Speaking of GA's ...

Joe Felsenstein joe at evolution.genetics.washington.edu
Fri Sep 13 18:00:45 EST 1996

In article <51b71q$r76 at phaedrus.kralizec.net.au>,
Brett Phillips <moggy at lisp.com.au> wrote:
>In article <5144p4$j6t at nntp3.u.washington.edu>, 
>wnn at evolution.genetics.washington.edu says...
>>In article <513g0t$me5 at phaedrus.kralizec.net.au>,
>>Brett Phillips <moggy at lisp.com.au> wrote:
>>>In article <50vsv8$q8q at griffin.itc.gu.edu.au>, s843382 at its.gu.edu.au 
>>[lots of pro- and anti-creationism stuff on both sides deleted]
>>>Great arguement Daniel, you have totally convinced me.  Not to follow 
>>>view, but to prove your dogmatism.  You really do believe that yours is 
>>>the only answer don't you?  It ruins a good oportunity to have a decent 
>>The "decent debate" should take place on talk.origins, of course.  The
[I have deleted the rest of my complaint, which I thought was most
mild-mannered and gentlemanly]
>One question:  In what way was my original posting to do with Creation at 
>all?  You totally missed my argument concerning Genetic Algorithms. Not 
>one section of my posting has anything to do with the Creation/Evolution 
>debate, so just cool down! Perhaps you should go back to the original 
>posting and read again.

Gosh, it sure fooled me!  I append your original post so people can check
it themselves.

It opens with a lot of stuff about how convinced you are of creationism.
It goes on to raise the hoary old argument about simultaneous evolution of
different structures being too hard to do (answered, originally, by Darwin
in the "Origin").
Then it raises the hoary old "design requires a designer" argument, albeit
in a slightly updated form.
Then it invokes the possibility of hardware error to discredit genetic

Sounds to me like something you should send to talk.origins.  We get sick of
wading through 100-year-old arguments rehashed for the umpteenth time here,
in order to get to the molecular evolution.  Nor do I intend to do so here.
If you feel that I am overreacting, well, you have said so and I have replied
and that's all I'm going to say on this.

Joe Felsenstein         joe at genetics.washington.edu     (IP No.
 Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA
Subject: Speaking of GA's ...
From: moggy at lisp.com.au (Brett Phillips)
Organization: Kralizec Dialup Internet Sydney, http://www.zeta.org.au/
Date: 6 Sep 1996 11:51:53 GMT
Newsgroups:bionet.molbio.evolution</A>,<A HREF="news:sci.bio.technology">sci.bio.technology</A>,<A HREF="news:sci.bio.misc">sci.bio.misc</A>,<A HREF="news:bionet.microbiology">bionet.microbiology</A>
Message-ID:<50p38p$qsd at phaedrus.kralizec.net.au>

I am not sure that I fit into this group of people, but I often listen in 
on the arguements.  I am not ashamed to say that I believe in Creation, 
why should I be?  Is it wrong to have faith in something unprovable?  If I 
thought that evolution was a viable explaination to mine/our existence, 
then I would question my faith.  So far my [unbiased] studies have 
revealed insufficient evidence to shake the foundations on which I base my 

Evolution certainly has some valid science and very logical points, and I 
don't deny that evolution evolution could take place.  Though I personally 
believe that in our case, it didn't.

What I am really posting is my opinion, and no-one elses, concerning GA's. 
I have a few points to express, they are:

1) The findings of GA's imply that the development which is being measured 
over so many generations is independent of development of other structures 
which are necessary for function.  (ie. the eye may have evolved, but it 
would be useless unless the organism has the neural processes and/or the 
mental processes to translate and utilise the information perceived by 
the eye)

2) The changes observed from the simulation are dependent on the original 
data input which clearly is a consequent to human design of the 
sequences/regions to be worked on and also the program(s) which are used 
for the simulation.  (hmmm..get it?)  These are therefore NOT random.

3) Lastly, there is a translation error in such sumulations involving 
computer hardware/software.  This can take the form of electronic error in 
single bits which are coding for a particular digit.  Over many loops in 
this performance, intrinsic error can be magnified considerably.  Was the 
simulation repeated using different PCs?

I hold no grudges against anyone for any belief they hold, but it is 
offending the way that Steve McGrew labels people a 'Creationist' as if it 
were a dirty word. Why can't you accept someone for who they are not what 
they believe?

More information about the Mol-evol mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net