I’ve been building up a rather long list of interesting science/evolution related pieces, and rather than spam my own blog with a huge list of related posts, I figured it was time for an omnibus! Content in the extended: all aboard!
Ken Miller of Brown University speaks on “Intelligent Design” as a scientific theory at Case Western. Very long, but excellent.
Ken Miller describes how “irreducible complexity” isn’t, using Behe‘s own mousetrap example. He also tackles this is a more rigorous manner in the first video – this example is intended to be more accessible to someone without a biochemistry background.
Bill’O and Ben Stein bring the crazy. Most of this segment is so unbelievable my head wanted to explode.
And then there is this little gem: evolutionary behavior observed in robotic simulations. The Panda’s Thumb blog already picked out the most interesting passages, which I’ll repeat here.
By the 50th generation, the robots had learned to communicate?lighting up, in three out of four colonies, to alert the others when they?d found food or poison. The fourth colony sometimes evolved ?cheater? robots instead, which would light up to tell the others that the poison was food, while they themselves rolled over to the food source and chowed down without emitting so much as a blink.
Some robots, though, were veritable heroes. They signaled danger and died to save other robots. ?Sometimes,? Floreano says, ?you see that in nature?an animal that emits a cry when it sees a predator; it gets eaten, and the others get away?but I never expected to see this in robots.?
Crazy. Then there’s this little bit about cooperative work.
?Deceptive? communication only evolved when the robots were not closely ?related? to each other and selection was on an individual rather than a colony level. In this condition, ?an analysis of individual behaviors revealed that ? robots tended to emit blue light when far away from the food.? Despite this, and ?contrary to what one would expect, the robots still tended to be attracted rather than repelled by blue light? ? (p.517).