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It's Elementary: IBM's "Watson" Demonstrates Intelligent Design, Not Darwinian Evolution

Photo: New York Times

The competition between the IBM computer "Watson" and a couple of Jeopardy game whiz guys is going to be fascinating theater when they go up against one another February 14. Watson is super fast at assembling knowledge programmed into him and using fuzzy logic to make literal sense of human metaphor and nuance. Apparently, its speed gives it an edge in pressing the Jeopardy game answer buzzer before its human competitors can do so the nanosecond after a question is read out loud.

This is amazing stuff that shows the potential for further development of computer technology. Not only can a computer outperform humans in figuring (as in an earlier IBM defeat of chess champion Gary Kasparov), but one also probably can access factual data faster and sometimes more accurately than a human brain.

However, before some Darwinist aparatchick tries to claim Watson as an exemplar of materialist dogma that we humans are just thinking meat, let me set down the obvious truth: Watson is an accomplishment of intelligent design, not evolution.

Watson knows what human beings have programmed into it. Watson does what Watson is designed to do. "Garbage in, garbage out," is still the rule. And loads of good information in (including information that accesses associations), loads of good information out--and very fast, too. Hooray for Watson and those who designed it.

I bring this to your attention, as I say, to correct in advance the inevitable and dreary effort of some Darwinian to claim Watson for evolution. But, it's elementary: Watson did not "evolve."

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org


Is this a joke? I'm an evolution believing atheist and I can't fathom why you would think anyone would make the claim that the machine was the result of evolution. It's a machine, not an organism.

Watson looks like an interesting accomplishment, but I don't think promoters of Evolution trying to claim it as the result of evolution. From what I've seen they seem to first distinguish between manufactured items (clock, chair, so on) and biological ones.

The preemption seems a little unnecessary.

Intelligent design and evolution are NOT mutually exclusive. If we define evolution
as "non-cyclic change over time", then we can consider automobiles to have evolved, language to have evolved, etc. These are all changes that happened with human input. So, computers and computer programming have clearly evolved under this definition.

Although evolution is usually a term used in discussion of genetic change in a population of biological organisms, to use the word "evolution" in another context is not wrong.

Mr. Chapman, you are kidding right? As I read this I had to check and see if I was on the Onion website. I think the ONLY person who might try and claim that a computer is the product of biological evolution is someone who does not understand it. And i also believe anyone who expects others to make such a claim also reveals less than expected knowledge of the subject at hand.

Ted Herrlich

Intelligent design? No just people designing stuff. It's not "intelligent" design.

Why do you twist words?

Oh that's right - that's all the Discoveroids do.

They never do any science to prove their point just quote mine other people's stuff.

Totally dishonesty from the crazy religious conning money from the gullible.

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