Last evening I posted the following, and within a short period of time the Darwinbots descended upon it, challenging my expertise in two highly sophisticated areas of computational science, AI and FEA, fields in which I have the goods to demonstrate that I know what I am talking about. One commenter even asserted that the physics involved in an LS-DYNA simulation cannot be represented with mathematical precision. Yes they can. And it works.
At this point I decided that I have nothing further to offer. If some people cannot recognize that the information-processing systems encoded in biological systems defy naturalistic explanation and suggest a design inference, I cannot help them, and they are free to continue to pursue a phantom.
Farewell, and best wishes to all.
A number of years ago I developed an interest in AI (artificial intelligence) games-playing programming, and pursued a research project in that arena with so much success that I eventually lost interest, because there were no remaining human opponents to challenge. You can read about the project at my website. Real-world experience demonstrated the success of the project.
I now earn my living as a software engineer in aerospace R&D with a specialty in computer simulations, and as a result have pursued another interest: transient, dynamic, nonlinear, finite-element analysis (FEA) using a simulation program called LS-DYNA, originally developed in the 1970s at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to simulate underground nuclear tests.
My company sent me away to LS-DYNA school after I volunteered, but I was warned that it would be really, really difficult, and that I had better bone up on the relevant math and engineering concepts. I took this advice to heart, and spent at least 200 hours preparing for the five-day course. Even with vast experience in software engineering and this preparation, it took everything I had to keep up with the instruction. The LS-DYNA course was a huge eye-opener concerning computer simulations and reality.
On the first day of the course our instructor, Dr. John D. Reid, who was absolutely fantastic, commented that it is really easy to make “cartoons” with LS-DYNA. (Dyna not only produces vast quantities of data, but generates AVI animations of the simulation.) By that he meant that without a thorough understanding, it is easy to make a Dyna simulation produce whatever results you like, that might look cool, but have no correlation with reality.
LS-DYNA has been under development for more than 30 years by the most brilliant scientists in the field, and its simulations have been compared repeatedly against real-world results. Material physical properties are well known, tested, and quantified (Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, mass density, area moment of inertia, etc.), and the physics involved can be simulated and represented with absolute mathematical precision.
Yet with all of this, the results of a simulation must be scrutinized and evaluated against reality, because a single erroneous assumption or programming error can render the simulation completely invalid.
Which brings me to the point of this essay: The notion that any computer simulation of biological evolution has anything to do with reality is a complete fantasy. And the notion that any computer simulation of the earth’s climate into the distant future can be relied upon is an equivalent fantasy.
These computer simulations are cartoons.