Friday, April 30, 2010

Creation Science and Robotics: A match made in heaven, BY GOD!

I have been wondering recently whether there is a lot of robotics research happening in the world of Creation Science. It seems like a really good fit. If there are answers in Genesis, surely one of them is the answer to the question: how do you make an autonomous entity that will do your dirty work for you (naming all the animals, that sort of thing)? Surely Creation Scientists are not, as their critics claim, merely working backwards from what they've already decided is the truth and trying to arrange cherry-picked scraps of evidence to fit it.

Also, I think we've all seen the list of 500 people who have taken science classes who subscribe to creation science. Robotics is very high on the list of cool and fun science, so surely at LEAST one or two of these people have devoted their lives to emulating God by doing some of their own creating.

Unfortunately, after I downloaded the list from the Dissent From Darwin site, a search for 'robot' or even 'robo' came up with nothing.

Google was kind of my friend in this search. I found a reference to an Ian Juby, the owner of Canada's first Creation Museum (oh, Canada...). Ian is 'a robotics engineer by trade'.

Unfortunately, the trail ran cold on further digging. I was curious to see where Juby had studied, what papers he'd published, or even just messages he'd posted to robotics forums to help enthusiastic newbies out. All I could find was this one. It sounds pretty robotic-y, but you'd think he'd have been a little more active there, or, really anywhere.

Degreewise, I found that 'Ian received a college Diploma in Robotics Engineering from Canadore College, North Bay, Ontario, Canada, in 1989.'

Essentially, all I could find about Ian's career was this quote, from his own site:
The robot itself (remember, I'm a robotics engineer by trade; I know how much intelligence is involved in designing even a simple robot!) requires incredible and precise engineering, design, and intelligence.
Pretty much true, although my daughter and I have done OK with our Lego NXT kit (speaking of which, a kid at Falwell's Liberty University wrote a book about the NXT that's pretty good. Maybe one day he will be the big star of Creation Robotics).

I did considerable digging, and I couldn't really find anything to rank him higher in the robotics community than the cool guy who builds robots at hackerspace and in his basement. That guy will tell you that he is a pharmacist by trade, and it's true, but as a roboticist he is no slouch, not at all.

I may ping Ian and see if he can refer me to some info about his work in the field. Maybe he can do an interview with the people with the people at the Robots Podcast. I really don't want to give up on the idea of a rich and thriving robotics sub-branch of Creation Science, not yet anyway.

And Ian, if you're reading this, I just want to tell you it's OK if you're not a roboticist even though you studied it in school. I was a mathematician back in my school days. I loved math and really immersed myself in it, but today I'm the mathematical version of the guy who was a high school football star 20 years ago, but now gets winded going to the fridge to get a beer. I suppose I could call myself a mathematician, but I'd be lying to myself, and the world. I'd set myself up for all manner of ridicule and pity. Life took a different turn, and that's fine.

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