A good place to begin is with a famous evolution simulation by atheist evolutionist Richard Dawkins. It’s sufficiently famous that it has its own Wikipedia entry and nickname: “the weasel program.” The simulation gradually evolves a string of gibberish letters into a line from Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet: “Methinks it is like a weasel.”
Dawkins apparently was inspired to use a line of Shakespeare in the program by the oft-repeated notion that if a bunch of monkeys randomly banged away on typewriters, eventually one of them would reproduce a Shakespearian sonnet. Mathematicians have worked out just how long this would take, and as it turns out, the entire universe would burn out long before any of these industrious primates chanced upon a Shakespearian sonnet. Even getting a complete quatrain out of one of them, even with a typo or three allowed, would be far, far beyond the reach of chance over the course of millions of billions of years.
To Dawkins’s credit, he understands that the monkeys would fail. He explains that he uses his computer simulation not to argue for the power of brute chance, as in the typing-monkeys illustration, but for the power of chance-plus-Darwinian-natural-selection.
However, even as an illustration of chance-plus-natural-selection, Dawkins’s weasel program founders…
Some 30-plus years on, we’re still waiting. More sophisticated evolution simulations have been rolled out to much fanfare, but as computer scientist Winston Ewert, philosopher and mathematician William Dembski, and others have shown, Avida and similarly ballyhooed simulations all possess one or more of three deal-killing flaws:Jonathan Witt, “The Weasel Program: What Hath Darwin to Do with Shakespeare, Richard Dawkins?” at Salvo (58)
Wethinks it was just a gimmick that Dawkins knew would be highly popular even if it didn’t work. The Darwinians’ version of the perpetual motion machine.
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham