Skip to comments.Using “Evolutionary Algorithms” by Intelligent Design
Posted on 05/08/2009 4:25:57 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
Using Evolutionary Algorithms by Intelligent Design
May 8, 2009 Evolution cant be all bad if scientists can use it to optimize your car. Science Daily said that scientists in Germany are simulating evolution to come up with ways to optimize difficult problems. Using Evolutionary Algorithms, they can discover solutions for engineering problems like water resource management and the design of brakes, airbags and air conditioning systems in automobiles. The simulated evolution program searches through a large number of random possibilities to make numerous successive slight improvements.
The algorithms are called evolutionary because the characteristics of evolution mutation, recombination and selection form the basis of their search for promising solutions, the article claimed. Solutions that show promise are mutated and further selected.
Conferences on Evolutionary Algorithms are held each year and the interest in them is spreading into other disciplines. The Evolutionary Algorithms are therefore a collective term for the various branches of research which have gradually developed: evolution strategies, evolutionary programming, genetic algorithms and genetic programming.
Every once in awhile we need to give a refresher course about these reports, to show why the terminology is ludicrous. This has nothing to do with evolution and everything to do with intelligent design. Calling these
evolutionary algorithms is like calling Eugenie Scott a creationist. Evolutionary Algorithm is an oxymoron if it is evolutionary, it is not an algorithm, and if it is an algorithm, it is not evolutionary. Why? Because the essence of evolution, as Charles Darwin conceived it, has nothing to do with intelligent selection. Evolution is mindless, purposeless, and without a goal. These scientists, by contrast, have clear goals in mind. They are consciously and purposefully selecting the products of randomness to get better designs intelligent designs. They may not know what the computer program will produce, but they sure well programmed the computer, and put in the criteria for success. Employing randomness in a program does nothing to make it evolutionary. The hallmark of intelligence is having a desired end and pulling it out of the soup of randomness. This is something evolution cannot do unless one is a pantheist or animist, attributing the properties of a Universal Soul to nature. Undoubtedly, the NCSE would decry that. They can barely tolerate theistic evolutionists the well-meaning but misguided Christians who try to put God in the role of the engineer who uses evolutionary algorithms for his purposes (e.g., man).
Remember if it has purpose in it, it is not evolution. We must avoid equivocation. To discuss evolution with clarity it is essential to understand the terms and not mix metaphors. Charlie lept from artificial selection (intelligent design) to natural selection (materialism) only as a pedagogical aid. He did not intend for natural selection to have a mind like the goal-directed farmer or breeder uses. To think evolution, think mindless. Notice that itself is a one-way algorithm. You can think mindless, but the mindless cannot think.
For a definitive, in-depth treatment on why evolutionary algorithms cannot be mixed with evolution, see the book No Free Lunch in the Resource of the Week entry above.
Evolutionary theory and auto mechanics? Makes sense according to Scott:
“Evolution applies to astronomy, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, biology, geology — you name the field, and evolution will relate to it, like as not.”
So forget that Audel’s manual, Just use a copy of “Origin of the Oil Pan” and “Dynamometer-saurs for Dummies”.
As someone who has used genetic algorithms (GA) and simulated annealing (SA) to solve complex infinite-answer problems I can tell you whoever wrote that little blurb doesn’t have a clue about how they work.
GAs use generations to create a wide range of solutions. You start with disorder - random seeding of the possible answers within a problem. Then you grade the answers, cull the answers (weakest tend to die - but not always, and the strongest tend to survive - but not always). Then you let the survivors “breed” by creating offspring answers with traits of both parents AND potential mutations (harmful or helpful) added in.
Repeat as necessary, until you get a solution set that you accept with your own pre-conceived idea of “success”. There isn’t an “end” to the algorithm, it will keep happily spinning away, creating an infinite set of answers that all are viable in their own way.
GAs and SAs are highly useful in situations where there isn’t a “best answer”. Where you can have dozens - or sometimes, infinite - answers that will work for your situation. And where the problem space has dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of variables (the genes). GAs and SAs are ways to identify very good answers for extremely complex problem spaces in a very short amount of time.
Typically you’ll see an N^2 reduction in processing and search time over a standard brute-force solution approach. Suddenly problems that were too computationally complex to ever answer can be addressed.
The fact that there is a pre-determined “stop executing” point is not a function of the evolutionary nature of a GA; it is simply a recognition that there’s not need to continue looking for answers after you have one...
And the fact there is a “stop executing” point does not mean your answer is pre-ordained. I’ve run GAs on the same problem set, with the same initial seeding, and come up with different - but still very viable and useful - results.
Sounds like trial and error intelligent human design to me.
How about a little intellectual honesty?
How about the evos saying “yeah, maybe there is a Creator after all”?
Creationists are very up front about the fact that evolution contradicts the Bible and it contradicts science. Now if only your Temple of Darwin co-religionists would be equally honest about biblical creation being incompatible with their materialist religion!
Genetic algorithms are irrelevant to evolution
David Abel, The Gene Emergence Project, The Origin of Life Science Foundation
I can't speak for others, but I assure you that to me, at least, the Theory of Evolution is not a religion or even a philosophy. To me, it is simply what it's title says it is: a scientific theory. It has the same moral imperative as does the Pythagorean Theorem or the Electro-weak Theory: none at all. It is simply a way of explaining a feature of the observable world, i.e. speciation.
I would be excited if some other way where discovered to explain the origin of species, because that would be very interesting, but an alternative to natural selection hasn't been found in 150 years, and probably never will be found.
Remember, in Galileo's day, people had the same attitude to his work as you do to evolution.
No intelligent design at all needed for a proper GA. In fact, all you do is define the problem space! What would be a natural limit for viability/survival of an organism. Just like humans really don’t survive well at the top of Everest, we could say a solution really won’t survive well if its parameters are way out of whack.
It’s a subtle distinction that is hard to grasp until you really use and work with GAs for quite a while.
Oh, and the fact that GAs work SO WELL kind of reinforces the concept of evolution (note that neither GAs nor evolution claim there can’t be a creation event; that is a straw man that you have always thrown up and never refuse to admit is wrong). Just as God kicked everything off, the writer of the GA kicks everything off. The fact the results turn out as they do points to the success of evolution as a process.
Anyway, my faith in my God - the God of Issac, Abraham, and Jacob, who became flesh in the form of Jesus Christ - so shallow that science - the learning of the creation and nature of God - doesn’t shake it. Rather, it reinforces just how elegant the laws of nature and the resulting creation is!
So let's cut right to the chase. Do you believe a Christian can accept the theory of evolution? A simple yes or no is all that's needed.
Evolution is nothing more than a materialist belief system imposed on the unobservable, unrepeatable past. The fact that you don’t see this speaks volumes about how successful our Temple of Darwin reeducation centers were at brainwashing you into believing that darwood’s fanciful creation myth in any way resembles hard science.
Yes. They would be wrong. They would be used to by the Temple of Darwin to push their materialist religion (”see, even the Christians are going along with the program!”). And it’s just plain bad theology. But again, I still maintain it is possible to be a Christian and believe in evolution.
Did you happen to catch this link? Ever heard of this guy?
Science is by definition materialist, since it doesn't deal with spiritual mumbo-jumbo. As for the past being unobservable, I would suggest you go on a fossil dig some time, but maybe you would just think fossils are God's way of testing your faith, as they believed in the middle ages.
I would hazard to guess that you don't live in a cave or a monastery, so your dedication to spirituality over materialism is honored more in the breach than the observance.
OK, so you believe evolution is actually a materialist religion, but you can still be a Christian and believe in evolution.
Meaning you believe that any Christian who believes in evolution must be a misguided brother and should be corrected. Either that or you support polytheism but I assume that is not correct.
OK, so how about correcting as Paul did? How did Paul correct the early Christians? Not by ridicule and derision and name-calling as you do. How about you show a little Christian brotherliness yourself in how you address the issue?
So, give me the Biblically-based reason why evolution cannot be. You are limited to the Scriptures only as that is the Pauline approach that worked rather well in the early Church. Go back to what works, rather than being an attacker, similar to the forgiven debtor that Jesus spoke negatively about in His parable.
Oh, and I’ve never heard of David Abel, and his reasoning is pretty far-off. GAs rely upon the same mechanism as the theory of genetic evolution and genetic drift; in fact, that is where the concept of GAs came from, computer scientists working with biologists to solve rather tricky problems...
==OK, so how about correcting as Paul did? How did Paul correct the early Christians?
Paul could be tender and forgiving, and Paul could be stern and uncompromising, depending on the situation:
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them”. (Acts 20:28-30).
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8).
==So, give me the Biblically-based reason why evolution cannot be.
Jesus Christ said we were made both male and female at the beginning of creation. The Bible says death did not enter the world until Adam and Eve sinned. If death was always a part of life, then there would be no reason for Jesus to die on the Cross. Not to mention the fact that God tells us in Genesis that he made the world in six days. Everything in the creation account in Genesis flies in the face of evolution.
OK, where in Genesis does it say 6 consecutive days? It is implied, but it is not stated as fact. Are we to accept implications from the Bible?
Genesis also does not list anyone else other than Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. Yet Cain marries! Clearly there are other people existing and created outside those listed in the Bible, right? Does that not point to the fact that the Bible does NOT list everything possible?
How about this question? Can a person accept evolution without rejecting Christ? A simple yes or no is enough.