Richard Dawkins is the world-famous science entertainer who masquerades as a scientist. Today, a shining example of how he uses sleight of hand to fool gullible people and build his tribe.
Dawkins offers a simulation of evolution in his famous book The Blind Watchmaker. He entered the following random string of letters into a computer program:
WDLTMNLT DTJBKWIRZREZLMQCO P
One letter at a time, his program evolved the string of letters.
After only 43 iterations, by randomly changing letters and deleting results it didn’t want … the program achieved its goal of the following sentence:
METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
Gibberish to English in only 43 steps. Wow. Evolution!
The astute person will notice: Dawkins began with his desired sentence already programmed in to his code from the outset, so the program always knew what it was looking for.
Well my goodness, isn’t that clever! Wow Richard Dawkins, I am so impressed!
(Please don’t forget, ladies and gentlemen, the point of Dawkins’ entire body of work is: evolution does NOT have goals.)
Yet his evolutionary computer program starts with…
His fans don’t notice he’s cheating. He walks with one lover while holding hands with another. Just like in the picture.
But you know who does see the con?
Engineers. Computer Science people.
Engineers and Computer Scientists are consistently skeptical of Darwinian evolution. This has been verified in studies.
There’s a term for this. It’s called “The Salem Hypothesis.” It’s named after a frustrated devotee of Darwin’s obsolete theory, Bruce Salem. Salem complained that “An education in the Engineering disciplines forms a predisposition to Creation/ID viewpoints.”
Well it’s not just engineers, Mr. Salem! It’s also as dentists and MDs. Personally I’d also add: entrepreneurs and generally most people who build and create for a living.
Why is this so???
Because when you do something for a living, you know that you know that you know certain things. Engineers know what Richard Dawkins also knows but won’t admit to himself: That you can never build successful systems unless you start with a goal. Evolution requires purpose. Evolution is true and it’s possible because living things re-engineer their own DNA.
In my book Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design, I devote an entire chapter to “Genetic Algorithms” – computer programs that simulate evolution.
Some of these programs do work. Some are quite useful for doing certain jobs.
But all GAs that actually work start with goals.
Really effective GAs further employ versions of what I call “The Evolutionary Swiss Army Knife.” Modular tools that re-arrange parts of the system and connect them in clever ways. These programs don’t just randomly break stuff. There’s a formula.
In other words, if you want to evolve things with software, you MUST employ a non-Darwinian version of evolution. Otherwise you end up with garbage.
Nobody has ever demonstrated evolution software that works without sneaking purpose into the experiment.
If you disagree, post one counterexample in the comments below. Show me one evolutionary program that achieves anything useful without someone sneaking design into the experiment.
This confirms what engineers, computer scientists, dentists and MDs have known all along: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Good Stuff In, Good Stuff Out. Nature is purposeful.
So if you always suspected that evolution was true… but thought maybe there was more to it than what the Darwinians always told you… evolutionary software will happily confirm your suspicion.
In fact… real evolution is actually more like Dawkin’s WEASEL program than it’s like the way he claims evolution works in his Blind Watchmaker book.
This notion of purposeful evolution made PZ Myers angry in our recent debate. PZ groused, “Perry thinks this is engineering.”
Yessir, PZ. Eyes, ears, limbs, body plans… ALL of it is engineering. Engineers know making millions of damaged copies of stuff is not a continuous improvement program. We know: if it doesn’t work in the real world, it doesn’t work in Darwin’s theory either.
That’s why Darwin’s theory is now being replaced by a post-Darwinian model.
So today, to celebrate Salem’s correct hypothesis, I add the Salem Corollaries:
Salem Corollary #1: A lack of education in engineering predisposes people to obsolete theories of evolution that have never been shown to work.
Salem Corollary #2: People who use purely random, purposeless Darwinian methods to build things must either cheat like Dawkins did… or get fired from their jobs.