#### Comment Preferences

• ##### chance isn't the same as random(none)
else the winners of poker tournaments would be random.  It is "quite true" that evolution is a non-random process -- read "The Blind Watchmaker" or "Climbing Mount Improbable".

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• ##### When writing a software game, you can use a(none)
random number generator to add variability.  The simplest example would be that a random number generator is used to shuffle the cards for a card game.

A more complex example would be when computer opponents in a game have a difficulty setting.  If you've programmed the computer opponent to find the absolute best play every move of a game, it's going to be frustrating for the user to lose all the time.  So you may put in some code for an EASY setting that would use a random number generator to decide whether the computer opponent should make a good move or a bad move.

You can manipulate the result of a random number generator to emulate pretty much anything: a 50-50 coin toss, a roll of the dice, or a 20% chance of afternoon thundershowers.

Computer games -and- evolution depend on randomness to produce variability, but using randomness is not the same as being random.

• ##### yeah, I said that(none)
in fewer words. :-)

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jqb didn't say evolution used randomness, which is an important truth. My whole thread was in response to this comment by amRadioHedin which he said

Evolution occurs by chance.

Which is a creation-science talking point. But I am sure he even meant to say that Evolution starts there or uses chance...

Nuf said. End of story. I'm really impressed, everybody here is really up on the latest news.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

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• ##### your post is garbled and seems to be misplaced(none)
as for being impressed that people are up on the latest news -- uh, this is a blog for up-to-the-latest-news junkies.

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• ##### P.S.(none)
"Evolution occurs by chance" is not a "creation-science talking point" -- creation science denies evolution.  Virtually no creation scientist uses this phrase -- which asserts that evolution occurs.  This is common sense, and a google search bears it out.  Most comments using the phrase argue for evolution, e.g.,

The advocates of Intelligent Design exaggerate the 'improbability of random mutation', if one considers the scale of time involved in this process. True, evolution occurs by chance phenomena but each organism does not have to evolve itself from scratch by chances. Each organism is a result of millions and millions of preceding experiments ('conducted by the Designer?') whereby genes become selected and, importantly, preserved. A lot of data gets thrown out because of the vast majority of genetic mutations do not translate into reproductive success. However, the Watch analogy or more recent, air-plane-part-in-a-tornado analogy, is highly misleading. An organism does not invent itself from some basic carbon molecules. Each organism carries around a comprehensive instruction on how to reproduce itself and this instruction is based on data that has been accumulated over long, long time. The generic errors made by an evolutionary machine are not so improbable. Further, it is highly probable that, if those errors actually leads reproductive success of that organism, then, those errors will be recorded and transmitted within species. See Richard Dawkins', The Blind Watchmaker.

What is truly improbable is the fact that a cluster of matters managed to coalesce and react with each other over billions of years resulting in an environment almost exactly suited for an organism that can play rugby.

Posted by: Michael Chong | 06/09/2005 12:54:24 PM

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• ##### Uncle!!(none)
Happy Holidays.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

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• ##### Likewise :-)(none)

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