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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Dawkins' "Weasel" Program

Weasel as described by Richard Dawkins

Dawkins' description of the "weasel" program can be summarized briefly:

  1. Use a set of characters that includes the upper case alphabet and a space.
  2. Initialize a population of N 28-character strings by copying with mutation a parent string formed by random assignments of characters from our character set.
  3. Identify the string closest to the target string in the population.
  4. If a string matches the target, terminate.
  5. Base a new generation population of size n upon copies of the closest matching string or strings, where each position has a chance of randomly mutating, based upon a set mutation rate.
  6. Go to step 3.

Parameters from Dawkins' Description

Target string:


Mutation rate (% per letter): %

Other Parameters

Inter-generation interval: ms

Program Control

Generation: Actual Mut. Rate:

Best match:

Generations that step backward: Matched changes:

Exact copies: Total Candidates: