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No evidence that there is enough time for evolution

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No evidence that there is enough time for evolution[*]

Lee M Spetner

Redoxia Israel, Ltd. 27 Hakablan St., Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract: A recent attempt was made to resolve the heretofore unaddressed issue of the estimated time for evolution, concluding that there was plenty of time. This would have been a very significant result had it been correct. It turns out, however, that the assumptions made in formulating the model of evolution were faulty and the conclusion of that attempt is therefore unsubstantiated.

[This post will remain at the top of the page until 00 hours Tuesday May 31. For reader convenience, other coverage continues below. – UD News]

 

The standard neo-Darwinian theory accounts for evolution as the result of long sequences of random mutations each filtered by natural selection. The random nature of this basic mechanism makes evolutionary events random. The theory must therefore be tested by estimating the probabilities of those events. This probability calculation has, however, not yet been adequately addressed.

Wilf & Ewens [2010] (W&E) recently attempted to address this issue, but their attempt was unsuccessful. Their model of the evolutionary process omitted important features of evolution invalidating their conclusions. They considered a genome consisting of L loci (genes), and an evolutionary process in which each allele at these loci would eventually mutate so that the final genome would be of a more “superior” or “advanced” type. They let K-1 be the fraction of potential alleles at each gene locus that would contribute to the “superior” genome. They modeled the evolutionary process as a random guessing of the letters of a word. The word has L letters in an alphabet of K letters. In each round of guessing, each letter can be changed and could be converted to a “superior” letter with probability K-1.

At the outset they stated the two goals of their study, neither of which they achieved. Their first goal was to “to indicate why an evolutionary model often used to ‘discredit’ Darwin, leading to the ‘not enough time’ claim, is inappropriate.” Their second goal was “to find the mathematical properties of a more appropriate model.”  They described what they called the “inappropriate model” as follows:

“The paradigm used in the incorrect argument is often formalized as follows:  Suppose that we are trying to find a specific unknown word of L letters, each of the letters having been chosen from an alphabet of K letters. We want to find the word by means of a sequence of rounds of guessing letters.  A single round consists in guessing all of the letters of the word by choosing, for each letter, a randomly chosen letter from the alphabet.  If the correct word is not found, a new sequence is guessed, and the procedure is continued until the correct sequence is found.  Under this paradigm the mean number of rounds of guessing until the correct sequence is found is indeed KL.”

They gave no reference for such a model and, to my knowledge, no responsible person has ever proposed such a model for the evolutionary process to “discredit” Darwin. Such a model had indeed been suggested by many, not for the evolutionary process, but for abiogenesis (e.g., [Hoyle & Wickramasinghe 1981]) where it is indeed appropriate. Their first goal was not achieved.

They then described their own model, which they called “a more appropriate model.” On the basis of their model, they concluded that the mean time for evolution increases as K log L, in contrast to KL of the “inappropriate” model. They called the first model “serial” and said that their “more correct” model of evolution was “parallel”.  Their characterization of “serial” and “parallel” for the above two models is mistaken. Evolution is a serial process, not a parallel one, and their model of the first, or “inappropriate”, process is better characterized as “simultaneous” than “serial” because the choosing of the sequence (either nucleotides or amino acids) is simultaneous. What they called their “more appropriate” model is the following:

“After guessing each of the letters, we are told which (if any) of the guessed letters are correct, and then those letters are retained. The second round of guessing is applied only for the incorrect letters that remain after this first round, and so forth. This procedure mimics the ‘in parallel’ evolutionary process.”

W&E were mistaken in thinking the evolutionary process to be an in-parallel one — it is an in-series one. A rare adaptive mutation may occur in one locus of the genome of a gamete of some individual, will become manifest in the genome of a single individual of the next generation, and will be heritable to future generations. If this mutation grants the individual an advantage leading to it having more progeny than its nonmutated contemporaries, the new genome’s representation in the population will tend to increase exponentially and eventually it may take over the population.

Let p be the probability that in a particular generation, (1) an adaptive mutation will occur in some individual in the population, and (2) the mutated genome will eventually take over the population. If both these should happen, then we could say that one evolutionary step has occurred. The mean number of generations (waiting time) for the appearance of such a mutation and its subsequent population takeover is 1/p. (I am ignoring the generations needed for a successful adaptive mutation to take over the population. These generations must be added to the waiting time for a successful adaptive mutation to occur.)  After the successful adaptive mutation has taken over the population, the appearance of another adaptive mutation can start another step.

In L steps of this kind, L new alleles will be incorporated into the mean genome of the population. These steps occur in series and the mean waiting time for L such steps is just L times the waiting time for one of them, or L/p. Thus the number of generations needed to modify L alleles is linear in L and not logarithmic as concluded from the flawed analysis of W&E.

The flaws in the analysis of W&E lie in the faulty assumptions on which their model is based. The “word” that is the target of the guessing game is meant to play the role of the set of genes in the genome and the “letters” are meant to play the role of the genes. A round of guessing represents a generation. Guessing a correct letter represents the occurrence of a potentially adaptive mutation in a particular gene in some individual in the population. There are K letters in their alphabet, so that the probability of guessing the correct letter is K-1. They wrote that

1– (1 – 1/K)r

is the probability that the first letter of the word will be correctly guessed in no more than r rounds of guessing. It is also, of course, the probability that any other specific letter would be guessed. Then they wrote that

[1– (1 – 1/K)r]L

is the probability that all L letters will be guessed in no more than r rounds. The event whose probability is the first of the above two expressions is the occurrence in r rounds of at least one correct guess of a letter. This corresponds to the appearance of an adaptive mutation in some individual in the population. That of the second expression is the occurrence of L of them. From these probability expressions we see that according to W&E each round of guessing yields as many correct letters as are lucky enough to be guessed. The correct guesses in a round remain thereafter unchanged, and guessing proceeds in successive rounds only on the remaining letters.

Their model does not mimic natural selection at all. In one generation, according to the model, some number of potentially adaptive mutations may occur, each most likely in a different individual. W&E postulate that these mutations remain in the population and are not changed. Contrary to their intention, this event is not yet evolution, because the mutations have occurred only in single individuals and have not become characteristic of the population. Moreover, W&E have ignored the important fact that a single mutation, even if it has a large selection coefficient, has a high probability of disappearing through random effects [Fisher 1958]. They allow further mutations only in those loci that have not mutated into the “superior” form. It is not clear if they intended that mutations be forbidden in those mutated loci only in those individuals that have the mutation or in other individuals as well. They have ignored the fact that evolution does not occur until an adaptive mutation has taken over the population and thereby becomes a characteristic of the population. Their letter-guessing game is more a parody of the evolutionary process than a model of it. They have not achieved their second goal either.

Thus their conclusion that “there’s plenty of time for evolution” is unsubstantiated. The probability calculation to justify evolutionary theory remains unaddressed.

References

Fisher, R. A. (1958). The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, Oxford. Second revised edition, New York: Dover. [First published in 1929]

Hoyle, F. and N. C. Wickramasinghe, (1981). Evolution from Space, London: Dent.

Wilf, H. S. & Ewens, W. J.  (2010) There’s plenty of time for evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107 (52): 22454-22456.


[*] This paper is a critique of a paper that appeared recently in the Proceedings National Academy of Sciences USA and rightfully should have been published there. It was submitted there and was rejected without review and the reason given was that the Board did not find it “to be of sufficient interest for publication.” When I noted how unreasonable this reply was, the editor replied that the paper “makes some obvious and elementary points of no relevance to the paper, and in my opinion does not warrant publication.” The Board then refused to comment further on the matter. It was clear that the Board’s rejection was not on the merit of the substance of the paper but for some other, undisclosed reason.

Comments
According to Stephen Matheson, a developmental cell biologist at Calvin College, Dr Meyer made a basic error on page 66 of Signature in the Cell mistaking a virus for a bacteria. Is that true??
There are so many mentions of bacteria in the passage that one has to wonder how Matheson could even reasonably be confused about whether Meyer knows the difference. For more on Matheson's "review," including this particular incident, see Ch. 21: http://www.discoveryinstitutepress.com/signature-of-controversy/ Any thought as to why Matheson has yet to update his comments?Mung
June 4, 2011
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No comments about my attempt to differentiate between targets and tasks. Well, I don’t know if it’s right or not anyway. Just thought I’d try to see if I could build a bridge or two.
And it's appreciated. I've been trying to get MathGrrl to participate in a discussion about what constitutes a target.
GAs are separate from evolution simulations.
I agree with you. Confusion arises when someone uses a GA in order to simulate evolution, which is what happened with ev.Mung
June 4, 2011
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Mung: Sorry, that first line is subject to mis-interpretation. I meant I'm just guessing, you understand, but . . . NOT: I'm just guessing YOU understand but . . . Punctuation does matter. Sigh. Need more tea.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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Mung: I am just guessing you understand but . . . Directed in that you are trying to find a good solution to a problem? But not a particular solution. So no target. Of the options/choices that arise you pick the how-ever-many-warmest or highest? Isn't the idea that you get a generation of options and you are keeping the 'best' and chucking the 'worst'? You write code, take a look at the algorithms!! Don't ask me!! BA77: "In fact ellazimm, I think the computer sim argument is excellent for pointing out the inherent fallacy within ‘Evolutionary algorithm thinking’, of unbounded future computational power. In fact, materialism, upon which neo-Darwinism is built, always crumbles into absurdity when pushed to extremes, such as in the computer sim argument:" Good think I didn't make the computer sim argument then!! Are you sure you're arguing with me? I don't see how believing in common descent with modification implies some hideous Matrix-like future for humans. The laws I support and vote for are non-Darwinian so . . . Maybe I haven't paid enough attention. I think you're assuming I'm saying something I'm not so I have to admit my attention did wander.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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But alas ellazimm, you actually DO hold that all the amazing diversity of life we see around us to be generated by the neo-Darwinian process, thus I find it extremely suspect that you would, all of the sudden, find such reservation for your imagination when these same evolutionary processes are projected forward as to their impact on man. ,,, Barrow and Tippler, of anthropic principle fame, had no such limit of imagination grasping the full implications that neo-Darwinism presented to the future of man, as is clearly illustrated in this video at the 6:45 minute mark; The Anthropic Principle - Fine Tuning Of The Universe - Michael Strauss PhD. - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4323661/ In fact ellazimm, I think the computer sim argument is excellent for pointing out the inherent fallacy within 'Evolutionary algorithm thinking', of unbounded future computational power. In fact, materialism, upon which neo-Darwinism is built, always crumbles into absurdity when pushed to extremes, such as in the computer sim argument: Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/on-the-vastness-of-the-universe/#comment-362912 ============== Godel has another piece in that article; THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010 Excerpt: Gödel's personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein's seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, "the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point." This means that "a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel." In fact, "Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements." Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within. http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201008/2080027241.htmlbornagain77
June 2, 2011
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Mung: If an algorithm picks winners based on ‘who’ did something the best or got a higher ‘score’ then there isn’t a target per say.
So when Goldberg says that GA's are a directed search, what does that mean? Directed towards what? If you query some oracle and it returns "warmer" or "colder" (or "higher" or "lower" if you want to think in terms of a landscape), how does the oracle determine which of the two values to return?Mung
June 2, 2011
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Well folks it's late here in Ye Olde England so I'm off to bed. The God of the Mathematicians is pretty interesting, don't let the discussion of the transfinite numbers and different sizes of infinity put you off. No comments about my attempt to differentiate between targets and tasks. Well, I don't know if it's right or not anyway. Just thought I'd try to see if I could build a bridge or two. GAs are separate from evolution simulations. GAs seem to be quite good at helping to find pretty good solutions to intractable problems. Evolution simulations are getting more sophisticated but they have a long, long, long way to go yet. AND they only do what we tell them too based on our understanding and some assumptions. Modelling is when you simplify the real situation to get at part of it, you know you're missing some things, and that's where evo simulators are now. Anyway, later all.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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"correction,, future humanity becomes extinct so as to NOT run the simulation!!!" At least I wouldn't have to pay off the mortgage then.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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BA77: "ellazimm, since you believe that GAs, programmed by brilliant engineers, are fully capable of mimicking evolutionary processes, and even eventually reaching the point of ‘self-evolving’ to greater and greater heights of undreamt computational power, do you think it plausible that we are now living in some type of gigantic GA computer simulation that was programmed by some future humans???" I don't think they ever will be capable of mimicking all evolutionary processes. And no I don't think we're living in some giant GA computer simulation. There's no time lag. If I shoot a bullet at something there's not enough time for the software and the wiring to respond unless there's a severe time distortion . . . hmmmm . .. .. I still don't believe it. I also don't think evolutionary processes are unbounded in their information generating ability. "....GA’s are, in reality, extremely limited in their ability to optimize computers above what man has currently programmed them to achieve;" GAs are not optimising computers, where did that come from?? They are used to try and find better methods for processing some kind of tasks. They could be used to optimise some of the computers tasks though . .. hmmm .. . . in fact, I just read something about that . . . did it come up on one of the threads?? THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010 Interesting, I didn't know Cantor was partially motivated by theology. Fascinating.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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correction,, future humanity becomes extinct so as to NOT run the simulation!!!bornagain77
June 2, 2011
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ellazimm, since you believe that GAs, programmed by brilliant engineers, are fully capable of mimicking evolutionary processes, and even eventually reaching the point of 'self-evolving' to greater and greater heights of undreamt computational power, do you think it plausible that we are now living in some type of gigantic GA computer simulation that was programmed by some future humans??? ,,,for example ellazimm, this following philosophical argument closely parallels what we should expect to see if evolutionary processes were truly unbounded in their information generation capacity, as neo-Darwinists hold, in computational evolutionary algorithms,,,: ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION? BY NICK BOSTROM Department of Philosophy, Oxford University VII. CONCLUSION A technologically mature “posthuman” civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one. If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3). Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation. http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html Thus ellazimm, according to your reasoning of virtually unlimited computational power in the future, either we are currently living in a computer simulation, or future humanity becomes extinct so as to run the simulation!!!,,, or, an option that was not mentioned above philosophical argument, GA's are, in reality, extremely limited in their ability to optimize computers above what man has currently programmed them to achieve; My bet is on the latter,,, :) ======================== THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010 Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes. http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201008/2080027241.html ====================== Song by the world - Gimme Shelter - Inspirational Videos http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FJFM2FNUbornagain77
June 2, 2011
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Continuing to demand answers to loaded questions lacking sufficient context is not a substitute for presenting a reasoned argument.
STOP! The IRONY is killing me!Mung
June 2, 2011
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p.s. you'll see a lot of similarities to Perl in Ruby, but it's completely object-oriented.Mung
June 2, 2011
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For you to stand there and suggest I need to explain myself so that you'll know what you were objecting to is an embarrassment to reason. Simply admitting that you have no basis for claiming an equivocation on my part is the only dignified response to make. You are a materialist ideologue, hell with freeze over first.Upright BiPed
June 2, 2011
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Mung: If an algorithm picks winners based on 'who' did something the best or got a higher 'score' then there isn't a target per say. Let's say you were trying to figure out a way to run wiring around a Boeing plane and you were using a GA to try and modify different approaches. (I'm making this up obviously.) You keep the approaches that were the cheapest and throw out ones that are more expensive. There is a task: find a wiring scheme, but there is no target. The fitter routines are the ones that are more efficient in this example. MathGrrl is that a decent explanation? Probably not. Tell me when to shut up.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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Mung: Ruby. That’s another one I’ve heard about. Ruby on Rails.
RoR is a web application development framework written in Ruby, so your website friends have probably heard of it. Ruby and Python are more alike than either is to C or Java.
So basically you’re using predefined functions and procedures to do some of the processing. Which means semi-standard data structures, etc. I really should find the time. I had a play with ev the other day (Java Mac version) and thought: hmmmm . . . I’d like to see what’s going on under the hood . . .
The original version of ev was written in Pascal. There's also a C version available. The source code for all three versions can be downloaded from Tom Schneider's site. Let me know if you want the links. So when MathGrrl tells me to read the papers I tell her to read the source code, lol. I've looked under the hood at all three versions of the source code.Mung
June 2, 2011
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from the previous thread... - - - - - - - I have now asked you four times to substantiate your claim… How do you know when one thing is a code and another is not a code. You have repeatedly refused to substantiate this claim which you’ve already made. The reason for this is now painfully obvious; you can’t substantiate it, and you never could. What you can do however, is hope that I will start talking and give you something (anything) to attack in order to draw the glaring attention away from the fact that you’ve been called out to deliver (on a comment you’ve already made) and are unable to do so.Upright BiPed
June 2, 2011
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Mathgrrl, You explained your thought process? No you didn't, you lodged an objection without substantiating it. You said that I was equivocating, and so I asked you "How". Now you refuse to engage in an answer to that question.Upright BiPed
June 2, 2011
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MathGrrl @107:
David Goldberg’s Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning is one of the classics.
Quoting Goldberg:
This book is about genetic algorithms (GAs) - search procedures based on the mechanics of natural selection and natural genetics.
Now can someone tell me how to conduct a search with no target(s)? One must be searching for something. GA's search for potential solutions to a given problem. More from Goldberg:
Genetic algorithms are search algorithms based on the mechanics of natural selection and natural genetics. They combine survival of the fittest among string structures with a structured yet randomized information exchange to form a search algorithm with some of the innovative flair of human search. In every generation, a new set of artificial creatures (strings) is created using bits and pieces of the fittest of the old; an occasional new part is tried for good measure. While randomized, genetic algorithms are no simple random walk. They efficiently exploit historical information to speculate on new search points with expected improved performance. Genetic algorithms are theoretically and and empirically proven to provide robust search in complex spaces. Having been established as a valid approach to problems requiring efficient and effective search...
The genetic algorithm is an example of a search procedure that uses random choice as a tool to guide a highly exploitative search through a coding of a parameter space. Using random choice as a tool in a directed search process seems strange at first ... The important thing to recognize at this juncture is that randomized search does not necessarily imply directionless search.
Thus optimization seeks to improve performance toward some optimal point or points. Note that this definition has two parts: (1) we seek improvement to approach some (2) optimal point.
Yup. It's a good book. But it puts the lie to MathGrrl's claims about ev. Will she now abandon her claim that ev is a GA?Mung
June 2, 2011
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BA77: I don't know exactly what Dr Berlinski what thinking or addressing but no one thinks their evolution program is modelling all of the evolutionary process. We don't even understand it all yet so we can't model it. But some people are honestly trying to model some aspects of some evolutionary processes. They don't prove evolution happens/happened, but they do show, hopefully, that some aspects seem to fit in the proposed timeline or lead to some expected results. As far as I know, for the serious, published research the source code is available for anyone to look at. It's hard to lie when the program is in the public domain.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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Mung: Ruby. That's another one I've heard about. Ruby on Rails. Thanks for the links!!ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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MathGrrl: Yeah, some of my website buddies like Python. I've used a bit of Perl and PerlScript and thought: hey, this is all looking like C and I ASSUMED that Python was like that too so I didn't give it a try. Perhaps I shall . .. So basically you're using predefined functions and procedures to do some of the processing. Which means semi-standard data structures, etc. I really should find the time. I had a play with ev the other day (Java Mac version) and thought: hmmmm . . . I'd like to see what's going on under the hood . . . Anyway, thanks for the tips. Have fun with the thread!ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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ellazimm:
I’ve got a question: Can you tell me a good online resource that I can access that explains GA programming?
Clever Algorithms: Nature-Inspired Programming Recipes http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/tesfatsi/holland.gaintro.htm http://lancet.mit.edu/~mbwall/presentations/IntroToGAs/ http://www.rennard.org/alife/english/gavintrgb.html Learn Ruby, then we can talk code to each other, lol.Mung
June 2, 2011
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MathGrrl, I know your an expert on these matters, so have these wonderful GA's developed by brilliant engineers, had there primary coding opened up to the random variation and natural selection process yet??? If they have opened up the operating system as such, I really want to call Berlinski for saying this outright lie; "Computer simulations of Darwinian evolution fail when they are honest and succeed only when they are not." David Berlinski ,,,Even doubting the sufficiency of Darwin to program computers in front of the nation in EXPELLED,,, Accounting for Variations - Dr. David Berlinski: - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE You can see my concern MathGrrl, and once we stop that Berlinski character, we have some more work to do, Refutation of Evolutionary Algorithms https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1h33EC4yg29Ve59XYJN_nJoipZLKIgupT6lBtsaVQsUs ,,,but with your persistence MathGrrl, in spreading the GA gospel, I am sure we can expose these frauds for who they are. I mean really MathGrrl who do these guys think they are for questioning the almighty power of evolution???bornagain77
June 2, 2011
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ellazim, I know there are a number of GA libraries in C and C++, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a couple in Ada. Pascal I'm not so sure about. I find dynamic languages like Python to be easier to use for the kind of exploratory coding that I usually do with GAs. Python is quite easy to pick up, especially compared to C.MathGrrl
June 2, 2011
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...in living things, the probability of even a rare advantageous mutation propagating through the population has a strong positive bias (by definition).
Even if we grant the case, this does not mean that the mutation will be fixed. In fact, by far the vast majority of even beneficial mutations are lost(according to current pop gen theory).Mung
June 2, 2011
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Upright BiPed,
You’ve been forced to back off your claim because someone had the unmitigated temerity to call you on it.
That's an . . . interesting interpretation of the situation. Not one I suspect an objective observer might endorse, though. As you yourself note, I explained my thought process in that previous thread:
Your argument hinges on mistaking your map for the territory. You loosely model biochemical structures and reactions using the language of semiotics, then equivocate to conclude that a semiotic agent is required. Basically, as I said before, you’re trying to define your terms such that an intelligent agent is required.
I then made it very, very clear that my conclusion was based on previous experience with such arguments and that you had failed to provide enough information about your particular version for me to answer further questions. If you disagree with what I wrote, please make your argument and explain why my interpretation is incorrect. If my supposition is incorrect, I will happily retract it. Continuing to demand answers to loaded questions lacking sufficient context is not a substitute for presenting a reasoned argument.MathGrrl
June 2, 2011
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According to Stephen Matheson, a developmental cell biologist at Calvin College, Dr Meyer made a basic error on page 66 of Signature in the Cell mistaking a virus for a bacteria. Is that true??
I think it's perhaps both true and not true. IOW, I think it may say virus or bacteria when the other term is meant, but if you actually look at the context it's clear what is being discussed. It was more a typo missed in editing than a mistake on Meyer's part as if he doesn't know the difference.Mung
June 2, 2011
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Mathgrrl, You've been forced to back off your claim because someone had the unmitigated temerity to call you on it. This crap that you need me to explain myself so that you'll know what you were talking about is patently ridiculous, so much so that words fail to describe it. On top of that - its demonstrably deceptive. Case in point:
BiPed: You made the claim that my challenge to you was “not valid”, but just as before, you failed to actually engage the argument in order to substantiate your claim. Mathgrrl" That is not true. Your argument hinges on mistaking your map for the territory. You loosely model biochemical structures and reactions using the language of semiotics, then equivocate to conclude that a semiotic agent is required. Basically, as I said before, you’re trying to define your terms such that an intelligent agent is required.
Your comment is not a demonstration of you fumbling around for what you think I might mean. You were coherent and deliberate. Now cut the rhetorical gamesmanship, and substantiate the distinction where one relationship is a code, while another only acts as a code.Upright BiPed
June 2, 2011
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MathGrrl: Thanks! I'm looking to understand the underlying logic, the language is no big deal. I get the basic idea of the data structures . . . I think. And the kind of processing . .. I think. I'd just like to see how it's really done. I suppose if I had a choice I'd go with Pascal or Ada or some such structured programming language. I can do C . . . if I must. Ugly stuff. I used to submit FORTRAN programs, typed on punch cards in batch mode so I really shouldn't complain.ellazimm
June 2, 2011
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