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Rainy Saturday morning?: Try out this new game …

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Malcolm Chisholm tells me that he has worked the bugs out of a new game called the Richard Dawkins Mutation Challenge.

I’m not much good with games, so I am hoping others will try it and tell me what they think. It is especially timely in light of this.

Folks, May I make a little comment on this game to balance the thoughts ? Here is the (main) "gotcha" Mr Chisholm is putting into his "game" -- at each new generation of the game, the *one* "genome" consisting of two codons gives rise to *one* new "offspring" genome, with a rare but possible mutation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there aren't a lot of populations in the real world that have a population size of ONE individual in the whole world, total, generation after generation for millions of years... So Given that scenario, it's true that evolutionary change will be PAINFULLY SLOW. But this does not look like an accurate model of what happens in the real world. In the real world, populations typically consist of millions, billions, trillions, even quadrillions of individuals. There are a VAST number of any particular kind of bacteria around. In a REAL WORLD scenario, any particular point mutation (even any particular *pair* of point mutations) happen on a very regular basis, *somewhere* in the population consisting of a vast number of individual organisms, each giving rise to multiple offspring, each of which is a new chance for a new mutation to achieve a particular basepair combination. Given the mutation rates used in this "game", it won't take "5,952,380 generations" for each new point mutation to occur (as the game asserts near the top when you take the first step), in the *real* world it will occur almost inevitably in *EVERY* single generation in any population of over a few million organisms.I really need to remind you how many, for example, herring there are in the oceans? Hint: It's a lot more than "one". SeekAndFind
*** GAME OVER *** You lose! Professor Dawkins has evolved METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL Number of Mutations So Far = 85 Generations = 505,952,380 Years Elapsed = 505,952,380.95 You started this simulation in the Cambrian Professor Dawkins says: PERFECT! I hope you are now convinced of the power of evolution Current = METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL Destination = METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL Start = XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX tribune7
There's nothing to do but push one button over and over and I have no idea what all the charts are for. There should be some sound effects or something to make the game more interesting, or maybe you should just press the mutation button once and it runs the whole simulation and tells you the outcome right away. Or instead of having captions appear under the pictures there should be impersonated voices. UrbanMysticDee
I like this one: Indeed so Carl! As I pointed out in my first edition of the Selfish Gene, human beings must have billions of genes! tribune7
I lost. I damaged my God gene, and now all my offspring are to be atheist. Dawkins was quite charming however. Charles Darwin, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan made an appearance to cheer on Dawkins. Apollos
I played and lost. Boy was RD mad! Called me names and stuff. Said I was stupid. I thought things would work out OK since I kept getting ID cards to get me out of fatal mutations. No luck tho'. Still, it was fun. Jack Golightly
It is absolutely brilliant! I love the commentary, although I don't think I will have the patience to find out what Dawkins says when he wins. tribune7
In my experience with games, they require intelligence. Apparently this one does not, which means pointless and boring. Although the color commentary is quite amusing. tragicmishap

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