Since I posted my evolving Mona Lisa post I have received allot of questions and comments regarding the simulation.
One fairly common statement is: “This is goal oriented evolution, in real life there is no goal”
This is the first misconception, there is no “goal” in the application.
The “source image” is not the goal, it is the ENVIRONMENT in which the organisms live and try to survive.
It is that environment that determines if a specific individual is fit for reproduction or not.
The same way that all other evolution is also dependant on the environment, e.g. in real life the environment is much more complex and dynamic.
See it as a set of parameters that describes the world where the evolution takes place, the parameters just happen to be in the form of what we humans experience as an image.
It could just as well be a list of parameters such as temperature, gravity, resources, other organisms etc.
Of course _I_ had a goal for the application when I created it, but you have to differentiate between my goal and the goal of evolution.
My goal was to see if a specific problem could be solved, however, the application and the evolutionary process in it knows nothing about nor cares about that problem, that process has no goal, It simply lets the most fit individual reproduce and nothing more.
The second misconception is to see the “generated image” as how the evolved organism would look.
This is not the case, the “generated image” shows the LEVEL OF ADAPTATION of the organism, not it’s physical body.
A generated image that have a high resemblance to the source image simply means that the organism is highly adapted to the environment.
Not that we have an organism that looks like the goal of the simulation, that is an incorrect interpretation of the whole application.
The third misconception is that this can be used as some sort of bat against the ID / creationist movement, this is also wrong.
This is wrong simply because I can never ever write a simulation where I myself is not a parameter in the simulation, so _my_ applications proves nothing on that front.
The only thing we can confirm from this application is that evolutionary approaches can be used to solve tricky problems that we ourselves does not know the solution to if we provide rules and an enviroment in which the problem can be solved.
We can not use this application to confirm or dismiss the presence of God, Thor, Shiva or any other theological being.