Friday, July 20, 2012

Eminent Researchers: Alan Turing and Wernher von Braun

I have updated the Eminent Researchers page on my web site to include Alan Turing and Wernher von Braun.

Alan Turing

From Wikipedia.

Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS ( 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954), was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine.[1][2] Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.[3]

In a paper where he describes his Turing Machine,
Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460
Turing wrote:

I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extrasensory perception, and the meaning of the four items of it, viz., telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should
like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one's ideas so as to fit these new facts in. Once one has accepted them it does not seem a very big step to believe in ghosts and bogies. The idea that our bodies move simply according to the known laws of physics, together with some others not yet discovered but somewhat similar, would be one of the first to go.

Turing recognized that the lack of ESP would prevent a computer from passing the Turing Test.

Wernher von Braun

From Wikipedia:

Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German-born rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and, subsequently, the United States.

From Wikiquote:
Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.


For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.


It is in scientific honesty that I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life and man in the science classroom. It would be an error to overlook the possibility that the universe was planned rather than happening by chance.

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