The A.M. Turing Award is one of, if not the, highest awards that can be given to those in the computing field. It was named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing, and awarded to those who are believed to have made breakthrough advancements in computing technology (Robertson, 2011). The most recent recipient of the Turing award was Harvard University professor Leslie Valiant. He received the award based on his contributions to the field of “computer learning.” Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer, noted that Valiant’s efforts “paved the way for computers that more closely mimic how humans think” (2011). Robertson quoted ACM President Alain Chesnais as saying that Valiant’s work, “has produced modeling that offers computationally inspired answers on fundamental questions like how the brain ‘computes’” (2011).

Valiant’s work is truly amazing. He has spent 30 years of his life trying to help synthetic machinery “compute” more like the human brain. In many ways, however, the computers are still vastly inferior to the human brain. Reasoning through this situation leads to a very important conclusion. If Valiant is a brilliant computational scientist, and he has spent three decades trying to mimic the computational abilities of the brain, what does that imply about the brain? It means it was designed by an Intelligent Designer even more brilliant than Valiant. That is the only conclusion that adequately evaluates the evidence. Yet sadly, many in the scientific community will pat Valiant on the back for the efforts he has made to understand the brain’s computational abilities, while they will completely ignore the implication of design that is inherent in his work. In reality, God’s design of the human brain has paved the way for scientists like Valiant to mimic His work and build better computers.

Reference

Robertson, Jordan (2011), “Turing Award Goes to ‘Machine Learning’ Expert”, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110309/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_technology_prize/print.

Additional Resources

By What Standard? An Analysis of the Philosophy of Cornelius Van Til

by Rousas J. Rushdoony

An introduction into the problems of Christian philosophy. It focuses on the philosophical system of Dr. Cornelius Van Til, which in turn is founded upon the presuppositions of an infallible revelation in the Bible and the necessity of Christian theology for all philosophy. This is Rushdoony’s foundational work on philosophy.

Basic to this book is the belief that the presuppositions of human thought in every field must be basically one in order to arrive at any concept which both validates biblical faith and human knowledge. The sovereignty of the self-contained God is the key to every field, in that only the God of Scripture makes all things possible and explicable and is thus the basic premise not only of theology, but of philosophy, science and indeed all knowledge. In that God is the Creator of all things, He is their only valid principle of interpretation, in that they derive both their existence and meaning from His creative act. This belief is herein set forth in terms of various aspects of human thought.

Just such a philosophy finds consistent and able exposition in the writings of Cornelius Van Til. This book therefore is also an exposition of Van Til’s development of that philosophy, a school of thought to which Dr. Rushdoony wholeheartedly subscribed.

Continue Reading on