TMR 173 : Dr. Robert J. Marks II : Evolutionary Informatics

RobertJMarksIIWe are frequently told that Neo-Darwinian theory is true, and that there are robust mathematical models that demonstrate that fact. But is that really so?

This week we are joined by Dr. Robert J. Marks II, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor University, for a discussion on his newly-published book, Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics, co-authored with the mathematician and philosopher Dr. William A. Dembski and the research scientist and software engineer Dr. Winston Ewert.

Drawing upon his and his colleagues' work on information theory, and their analyses of naturalistic evolutionary models, Dr. Marks argues that there are logical limits to what such evolutionary algorithms can accomplish and that none of the vaunted models lives up to the claims made about it. Rather, each exhibits some form of "active information" unwittingly contributed by the "domain expertise" of its designers, thus (somewhat ironically) serving to further the case for intelligent design in nature. Dr. Marks also addresses AI (artificial intelligence) and argues, contrary to many voices today, that computers will never rise to the heights of human consciousness and creativity.

Dr. Marks's eponymous honours include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing, the Cheung–Marks theorem in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling. He was instrumental in defining the field of computational intelligence, and with his colleagues developed the temporal convolutional neural network, widely used in deep learning. In 2013 he was listed among "The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today" by A Christian since 1970, Marks is married with three children, three grandchildren, two dogs and a "stupid horse".

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Interview Notes


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[Robert Marks, William Dembski, Winston Ewert, Neo-Darwinism, information theory, evolutionary algorithm, artificial intelligence, AI, Louis Pasteur, Intelligent Design, ID, Alan Turing, Creationism, God of the gaps, probability of the gaps, Gregory Chaitin, Shannon, Kolmogorov–Chaitin–Solomonov, Norbert Wiener, specified complexity, EV, Avida, Borel's Law, Universal Probability Bound, Anthropic Principle, No Free Lunch, Richard Dawkins, Conservation of Information, epigenetics, Stuart Kauffman, self-organisation, James Shapiro, teleology, consciousness, wave function, Bell's Theorem]

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