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Friday, March 19, 2010

Genetic algorithms are irrelevant to evolution

Genetic Algorithms are NOT relevant to Darwinism nor are they information arising from nothing because they are formal systems written by men and as such only produce what they were designed to do. Do not be fooled by Darwinist rhetoric!


Genetic algorithms are irrelevant to evolution

David Abel
The Gene Emergence Project, The Origin of Life Science Foundation

12. What optimizes genetic algorithms?

Computational methods often employ genetic algorithms (GAs). The appeal of GAs is that they are modeled after biological evolution. The latter is the main motivation for tolerating such an inefficient awkward process. The GA search technique begins with a large random pool of representations of “potential solutions.” Genetic algorithms are seen as a subset of evolutionary algorithms and as “evolutionary computation.” The methodology is inspired by modeling a random beginning phase space, various kinds of mutations, inheritance and selection. The experimenter chooses the fittest solutions from each generation out of the “evolving” phase space of potential solutions. The goal of the process is optimization of a certain function.
All too many evolutionary computationists fail to realize the purely formal nature of GA procedures. GAs are not dealing with physicodynamic cause-and-effect chains. First, what is being optimized is a formal representation of meaning and function. A representation of any kind cannot be reduced to inanimate physicality. Second, “potential solutions” are formal, not merely physical entities. Third, at each iteration (generation) a certain portion of the population of potential solutions is deliberately selected by the agent experimenter (artificial selection) to “breed” a new generation. The optimized solution was purposefully pursued at each iteration. The overall process was entirely goaldirected (formal). Real evolution has no goal [refs.]. Fourth, a formal fitness function is used to define and measure the fittest solutions thus far to a certain formal problem. The act of defining and measuring, along with just about everything else in the GA procedure, is altogether formal, not physical [refs.].
Despite the appealing similarities of terms like “chromosomes”, GAs have no relevance whatsoever to molecular evolution or gene emergence. Inanimate nature cannot define a fitness function over measures of the quality of representations of solutions. GAs are no model at all of natural process. GAs are nothing more than multiple layers of abstract conceptual engineering. Like language, we may start with a random phase space of alphabetical symbols. But no meaning or function results without deliberate and purposeful selection of letters out of that random phase space.
No abiotic primordial physicodynamic environment could have exercised such programming prowess. Neither physics nor chemistry can dictate formal optimization, any more than physicality itself generates the formal study of physicality. Human epistemological pursuits are formal enterprises of agent minds. Natural process GAs have not been observed to exist. The GAs of living organisms are just metaphysically presupposed to have originated through natural process. We can liberally employ GAs and so-called evolutionary algorithms for all sorts of productive tasks. But GAs cannot be used to model spontaneous life origin through natural process because GAs are formal.

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Reference

  1. Abel, D.L., The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity, International Journal of Molecular Sciences 10:247–291, 9 January 2009 | doi:10.3390/ijms10010247 (emphasis added).

10 comments:

scohen said...

Man, you don't even understand the point I was trying to make with bringing up GAs.

You should try thinking once in a while.

scohen said...

By the way, this guy is pathetic:

"The GA search technique begins with a large random pool"

Oh, that describes the initial condition quite well.

"The experimenter chooses the fittest solutions"

That's a lie. The fitness function picks the fittest solutions.

"what is being optimized is a formal representation of meaning and function"

The goal of GAs is to provide a simple and effective way to optimize a problem, not to emulate evolution.

" A representation of any kind cannot be reduced to inanimate physicality."

Snuh?

"Third, at each iteration (generation) a certain portion of the population of potential solutions is deliberately selected by the agent experimenter (artificial selection) to “breed” a new generation."

Another lie. The fitness function does this.

"The optimized solution was purposefully pursued at each iteration."

If that's the case, why do GAs fail so often?

"The act of defining and measuring, along with just about everything else in the GA procedure, is altogether formal, not physical "

Huh? This is a computer algorithm. Does he expect it to make actual physical models each step of the way? Does he understand abstraction? Does he hope that his audience doesn't?

"No abiotic primordial physicodynamic environment could have exercised such programming prowess."

I quoted this just to show the standard creationist trope of over-complexity. This statement could be: "Only a person could have created this".

"Neither physics nor chemistry can dictate formal optimization,"

They don't need to. Biology has demonstrated local optimization, which is sufficient.

Man alive, that was absolute crap. Do you have anything more, or is this gobbledygook all you've got?

Though, you really have to admire sentences like this: "The GAs of living organisms are just metaphysically presupposed to have originated through natural process"

Or, in english: "Life started naturally."

Then at the end, after you were supposed to stop reading, he says:

"We can liberally employ GAs and so-called evolutionary algorithms for all sorts of productive tasks"

Oh, I bet those are the tasks where you start out with randomness and end up with information!

Fancy that!

radar said...

In other words, the GA cannot be defended as a source of information from nowhere so we will attack this article with little shots here and there. It is true only a person can create them and it is true it took intelligent design to do it. I sell software that incorporates aspects of this myself.

You have lost this war of words, scohen, because the only example you can find of intelligent design outside of nature was intelligently designed by man. And just wait I have more coming...

scohen said...

"In other words, the GA cannot be defended as a source of information from nowhere"

Oh, so now the goalpost is that information has to come from nowhere.

Radar here's a short summary of the flawed article:

"Genetic algorithms don't prove evolution to be true"

Here's the argument I've been making:
"Genetic algorithms show that intelligence is not required to create information"

Notice how they don't have a thing to do with each other.

And, on top of this, the article is sloppy, overly complex and tries to tear down a claim that no one is making.

scohen said...

"You have lost this war of words, scohen"

I lost this war of words before it began because you're not willing to actually listen to what I (or anyone else, for that matter) is saying.

creeper said...

"You have lost this war of words, scohen, because the only example you can find of intelligent design outside of nature was intelligently designed by man."

Sorry, Radar, but just because you refuse to argue logically and move one goalpost after another does not win you any medals. You're still looking at the petri dish itself, not what's inside it.

As scohen has pointed out to you ad nauseam, he is making a very specific point that is directly related to a claim you've made. In response, you've been tapdancing all over the map, misrepresenting GAs in any number of ways (thus completely demonstrating your ignorance of the subject) and then you have the utter arrogance to try to declare victory. A stale tactic of yours, and as unearned as all the other ones.

Back to basics: do you understand that in the GAs, an increase in information took place that was not put there by the programmers?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"I lost this war of words before it began because you're not willing to actually listen to what I (or anyone else, for that matter) is saying."

True, true. Radar is remarkably learning-resistant. All that matters to him (for reasons I can only dimly fathom) is that orthodoxy is upheld, regardless of the facts.

-- creeper

radar said...

You cannot write a program and then claim that information came from nowhere when the program produces the output. You can play with terminology all you like but no program no information.

What is ironic is that scohen thinks he is smarter than degreed scientists with years of work in the field. He wants to take everyone else along for the ride. Yet the funny part is that here are Darwinists trying to defend the possibility of macroevolution by using an intelligently designed program as evidence. Hilarious!

Jon Woolf said...

What is ironic is that scohen thinks he is smarter than degreed scientists with years of work in the field.

[snork]

Radar, you would do a lot better in these arguments if you would give a thought to consistency. How can you say the above with a straight face, when you routinely post items arguing that there's no such thing as global warming? James Hansen and Phil Jones are degreed scientists too, you know. With many years of experience in their field.

scohen said...

"What is ironic is that scohen thinks he is smarter than degreed scientists with years of work in the field."

Argument from authority much?

You also ignore the facts that I too have a degree, I have over a decade of work in the field, and I never said I was smarter than anyone.

Not to mention that the point that I was making was that your article is arguing (and badly at that) against a point that no one was making.

War of words won? Hardly.

Once more: your claim is that only intelligence produces information. A GA is not intelligent, yet it produces information, therefore you are incorrect.
Your response is to say that a GA is the produced *by* intelligence and your premise stands.

However, your original claim wasn't that information could only be produced by intelligence or by another process that itself was produced by intelligence.

Ergo, you were wrong.