This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Spore's Intelligent Designer

flobear's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by flobear

Well I find this discussion fascinating. Who cares if there's ID in the game. Kids are not stupid - they know it's just a game. Every game is mostly unrealistic and kids know it. As mentioned on other RD.net discussions, I'm sure it'll spark interest about how the real thing works.

On a separate note, wouldn't it be neat if you could try to "beat" evolution in the game? Instead of just the ID route, you could take an existing creature design and evolve it as well. The computer could take a large number of variations and test them each in the existing environment for fitness. Then after a bunch of generations, you could compare your (probably very sloppy) ID (or should we say: uninteligently designed) progress to the evolved version.

If it works, people might be amazed by how well it works. If they did it right, it may even be hard to beat. Alternatively, it might show some of evolution's limitations - specifically that it is incapable of long term planning. The human ID'er might work their way up to having arms by going through some un-fit intermediaries, whereas the computer algorithm might never get there. The game probably requires arms to get to the civilization stage.

And, even though I know it's not goal of the game, having an "evolve" button to start the alternate pathway may highlight the differnce between what they're doing and the way nature works. Users may be amazed by what their computer comes up with and spend time figuring out why it's so good - just like real biologists.

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:08:00 UTC | #233558