Uncommon Descent Contest Question 10: Provide the Code for Dawkins’ WEASEL Program
|August 26, 2009||Posted by O'Leary under Darwinism|
Special invitation for Richard Dawkins – but any civil person is entitled to enter.
There’s been some discussion here and elsewhere whether the the recent IEEE article by Dembski and Marks correctly characterizes Richard Dawkins’ famous METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL program.
Does the program ratchet correct letters or does it let them vary? One is a partitioned or stair-step search, the other a more realistic evolutionary search. From The Blind Watchmaker, where Dawkins describes the program, its performance suggests that it could be either of these options (though he doesn’t say).
On the other hand, from a (video-run of the program , go to 6:15), it seems to be the latter.
It’s easy enough to settle this question: Make the code for the program public. Perhaps Richard Dawkins himself or his friends at RichardDawkins.net can finally provide this code (apparently a program written in BASIC).
Should the winner choose the latter, I will ask Dawkins’s publicist to mail the copy. Given that at his site, he calls himself “the most formidable intellect in public discourse,” I would assume that if he signs the copy, it will be worth millions.
But wait. Let’s see that code first.