Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: March 5, 2023, 7:11 a.m. Humanist 36.420 - Nishimura, Busa and ?

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 420.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2023-03-03 09:05:06+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: Nishimura, Busa and ?

In 1928, in a special edition of the Japanese magazine, Sunday Mainichi,
celebrating the exhibition of the giant robot Gakutensoku, its
creator, biologist and journalist biologist Makoto Nishimura, wrote
that, "“If one considers humans as the children of nature, artificial
humans created by the hand of man are thus nature's grandchildren."
(Horniak, Loving the Machine: The art and science of Japanese robots.
Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2006, p. 38)

Many here will be familiar with Fr Roberto Busa's charming quotation
along these lines with which he concluded his Busa Award Lecture in
1998: "God is the father of man; man is the father of the computer; ergo
computers are the grandchildren of God." (Literary and Linguistic
Computing 14.1, 1999, p. 9)

Are there others like this? It is an obvious enough analogy.


Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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