Monday, April 14, 2008

More evolution

At this blog they will not publish a comment I made. While I respect their right to exclude me, I will at least hear myself out.

“…Evolution is a theory that has paractical(sic) application in medicine, agriculture, research, economics, conputer(sic) science, many other fields…”

I would challenge you to give one practical example. One kind to another kind.

I also understand that we must not let ourselves get tied up in a word debate. The word ‘evolution’ can have several meanings. I am not attacking ‘evolution’ if it involves minor changes within a bound set of constructs (accurately known as Natural Selection). What we claim is that there is no evidence of one kind of animal producing another kind of animal. This claim is valid: no evidence has surfaced.

As a ‘conputer’ scientist, I can tell you something about the practicalities of ‘Evolution’: there are none[Errata 2]. Minor changes in genes NEVER result in an artificially intelligent construct to be more complex than the parent. Even computer “evolutionary” algorithms don’t (and can’t) work like that.

The process of Natural selection used in computer science is often mistakenly called evolution. NS does not lead to the formation of new kinds. Check it out here.

“We do not have a predefined expectation of what the answer should be and we do not ignore or twist the evidence to fit the model.”

You know what amuses me the most? The fact that we are all humans deep down. Probably the most common feature which permeates to our core is the dogmatic assumption that we are right in ourselves. Christianity says no to that.

Everyone makes assumptions. You think you are so smart? Where were you when it all began? Who are you to tell the universe how it came into being? If you think I should turn these questions on myself, you can rest assured I do. Every single day.

Dr Smarty Pants Dawkins is obligated in his worldview to assume that no God exists. We all work with the same evidence, it is our perspectives that warp our conclusions on that evidence. Since Dawkins believes there is no God, then his interpretation cannot, because he has a foundational ‘truth’ to uphold, veer away from that belief. He is not as ‘open-minded’ as you think.

I’m not saying we should sit back and say “well God did it, it doesn’t matter how.” That is blatant ignorance. Since we are capable of discovery, we should do all we can to figure out how this world works.

We all have beliefs, to ignore that truth is to be blind and ignorant. To claim that “us scientists” are so much smarter because “we are beyond all that God stuff” is foolishness. The God you worship is found in where you determine truth.

I have been researching my creationism and evolutionism to this point and feel a little bit more eager to dive into the waters. One thing though - I'm not searching out evolutionists in order to argue with them, like I used to. I am an evangelist first. So while I am convinced in my beliefs, I will not search out debates on purpose. But I am open to debate.

Here is a great quote by Sir Isaac Newton, who is rapidly becoming my favourite historical figure:

"Did blind chance know that there was light and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These and other suchlike considerations, always have, and always will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, who has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared." - Sir Isaac Newton


Mike the Tike said...

Hey man

Funny, I was actually thinking about this the other day.

I have to partly disagree with you on the point that evolution has no practical application in Computer science. However, my application of it actually shows evolution's place in intelligent design.

I was thinking about making Artificial Intelligence agents that were built to do different jobs, using a stacked approach. Some agents would only have a simple stack, containing moving modules and collision avoidance, whereas others would have more intelligent layers stacked on top. An example of a layer would be communication.

Anyway, I came eventually came to the conclusion that at some point I would need a factory to create these agents. Something that build the different guys according to a pattern. I immediately saw that I was rebuilding DNA, and that each stack layer would be some sort of gene.

This is where the evolution came in. If I used a factory somewhat reminiscent of DNA, it would be ideal if the agents evolved into better agents, possibly discovering (somehow) better AI layers that I didn't think of originally.

I doubt anyone could argue that the system of agents that evolved and discovered new layers was an inferior system to the one with agents that didn't. The fact is that I would still need (and want to) to create the different intelligent agents in the beginning.

IMHO, the fact that animals and plants evolve into better animals and plants is testament to God's incredibly elegant and superior design. The fact that we see evolution does not mean that there had to be a single parent organism, as you can see from my agents.

God's creation of DNA is literally astounding. Again IMHO, AI systems should provide some imitation of this incredibly intelligent design.

Quintin said...

Hey Mike,

I'm actually doing that in my Masters as well. I have a stack where different modules may be plugged in and used in a variety of different techniques. The idea is that an agent may seek different components and using 'skill sets' build a more complex manner of achieving a goal.

You see evolution, as in the addition of complexity, would not be feasible. Sure each component is a kind of gene, but we would need to be able to add new genes, not improve on existing ones.

To illustrate: I make a single agent that plays chess. This agent runs on a machine with two CPU's. It determines that it could use the second CPU better with another agent.

If the agent could 'evolve,' it would have to be able to create a manner to communicate externally with itself, and then duplicate(1). Or would it have to duplicate and then communicate(2)?

The problem with (1) is there is seriously no point in communicating with itself, it would not yet see the benefit of such an exploit and in a good heuristic it would aim to be computationally efficient, therefore abandoning the idea.

The problem with (2) is (a) there is no benefit in simply reproducing itself (not that it would be capable) and (b) if it did manage to duplicate, it would double the effort to create a communication mechanism (not to mention now the problems with synchronizing)

Using the layers in different formats is fine and using DNA and Gene theory is not Darwinian evolution. That is observable science. Modifying what is in existence is not the addition of new information, but it is a requirement for evolution.

Am I understanding you correct so far? Are you saying the computer would add or modify existing complexity?

I think that God's creation is amazing, but it is under a curse. That curse is decay, and ultimately death. The problem with evolution is that it is simply an unbiblical reversal of reality. If God did not create the way He said He did, then God is a liar. Allegory is always identifiable (due to literary distiction) in the bible. If we don't take God at His word, we can't believe in Christ either, since He is in the same book and even ratifies the Genesis account:
He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? [Matthew 19:4,5]

Genesis 1-11 is not allegory since there is no internal reason to take it as allegory. If we cannot clearly identify the genre of text from the text itself, we lose all ability to understand God's word.

Without Genesis 1 - 11, we lose out on many doctrines of Christianity, marriage being a substantial one in creation. If God didn't take the bone out of Adam, but rather woman cam from an ape-woman, the God lied again. Why would Adam say "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" to a woman who evolved from an ape?

When we question Genesis we do to ourselves what Eve had the serpent do to her: "Did God really say that?"

If Jesus adhered to Genesis, what does it say about His divinity if He is not right? Do we believe God or man when it comes to origin science? Man's ideas are fallible, and evolution is no exception.