The Blind Watchmaker applet
April 20, 2009 1:01 PM Subscribe
posted by technically yours (37 comments total)
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This is a fun little atheistic distraction: The interactive Blind Watchmaker applet
demonstrates how random mutation followed by non-random selection can lead to interesting, complex forms. The Blind Watchmaker algorithm was conceived by Richard Dawkins
and is described in his book of the same name
. The resultant forms (which can begin to look like plants and bugs) are called "biomorphs," visual representations of a set of genes.
A little background, thanks to Wikipedia
: "Dawkins makes reference to the watchmaker analogy made famous by William Paley in his book Natural Theology. Paley, arguing more than fifty years before Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, held that the complexity of living organisms was evidence of the existence of a divine creator by drawing a parallel with the way in which the existence of a watch compels belief in an intelligent watchmaker. Dawkins, in contrasting the differences between human design and its potential for planning with the workings of natural selection, therefore dubbed evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker."