Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Attempt to Simulate Evolution on Computers Fails and is Shut Down

The Golem project was an attempt to simulate evolution of computer generated "life forms". When I first heard about it, I thought to myself that is was going to be a rigged experiment whose results would be used for propaganda purposes. That is, I thought they would write the code so that the "life forms" would continue to "evolve", and then use the results to imply that the same thing happened in nature by chance.

It now appears that either they played it straight, allowing the program to only use mechanisms that were comparable in power to their real life counterparts of mutation and selection, or that even if they tried to rig the game, they were not able to pull it off. After months or even years of adding more processing power they have announced, "After accumulating several Million CPU hours on this project and reviewing many evolved creatures we have concluded that merely more CPU is not sufficient to evolve complexity: The evolutionary process appears to be hitting a complexity barrier that is not traversable using direct mutation-selection processes, due to the exponential nature of the problem. We are now developing new theories about additional mechanisms that are necessary for the synthetic evolution of complex life forms."

Just like real life "evolution", they found that only a limited number of combinations kept appearing and reappearing. There were limits to how far evolution could go. Still, they are stuck asking the wrong questions. All they can do is re-write the code to give evolution more power than it has in real observable life. If they keep going, all they will prove is that if you are INTELLIGENT enough, you can DESIGN an algorythm that can develop complexity. That experiment would prove intelligent design, not naturalistic evolution, but don't look for anyone to admit that.

Naturalism is a philosophy that nothing exists outside of space, time, matter and energy. That the natural universe is all there is. The idea can't be proven by science, but it has hijacked science. Naturalism is holding back scientific progress because it won't allow us to ask the right questions. Instead of asking "what evolutionary mechanisms did we miss", they should be asking, "what does this experiment teach about the limits of evolutionary possiblity." They don't dare ask that though, because they are not allowed to ask questions outside a naturalistic framework. Evolution HAD to be responsible for all biologic diversity, because the only other possibility is Intelligent Design by a Creator, and they have refused in advanced to consider that answer. So no matter what the computer results of their own study shows, they trudge on.

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