This thread inspired the following observations.
The bottom line is that none of Dawkins’ computer programs have any relevance to biological evolution, because of this in WEASEL1:
Target:Text=’METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL’;
and this in WEASEL2:
WRITELN(’Type target phrase in capital letters’);
which allows the user to enter the “target” phrase. No search is required, because the solution has been provided in advance. These programs are just hideously inefficient means of printing out what could have been printed out when the program launched. The information for the solution was explicitly supplied by the programmer. Once this is recognized, further conversation about the relevance of the programs to biological evolution is no more illuminating than conjecture about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
The bottom line is that the proposed Darwinian mechanism of random errors filtered by natural selection makes no sense on its face, as an explanation for the kinds of highly sophisticated information-processing engineering we see in living systems. It is a claim that an inherently entropic process can produce unlimited neg-entropic results, from the lowest to the highest levels (the cell to the piano concerti of Rachmaninoff). The magic wand of “deep time” (which is not very deep in terms of probabilistic resources) cannot be waved to make this transparent lunacy believable.
The Darwinian mechanism as an explanation for all of life is simply not credible. Most people have enough sense to recognize this, which is why the consensus “scientists” — with all their prestige, academic credentials, and incestuous self-congratulation — are having such a hard time convincing people that they have it all figured out, when they obviously don’t.