A lot of the debate here surrounds what exactly we mean by ‘evolution’. Since we don’t have a clear idea, much of the discussion devolves into semantic arguments, most boring of all the arguments!
To remedy the situation, here is a simple model of evolution, somewhat faithful to biological evolution, that can maybe serve as a reference.
What is the model? Why, simply spelling! Appropriate, too, since each amino acid has a representative letter from the English alphabet. Additionally, has precedent with Dawkins’ infamous weasel example, and the even more infamous Shakespeare writing monkeys.
So, an example genome is:
“ALL WORK AND NO PLAY”
The genes are the individual words. Fitness is based on whether the genome consists of words in the dictionary. A bit more complicated can be whether the genome is grammatically correct.
Now, we can talk about various evolutionary mechanisms:
- flipping random letters
- copying words
- deleting random bits
and so on.
From there, we have a bit more concrete idea what exactly is necessary for a form of evolution that can go from bacteria to Bach. Entirely reliant on the English language that is oh so familiar to everyone on the forum.
What do you think?