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Message no. 1
From: Doctor Doom <JCH8169@********.BITNET>
Subject: The Basis of Magic and Artificial Intelligence...
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 92 21:54:00 CST
On the subject of the basis of Magic...
(I'm always one willing to throw in my two Reichthalers.)

>>>>>[ I disagree with the hyphothesis that DNA is the sole basis for
True, many geneticist have speculated extensively on the so-called "magus
factor", but their studies have indicated that it is unlikely a single
gene is responsible for this phenomena. Further, some feel that it may be
attributed to (possibly genetically endowed) traits/aspects of the mind that
allow it to percieve, and thus later with sufficient training, wield magic.
Interpreting this, I contend that it is a person's mind (via qualities
acquired through its genetic code) that must be "in tune" with magic to use it
--similar to tuning a radio transciever on a specific signal.
But in this case, I think it is an issue of a LIFE FORCE attuned to the
magic...the brain's makeup only ALLOWS it to act as a conduit for metaphysical
forces. It is not an issue of DNA, or being organic or not, but rather that
something is ALIVE. I tend to view magic as an extension of the Life Force
that some humans are privy to, and others are not.
Following this logic, a computer, even in the case of it being organic,
could not cast spells. And if it did have the necessary DNA, using some sort
of (in my opinion Frankensteinian) net of sheets of brain cells, it would not
be ALIVE to manipulate the thaumaturgical energies.
And as to the case of why other creatures can cast magic? Those are
"awakened" species, and thus their very nature is inherently tied to magic, and
thus it follows that some of them may be capable of using it. As to Free
Spirits, they are even MORE inherently magical, and I would add that the
requirement that something be alive/have a life force is fulfilled in this case
as well.
On the topic of whether or not an AI can learn to create spells, it
would require a full knowledge of the nature/laws of metaphysics and their
behavior, considering one would be attempting to develop and program an
electronic device that would need to have information on the how one controls,
even if not specifically wields, magical energies. I'm sure we would all
agree that magic does not completely or NECESSARILY follow the "normal"
physical laws that govern mundane/ordinary life/behavior. To discover or
otherwise nail down the metaphysial laws would be QUITE a challenge; it would
be an scientific discipline all to its own, requiring research and years of
hard work... Could it be successful? Maybe. It depends upon how
comprehensible the metaphysical rules are (Look at how long mankind took to
discover the "normal" laws), and indeed if there are any such laws.
A magician friend of mine by the name of Darkwatch once said, "Magic
is the art and science of the impossible." If that definition holds true, then
we shan't be seeing any computer, Artificially Intelligent or not, learning
magic for a number of years, probably never.]<<<<<
-- Doctor Doom <17:58:13/10-20-52>

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