We Must Not Accept an Algorithmic Account of Human Life

Justin Lewis via Getty Images One remarkable development of twentieth century science is the discovery that both physical structures and the communication of ideas can be assembled on the basis of algorithms that make use of codes. The genetic code helps living organisms assemble the basics of other living organisms and guide their development. Verbal languages provide us with alphabets (with which we can assemble an infinity of words that name an infinity of objects, actions, relationships and events) and with grammatical rules that govern the sequencing of the words so as to construct sentences and stories that narrate events or explain ideas. Many aspects of the assembly of natural organisms and of communication depend on algorithms and on coding, as do all aspects of computation as well as the…


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