From: Dale Heatherington
To: Bill Wolff Oct-26-93 14:05:04
Subject: Creationist Follies
KB>BW>wish things like this could happen. Unfortunately, it is nothing
KB>BW>more then some more tall tales being told. Let's say I have a
KB>BW>million computers. These computers will create random code and then
KB>BW>attempt to run from the code that was generated. Well I am sorry to
KB>BW>say, they would soon simply lockup and do nothing. Yet this is what
KB>BW>your asking me to believe. I can't believe the masses are so dumb.
KB>BW>Or I can't believe I am this smart! Have a good day Martin.
I missed your original post so I don't know your full argument
about random computer programs. At the risk of being way off
base I'll let you in on some interesting research in that area.
It's called Genetic Programming. It's a method of creating computer
programs to solve problems which the programmer doesn't know
how to solve. It works just like evolution. A large number of
random computer programs are produced and become the "initial population".
This population consist of several hundred to several thousand
individuals (not millions). Each program is then "run" and ranked
according the it's ability to solve the problem.
The worst 65% or so are destroyed. The best are sexually combined to
produce computer programs which contain the traits of their parents.
Some are given random mutations. The new population (parents and kids and
mutants) are "run" and their relative ability to solve the problem
evaluated. The best are kept and mated. The worst are destroyed. This
process is repeated many times with 10 to 100 generations being typical.
Eventually a program emerges which is quite good at solving the problem.
THIS ACTUALLY WORKS!!!! A program is evolved which will back up
a tractor-trailer rig to a loading dock! All programs are written
(or evolved) in common Lisp.
For more info see Genetic Programming by John R. Koza
ISBN 0-262-11170-5 The MIT press. A video tape demonstrating
the technique is also available for $34.95
The MIT press: phone 1-800-356-0343
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* Origin: Astronomical Society of the Atlantic BBS (1:133/208)