I was very struck by Glenn Williamson’s [vjt meant GlenDavidson] remark that creativity is not the same thing as complexity. Very deep. Glenn seems to think that people are good at the former, but the blind processes can outdo them in the latter. That’s an interesting view, but I’d want to see evidence that blind processes are actually capable of producing systems with a high degree of functional complexity, of the kind Axe described in his book. Even a computer simulation would be something.
What with all the experts in writing GA’s here at TSZ I was hoping VJT would have elicited more of a response.
Which brings me to my second point. Tom English remarked above:
“What’s more important in responding to Axe, I suspect, is the issue of knowledge. Do you get only what you know how to make? The answer to that, coming from evolutionary computation, is a top-of-the-lungs NO!!!. I’ve set up a number of evolutionary systems that ended up knowing, in clear operational terms, how to do what I hadn’t a clue how to do.”
I’d like to ask Tom: in terms of building functional coherence, what’s the best your algorithms are capable of doing? I’m interested in finding out, and if you can point me to a good place to start familiarizing myself with GAs, I’d be grateful.
Why doesn’t someone walk VJT through designing a GA that does what he is asking? Is it because a generic GA doesn’t do anything of the sort of thing he is asking for?
For VJT, do you have any experience at all in any programming language?