Jonathan Wells has a post over at ID the Future commenting on Darwinists at Michigan State University’s Avida program.
Zimmer quotes several of the Michigan State researchers. One of them is philosophy professor Robert Pennock, who said: “More and more of the features that biologists have said were necessary for life we can check off… Avida is not a simulation of evolution; it is an instance of it.”
Another is microbiologist Richard Lenski, who has been trying for decades to produce new species of bacteria through intense selection. Having failed at that, Lenski is now tempted to close his laboratory and turn to Avida: “In an hour I can gather more information than we had been able to gather in years of working on bacteria.”
I would just like to rehash some of the old stuff that I’ve posted on ARN and post it here.
I have learned to be skeptical of many Darwinists claims but when I encounter statements like that of professor Pennock, I am struck by momentary speechlessness with incredulity. Does he really think that Avida is an instance of evolution? Based on what, certainly not reality? If Avida was based on reality we would have examples of it from Lenski’s lab. What strikes me is the audacity of the claim that a computer program that does not have any basis in reality is now solving the problems of Darwinian evolution in real life?
Let me just start with a couple of quotes.
From Digital Evolution
For many other biologists, however, digital evolution seems to have very little relevance. One eminent British evolutionary biologist dismissed the research in just eight words, according to the field’s godfather, Tom Ray. ‘His comment: “It’s just not biology. Period. End of discussion” . That’s the whole story right there’, recalls Ray.
‘Our goal is not to mimic natural systems in detail, but rather to expand Avida to give digital organisms access to more of the basic processes of life’, says Lenski. ‘Our goal is not so much to endow the ancestral organisms with additional capabilities, but rather we want to see how digital organisms will evolve if they are placed in an altered world where such things as sex and communication are physically possible.
Maybe Darwinists are used to making vacuous claims so to them Avida is representative of evolution makes perfect sense. Any other mildly competent person who practices science would have to ask the question of Avida, are the parameters and algorithms of the program representative of real life data? If not then how can you claim that it is solving real life questions?
What is even worst is that you have Darwinists like the double talking RBH over at ARN who claims that the models used in Avida correlates to real life models. When you ask him for a one to one correspondence of the model he can’t produce it.
Where is the real life experiment that correlates to the digital model? For example let’s consider something simple. If you assume that certain environment will apply certain selective pressure on a certain organism. Show the experiment in real life and in simulation of this correlation. Create an experiment with this physical system and a digital model representing each of the constituents of this system. Run your simulation and compare the digital results at various times with actual measurements from the real life system. This would be a correlation. Another test would be to build a single digital organism representative of a real life organism. Apply different input and stimuli to both the digital and real organism and measure the responses. This is how you would correlate the digital result with real life data. Until you can show this type of close correlation Avida is nothing more than a pile of useless waste of time and money.