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Tom Schnieder’s ‘the And-multiplication Error’ Article Refuted


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#41 Fred Williams

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 09:33 PM

FW: He continues to ignore the fact that his program uses severe truncation selection, something that does not occur in nature yet he continues to claim his program simulates nature!

What would be a more realistic selection process?


That’s a fair question. First, the process should account for the various costs in moving a mutation. For example, even if a mutant receives a beneficial mutation, there is no guarantee it will survive to the next generation. Genetic deaths can occur due to random death, i.e. a rock falling on your head, being a prude, suffering a lethal mutation, being a homozygote when the trait is heterozygote advantage, and other costs (Haldane estimated there was probably only a 10% reproductive excess available to move favorable traits.).

So after a “beneficial” mutation is added, go through and account for the genetic deaths. Keep track of the genetic load while you go. Keep track of each organism’s fitness, so when you apply “selection” you do proper probability calculations and not automatically eliminate the most unfit. For example, if organism A is 51% fit compared to the rest of the population, and organism B is 49 % fit, there still is at least a 49% chance organism B could survive when selection is applied across the population to meet some the pre-programmed goal for that generation (i.e. the goal may be to keep the population at a constant size every generation; or the program can be set to allow the population to grow at 1% per generation, etc. The point is, organism B could easily survive to the next generation, unless you apply truncation selection and remove him just because he was on the wrong side of the curve, albeit barely).

You’ll be hard-pressed to see an evolutionist ever program a model like this, because they know it is doomed to fail, unless they use fantasyland assumptions like Schneider did and crank up the beneficial mutation rate to 50% and apply truncation selection.

Fred

#42 Modulous

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:24 PM

Just like Schneider’s program, the information is there from the start, this is simply indisputable!


What information is there from the start?

Here you unwittingly make my point for me. Thanks! :P


The program design acts like the laws of nature. Since the program was not designed to simulate the creation of rules it doesn't need to account for how the rules get there, just that there are rules. I am not suggesting that the programs rules simulate nature, but that laws of nature exist before life does. The program shows us that random mutation, coupled with a selection method can increase information content without any information theory violations or thermodynamic violations or any other violations of known physical laws.

The program wasn't designed to tackle Haldane's dilemma or reproductive load. They are all fair arguments, that the program was not intended to tackle. The program was not intended to show everything. It was only designed to show that random mutation coupled with a selection method can lead to an increase in Shannon information. I assume you don't dispute this?

#43 Fred Williams

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 06:56 AM

What information is there from the start?

View Post


As I said a few posts ago (Post #37), “Schneider’s program already has the information Rsequence ~= Rfrequency. In the end, his program is no different than Dawkin’s “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL” program that has long since been refuted.”

The program design acts like the laws of nature.


No, it doesn’t. Nature does not use truncation selection, nor does nature produce a 50% beneficial mutation rate, nor does nature prevent error catastrophe (extinction).

The program wasn't designed to tackle Haldane's dilemma or reproductive load. They are all fair arguments, that the program was not intended to tackle.


I never said it had to tackle “Haldane’s Dilemma”. Paul asked how it could use more realistic selection, and I explained how. Just because the terminology is the same that Haldane used, it is also the same terminology any population geneticist should use and itself is not “Haldane’s Dilemma” per se.

It was only designed to show that random mutation coupled with a selection method can lead to an increase in Shannon information. I assume you don't dispute this?


You assume incorrectly. I submit that since his program guarantees Rsequence ~= Rfrequency every time, that no new information is created since Rsequence ~= Rfrequency is encoded in the program before you run it. Now does this mean that “random mutation coupled with a selection” cannot produce new information? Of course not! That is, provided the selection method is intelligent, you can certainly produce new information. For example, a Genetic Algorithm can be given a target or a range of solutions to look for, and run ad infinitum until something useful is detected. This requires intelligence to determine when that useful thing has occurred. The aerospace industry, for example, has occasionally used programs similar to Genetic algorithms to search for various solutions. These are really no more than trial&error experiments, and the only reason any new information is ever culled is because intelligence is present (an engineer) to harness the information and put it to use. The point is this: an increase in information is impossible outside the presence of already-existing intelligence (i.e. an intelligent sender).

This thread is now going in circles. Unless there are any novel ideas that are added to this thread, I see no reason to not close it. For example, if Paul could explain the “code” (a communication system comprised of symbols, syntax, semantics) that Schneider’s program produced, we could discuss that. Or if someone provided evidence or any citation on truncation selection occurring in nature, etc. Otherwise we have reached the point where we are just repeating ourselves.

Fred

#44 Modulous

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:35 AM

As I said a few posts ago (Post #37), “Schneider’s program already has the information Rsequence ~= Rfrequency. In the end, his program is no different than Dawkin’s “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL” program that has long since been refuted.”

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Rsequence (information in binding sites) starts off as approximately 0 am I right? Does that not imply that it has no information?


No, it doesn’t. Nature does not use truncation selection, nor does nature produce a 50% beneficial mutation rate, nor does nature prevent error catastrophe (extinction).



You missed a part of my quote there: . I am not suggesting that the programs rules simulate nature, but that laws of nature exist before life does. I never implied that nature uses truncation selection. I have frequently agreed with you on this matter. The program has to have physical laws in order to do anything. So, yes, these laws are designed, these laws aren't what the program addresses.


You assume incorrectly. I submit that since his program guarantees Rsequence ~= Rfrequency every time, that no new information is created since Rsequence ~= Rfrequency is encoded in the program before you run it.


As above really. What is the information content of Rsequence at the beginning of the program?

Now does this mean that “random mutation coupled with a selection” cannot produce new information? Of course not! That is, provided the selection method is intelligent, you can certainly produce new information. For example, a Genetic Algorithm can be given a target or a range of solutions to look for, and run ad infinitum until something useful is detected. This requires intelligence to determine when that useful thing has occurred.


So nature itself cannot dictate what is useful then? I was under the impression that the ability to acquire resources and mating partners was considered by nature to be inherently useful.


Is your objection to the program the fact that Rfrequency is a pre-selected constant?

#45 Guest_Paul C. Anagnostopoulos_*

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:38 AM

Here you unwittingly make my point for me. Thanks!

It wasn't unwittingly. I agree that the information has to be somewhere, in some form, in order for it to find its way into the genome. This is also true in nature. Don't you agree?

You can say all you want, you can say the moon is made of cheese. But that does not make it true. There is no evidence anywhere to support Schneider’s parameters, none. Zippo. Show me a study on truncation selection in nature (do a google search of this and my name and website comes up more than studies do!). Show me a study where the beneficial mutation rate is 50%.

Are you saying that the information does not find its way into the genome by repeated application of evaluation, selection, and mutation?

Ev does not simulate a beneficial mutation rate of 50%. It applies random mutations to each creature on each cycle, the number of mutations specified by a parameter (usually 1).

I modified Ev so it does not do truncation selection. Instead, it replicates the second-, third-, and fourth-best creatures, replacing the second-, third-, and fourth-worst ones. The best and worst creatures were left alone for good measure. Instead of taking about 800 generations to evolve a perfect creature, it took about 10,000.

You are trying to do an end run around my point. Please respond with evidence and/or an explanation of how his program produced a new code (symbols, syntax, and semantics). Just don’t say it is so, that is a waste of everyone’s time.

You mean don't make just-so statements like "There is no evidence anywhere to support Schneider's parameters"?

The code evolved in Ev is very simple, nowhere near as interesting as the genetic code. The symbols and syntax are wired in already. What evolves is the semantics: The code selects the binding sites and does not select any other sites.

~~ Paul

#46 Guest_Paul C. Anagnostopoulos_*

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:43 AM

The interesting issue here is that of the information source. Evolution is a process of transferring information from the environment to the genome. The genome "learns" to survive in the environment by encoding information that complements the information in the environment, so the organism can survive in the environment.

There is never going to be a simulation, or a real organism, that "makes up information" out of whole cloth without that information having already been somewhere else. An exception is that a genome could evolve useful information by accident, but we all agree that accident does not explain the wealth of life around us.

~~ Paul

#47 Guest_Paul C. Anagnostopoulos_*

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:50 AM

Is your objection to the program the fact that Rfrequency is a pre-selected constant?

The objection I hear most often is that the evolution of binding site recognition was built into the program. The program does not somehow evolve a genome that does "something useful" without any presumption about what that useful thing will be beforehand.

This is an interesting remark and is worth discussing. To make it have teeth, one would have to show that actual organisms evolve useful mechanisms without any influence from the environment concerning what those mechanisms should do. I can't conceive how one would demonstrate such a thing, except to show that it occasionally happens by chance.

Note that nothing stops us from changing Ev so that the number of binding sites is chosen randomly rather than prespecified.

~~ Paul

#48 Fred Williams

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:27 PM

It was brought to my attention that Dr Schnieder responded to my comments:

http://www.lecb.ncif...er/ev/williams/

Specifically:

· definition of truncation selection:
A breeding technique in which individuals in whom quantitative expression of a phenotype is above or below a certain value (the truncation point) are selected as parents for the next generation.
The method used in the Ev program is position in the sort list, NOT the phenotype!


Tom is apparently unaware that sorting is also truncation selection! The definition he provided is not a complete definition. For example, from this evolutionist web site:

“In truncation selection individuals are sorted according to their fitness. Only the best individuals are selected for parents.” [link]

This is precisely what Tom’s program is doing! Tom, your program is using severe truncation selection, you simply cannot claim otherwise.

It should be noted that Paul’s adjustments still amounted to truncation selection, just not 100% truncation selection such as is implemented in Tom’s program. But it is still radical truncation selection because virtually all members are being ranked and truncated, except the worst. So it is more like 99% severe truncation! :P Note what happened after Paul’s adjustment:

“Instead of taking about 800 generations to evolve a perfect creature, it took about 10,000.”

It took 10x more generations, just after a minor modification where the truncation selection was still radically severe!

As far as Tom’s “gauntlet” I provided a reasonable starting point to remove truncation selection from his program in post 41. As I mentioned in this post, evolutionists must know such simulations are doomed to fail if they even approach realistic selection and mutation methods.

It is not my responsibility, or any of the other scientists, to write a new program or adjust Tom’s to prove his program is flawed. It is Tom’s program that is being critiqued, and it is up to him to address the errors. I consider this case closed until realistic selection and mutation are used in his program, plus an explanation of how his program can have a 100% guarantee of success and not have Rsequence~=Rfrequency already encoded within the program, albeit very inefficiently (see penultimate paragraph in this post)

This thread is hereby closed, except for any further comments by Dr Schnieder. I will email him that I have responded to his truncation blog rebuttal to this forum.

Fred




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