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Artificially evolved creatures walking …

What think you of the “bizarre” strategies for walking used by artificially evolved organisms? (Posted by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing, October 2, 2008)?

This is a project of Darwin@home, which tries to simulate evolution in unused computing space.

Oddly enough, the narrator says at one point, “It seems complex beyond the reach of human ingenuity.” It looks interesting, though not quite as interesting as that.

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3 Responses to Artificially evolved creatures walking …

  1. 1

    I like, although a more interesting video would have explained the underlying genetic process instead of ten minutes of hypnotic music. This is something I’ve been trying to do myself, without success – the evolution side of it is easy, it’s making a workable physics (ie. one that’s simple to simulate, but close enough to real life) that’s the difficulty. If you look closely at the creatures in the video, especially the caterpillar, you can see they’ve taken a couple of shortcuts by allowing seemingly solid limbs to intersect.

    Their site doesn’t seem to have much more details, although oddly enough they’ve called their public evolution program ‘Intelligent Design’. :)

  2. What would be really interesting is if they tried to focus on getting all the proteins and such needed to get legs in the first place. Imagine using random mutation and natural selection to try and build all the proteins necessary for the development of those legs. A protein that is 333 amino acids long can be rearranged 333^20 different ways according to Stephen C. Meyer. I’d like to see neo-Darwinism find just one use out of that incredibly large number of variations. Then it has to keep it within the population even if it doesn’t immediately have any real function on the entirety of the organism. Then repeat that process some-odd many of times to complete leg. This piles improbability on improbability until the validity of chance is stretched beyond reason.

    If they did that I don’t think those artificial organisms would be walking any time soon, at least, without nearing infinity. lol (Note: I do know that infinity could not be reached, I’m just making a point.)

    On another note though, I noticed that the organisms all used varying methods of movement. It is similar to reality, but I imagine that if neo-Darwnism was really true that there would be much more variations within creatures in real life.

  3. Great graphics, nice animation, good lighting etc.

    Just a couple of huge problems :
    1 Why does anything ‘evolve’ to walk in the first place? The concepts of movement and mind must be present
    2 The words ‘algorithm’ and ‘strategy’ spoil the whole random thing from the start since they intrinsically mean volition, plan, motive and goal – all of which have nothing to do with Darwinism.

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