Since a number of Sci.Skeptic readers seem to be into GAs, this seems like a good cue to m

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Organization: Knowledge Systems Lab, Stanford University From: rice@sumex-aim.Stanford.EDU (James Rice) Since a number of Sci.Skeptic readers seem to be into GAs, this seems like a good cue to mention a great new book on this subject: Genetic Programming: On the Programming of Computers by Means of Natural Selection. by John R. Koza, MIT Press 1992. This is actually being shipped by MIT press as of today. I admit to having had something to do with its production, so I am biased, but I am told that apart from this being a pretty important book in its field, it also contains about the best explanation of Holland's Slot Machine and the Schema theorems, which are the basic mathematical underpinnings which demonstrate why evolutionary genetics actually works (and is actually near optimal in some senses). I seem to recall a post from some dipshit only a couple of days ago saying "~evolution doesn't work." Well, aside from the obvious and well documented paleontological evidence and bacterial examples from the real world, it turns out that there's a whole bunch of theory and practice from the computer science area that rather elegantly demonstrates evolution. Maybe we need a bit more cross fertilisation between comp. sci. and biology. For those interested in the original theoretical work, this is all covered in: Adaptation in Nature and Natural and Artificial Systems by John Holland. Univ of Mich Press 1975 {and I believe a second edition 1992 from MIT press} However, I gather that most people find Holland's text pretty well unintelligible. I've never had the strength to read it, having been warned off it. I'm content to believe that his maths it better than mine. For those who would just like to get a quick and easy idea of what Genetic Programming can do, I highly recommend (Plug alert) the following movie: Genetic Programming: The Movie By John R. Koza and James P. Rice, MIT Press 1992. It's an hour long, snappy, intense and has good production values (no, I don't get a royalty). Rice.

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