38 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Darwin

  1. Typically brilliant! But since he brought up jumbo jets, it took a Swede to figure out how to recycle one into a hotel. This greets you on approach to Arlanda airport (Stockholm).

    When I saw it yesterday I thought it was just a billboard, and wondered about the cost vs. scrap value, but it turns out it’s an airport hotel. I didn’t have time to get a pic off but figured there’d be plenty via Google images. You too can become a member of the mile low club!

      1. Those Swedes!
        What will they think of next??!!

        Healthcare without medical bills??!! “Ching chong chang..!”


        1. Re. healthcare (summarizing a cartoon I saw once), it started when we could send telegrams without wires, and then it developed that you could send mail without stamps…

  2. As always, Author hits it spot on:-))

    The reference to Chinese being nonsense reminds me of a joke my sister and her best friend used to tell each other during high school German class when grammar and ‘conversation’ exercises got to be overwhelming:

    sis: “Why don’t they just speak English!”

    friend: “Yeah… you know they’re thinkin’ it!”

  3. Searle? I think not. More likely an echo of the controversy from a few months back when Rush Limbaugh mocked the visiting president of China for speaking Chinese.

      1. Well, obviously the celestial Jesus and Mo know the future, since it’s in the divine plan. Equally obviously the cartoonist is tight with J & M (how else would he know what they’re thinking?), so we can quite reasonably conclude that this cartoon was predicting, based on divine communication, what Rush one would say 4 years later.

        See, I wasn’t really wrong, I’m just earning a ThD.

  4. That “Chinese Room” argument is interesting but I think the probability of an intentional connection is weak.

    I love the analogy in the cartoon though, and it’s one that I could have made good use of in the past.

    1. Agree. The “Chinese Room” philosophical argument is not widely known, nor facile for explanation.

  5. I suspect it is a reference to the “Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong” incident from a couple months ago, in which a UCLA student vlogged complaining about Asians talking in the library.

      1. Shorter: “I’m, like, not racist, you know? This isn’t about the people I know it’s about the hordes of Asians that I don’t know cuz, like, they’re all ru-ude and I’m, like, an American so, like, I’m not rude. But I’m, like, not racist.”


    1. Please do not post videos on this site unless thery’re absolutely necessary to the discussion. Three in a row are not called for here.

      1. None of the five (!) videos is relevant put here thus far is relevant. This strip was first published four years ago. It says there on the J&M site.

      2. None of the five (!) videos put here thus far is relevant. This strip was first published four years ago. It says there on the J&M site.

      3. Jerry: My apologies. I was expecting a simple link to show up, not an embedded video. And when I saw I.P. Freeley’s posting with the same video, I would have deleted my postings (which were awaiting moderation) if it were possible. Will try to do better in the future. JerryF

        1. Between YouTube and Amazon’s insertion of a buy-now visual, when all you want is an url, what are we supposed to do?! Stupid sites. Someone who knows what they’re doing want to tell the rest of us how to get around this?

          1. Leaving off the “http://” should do it (no active link, though), but yes, this website is configured to automatically turn a simple youtube video URL into a ginormous embedded object. It’s probably something that can only be turned off by Ceiling Cat.

            1. Aratina, thank you! And now I feel stupid for not thinking of that solution; guess I was holding out for the possibility of a live link…

              I don’t suppose there’s any way to tell which urls are going to “behave” (just yield a live link, not an embedded image/vid/etc.) and which aren’t, is there? (Besides trial and error, that is. *frowns*)

          2. Yeah. I was surprised to see what I got when I intended a simple link. I don’t do this stuff much, which doubtless makes it easier to make a mess of things.

            But now we know — knock off the HTTP prefix.

    1. I’m sorry but I did–words 4-6 of my post, as you see, are precisely the link whose absence you’re “tut tutting” about. Please check what I wrote before you start your tut-tuttings.

  6. Regarding the Searle argument:

    “Searle argues that the thought experiment underscores the fact that computers merely use syntactic rules to manipulate symbol strings, but have no understanding of meaning or semantics”

    Well, yes, that may be true for computers, but that doesn’t mean it’s NOT true for humans. I know quite a few people who merely manipulate symbol strings (thereby often making errors against the supplied rules) and having no understanding whatsoever of what those resulting strings mean.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

      Searle’s argument is only valid if humans are doing something that a Turing Machine can’t. Since the Church-Turing thesis is on ground about as solid as the first law of thermodynamics, I wouldn’t waste much time on arguments that only work if it’s invalid.



      1. “Since the Church-Turing thesis is on ground about as solid as the first law of thermodynamics,”

        I have seen you claim this twice now I believe, but it isn’t a valid analogy.

        The first law of TD is stating conservation of energy in TD terms. You can derive this from conservation of charge AFAIK, which in turn is derivable from Noether’s theorem on symmetry. It is an action principle, but it goes deeper than that.

        The Church-Turing thesis however is not derivable from deeper principles, as of yet, but a) an observable fact without exception so far b) breaking it leads to all sorts of physics problems.* These two facts suggest a direct analogy in TD, namely the second law of thermodynamics, where the same holds.** This is how solid CT is; not “evidently valid” as the first law, but “evidently solid” as the second.

        * My favorite problem is that breaking CT leads to breaking of complexity classes, so all problem would be easy. Evidently that observation is sorely lacking.

        ** b) would here be: no equilibriums; no irreversibility.

        1. “My favorite problem is that breaking CT leads to breaking of complexity classes, so all problem [sic] would be easy.”

          Btw, if you accept the embedding of CT into the CTD principle, it seems possible that CT tells us deep things about causality of physical processes.

          Usually such hopes equate to crackpotism, but you never know. I note that time travel would lead to the same problem of collapsing complexity classes, because it can be used to circumvent CT.

          Anyway, Searle and similar dualists are in deep doo-doo. (Or is it “brain mush”?) They don’t seem to realize what beauty they tear down and what mess they try to drag in.

          To me it seems they try to reject the Turing test’s claim – that if we can’t observe a difference man-machine there isn’t any – simply by claiming an invisible ghost in the machine. Instead of finding a fault with the test.

        2. Your post excellently explains why I use the “almost” and “about” and “nearly” qualifiers.

          As you write, Church-Turing isn’t (yet) something that can be derived from first principles, but the consequences of Church-Turing not holding would overturn a vast network of the most solid observations we have.

          You hint at it, but breaking C-T would make the whole P ?= NP question moot, and there’re lots of reasons to believe that P != NP.

          The list goes on and on and on and on. Betting that C-T doesn’t hold is as wise as betting that the sun will rise in the West tomorrow morning.



  7. Not that it really matters but noted in passing – from the J&M site it appears that this toon is 4y/o. Sounds like the artist’s on vacation.

Leave a Reply