following that reasoning, and it appears to me to be "analogous" to reasoning via analogy in mathematics. The key point is that you don't assume your analogy has yielded a correct result. You just use it, as derekz said as a guess generator.


Well either the big metal gleaming thing was designed or it wasn't.

If it wasn't, it occured "naturally" - that is was constructed through basic physical phenomena. I feel I have a relatively sound understanding of the universe, backed up by years of research done by fellow humans, and can see no way a gleaming metal machine-like object, full of clockwork and electrical cable, can occur naturally. So I have to reach one of two conclusions: Either my (and most likely humanity's) understanding of the universe is completely wrong, or the big metal thing was designed.

To me it seems clear which is the more likely scenario, though maybe I am missing a point or two about unknowable priors?

Anyway, this is how I would deduce the machine was designed - not through an understanding of optimization pressures. I feel this is a much more natural way to do it. Things that are created by design are merely those things that "aren't not created by design".