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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Blind Wordmaker

The Blind Wordmaker: An Evolutionary Game

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Sometimes you find something while looking for something else. A few weeks ago I was looking at Wesley Elsberry's version of Dawkins' Weasel and began wondering if it is possible to make a game out of an evolutionary search. I played with the options on the weasel page and tried searching for words instead of full sentences. I discovered that individual words could be found in a reasonable number of generations.

So I began the quest for an evolutionary game. As a game it needed to be fun to play. As a demonstration of cumulative selection it needed to be faithful to the core of Dawkins' algorithm. The variation generator must be blind to the past and future. Every generation must be derived from a parent without regard to goals and without memory of past generations.

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