evolution and natural selection resources

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bluegray (November 07, 2006, 10:12:27 AM):
Whenever I talk to someone about evolution and natural selection, I recommend that they read one of the many books available on the subject. My favorite is The Blind Watchmaker. But sometimes it's not that easy for everyone to have access to these books.

Please post some good online resources as an alternative.
Mefiante (November 07, 2006, 12:32:15 PM):
One of the more popular arguments used by anti-evolutionists is the supposed difficulty of order arising from chaos, and complexity from simplicity. Though not directly in the field of evolutionary theory, there is an analogue in the field of computation, specifically from the area concerned with cellular automata. This analogue, called John Conway's Game of Life, shows how very rapidly order and complexity can come about from a complete mess. More than that, coordinated, self-replicating and/or motile arrangements often occur quite spontaneously.

In the analogue, it is convenient to think of the cellular automata as organisms, the playing field, including the cellular automata on it, as the environment, and the rules (being four very simple ones) by which they live, procreate or die as the laws of nature in that environment. An initial playing field arrangement that is completely random is commonly used. The energy for moving forward through the generations ultimately comes, as it does in real life on Earth, from the Sun.

The simulations become especially interesting when the rules are applied probabilistically, rather than rigidly adhered to, i.e. there is an individual probability assigned to each of the rules as to whether it is applied or not. Unfortunately, I know of no web-based simulator that permits this modification, but the results are even more surprising and illustrative.

bluegray (November 20, 2006, 13:38:12 PM):
There's a lot of info here:
What is Science?
What is Evolution?
bluegray (February 20, 2007, 11:57:59 AM):
Understanding Evolution
No Answers in Genesis
EM (February 20, 2007, 12:57:50 PM):
http://www.talkorigins.org/ of course, although I find the site a bit chaotic ;)

I have a copy of "The view from mount improbable" which is an extract from "Climbing mount improbable". Short little book with just enough to get a person interested in the subject.
I think I paid R20 for it at Exclusive books.


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