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Natural selection dating

Moreover, the solutions they come up with are often more efficient, more elegant, or more complex than anything comparable a human engineer would produce.

The evolutionary postulate of common descent has aided the development of new medical drugs and techniques by giving researchers a good idea of which organisms they should experiment on to obtain results that are most likely to be relevant to humans.

Finally, the principle of selective breeding has been used to great effect by humans to create customized organisms unlike anything found in nature for their own benefit.

These digital offspring then go on to the next generation, forming a new pool of candidate solutions, and are subjected to a second round of fitness evaluation.

Those candidate solutions which were worsened, or made no better, by the changes to their code are again deleted; but again, purely by chance, the random variations introduced into the population may have improved some individuals, making them into better, more complete or more efficient solutions to the problem at hand.

The canonical example, of course, is the many varieties of domesticated dogs (breeds as diverse as bulldogs, chihuahuas and dachshunds have been produced from wolves in only a few thousand years), but less well-known examples include cultivated maize (very different from its wild relatives, none of which have the familiar "ears" of human-grown corn), goldfish (like dogs, we have bred varieties that look dramatically different from the wild type), and dairy cows (with immense udders far larger than would be required just for nourishing offspring).

Critics might charge that creationists can explain these things without recourse to evolution.

The shape of a protein determines its function.) Genetic algorithms for training neural networks often use this method of encoding also.

A third approach is to represent individuals in a GA as strings of letters, where each letter again stands for a specific aspect of the solution.

There are numerous natural phenomena for which evolution gives us a sound theoretical underpinning.

To name just one, the observed development of resistance - to insecticides in crop pests, to antibiotics in bacteria, to chemotherapy in cancer cells, and to anti-retroviral drugs in viruses such as HIV - is a straightforward consequence of the laws of mutation and selection, and understanding these principles has helped us to craft strategies for dealing with these harmful organisms.

), no amount of time or genetic change can transform one "kind" into another.