Every year, Access Research Network publishes a list of the 10 most significant science news stories for the year, for the intelligent design community – in consultation with theorists and writers. For 2011, here’s #4:
Many computer simulations that purport to simulate Darwinian evolution have deficiencies: Pro-ID scientists like William Dembski or Robert Marks have shown how programs smuggle in information such that they are pre-directed to evolve their targets. Doug Axe’s work demonstrates that such programs typically evolve solutions to artificial, rather than real-world problems. A new peer-reviewed paper in BIO-Complexity by Axe, Philip Lu, and Stephanie Flatau explains that the “functions” of the digital organisms in these simulations are often divorced from real-world meaning. According to Axe they designed Stylus to present a more accurate picture of what evolution might be able to accomplish in the real world: “The motivation for Stylus was the recognition that prior models used to study evolutionary innovation did not adequately represent the complex causal connection between genotypes and phenotypes.”
Basic to life is an information conversion, where the information carried in genes (the genotype) is converted into an organism’s observable traits (the phenotype). Those biological structures then perform various functions.
Stylus uses Chinese characters as digital objects as explained in the paper: “These translation products, called vector proteins, are functionless unless they form legible Chinese characters, in which case they serve the real function of writing. This coupling of artificial genetic causation to the real world of language makes evolutionary experimentation possible in a context where innovation can have a richness of variety and a depth of causal complexity that at least hints at what is needed to explain the complexity of bacterial proteomes.” There probably will never be a perfect computer simulation of biological evolution, but the free Stylus software brings new and improved methods to the field of evolutionary modeling. This tool will help those interested in testing the viability of Darwinian claims to assess whether complex features can be created by random mutations at the molecular level.
#1 of 2011 for ID community: 50th Peer-Reviewed Pro-ID Scientific Paper Published.
#2 of 2011 for ID community: The Design of the Butterfly Continues to Inspire and Amaze.
#3 of 2011 for ID community: Woodpecker Drumming Inspires Shock-Absorbing System.
#5 of 2011 for ID community: Explosive Radiation of Flowering Plants Confirmed
#6 of 2011 for ID community: Golden Orb-Weaver Fossil Spider Provides New Evidence for Stasis.
#7 of 2011 for ID community: Complexity in the Universe Appears Earlier Than Thought.
#8 of 2011 for ID community: An Identity Crisis for Human Ancestors.
#9 of 2011 for ID community: DNA Repair Mechanisms Reveal a Contradiction in Evolutionary Theory.
#10 of 2011 for ID community: Limits to self-organization of life identified
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