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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.

Criticism of Dembski's "Explanatory Filter": Vindicated

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I’ve been saying that there were problems in William Dembski’s “explanatory filter” for a long, long time. Dembski has finally admitted that was the case.

At the February 1997 NTSE conference, when I brought up the “traveling salesman problem” solved by genetic algorithm as an example that countered Dembski’s EF, he responded that his logic was sound and his premises were true, therefore his conclusion followed. Dembski in that instant dismissed empirical data as having any bearing on his work. It only took the better part of twelve years for Dembski to repudiate the soundness of his logic presented then.

Typing Monkeys: History of an Idea

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by Wesley R. Elsberry

1999/11/01

It is difficult to find the originators of certain concepts which
pass quickly into general use. The analogy of monkeys typing
at random on typewriters and eventually reproducing copies of
literary works is one such concept.

In tracking down who might have originated the concept, we will
find people who definitely use or reference it, as well as variants
of how it is expressed. We will also explore limitations upon
who might have originated the concept or when the concept might
reasonably have been first told to a general audience.

Florida: Open Letter on Learning from History

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The "academic freedom" and "critical analysis" bills currently being considered by the Florida legislature are old stratagems borrowed from antievolution efforts in other states. Ronda Storms and Alan Hays have been asked whether "intelligent design" could be taught in science classrooms. Storms and Hays steadfastly refuse to answer the question posed. You have to look at what has been done in the name of narrow religious antievolution and not what is said.

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