February Speaker Meeting
Saturday, February 27, 10 am to 12 noon
Free and Open to the Public
Special Collections Library, Botts Hall
423 Central Avenue NE
Cargo-Cult Science in the Intelligent Design Movement’s Attack on Evolutionary Algorithms
by Dave Thomas
Genetic (or evolutionary) algorithms have been used many times to successfully “breed” innovative answers to difficult problems in physics, math and biology. Creationists realize that the successes of such programs provide additional evidence for evolution, and have mounted a vigorous attack on Genetic Algorithms. Dave Thomas countered these attacks a few years ago by publishing a new genetic algorithm for solving the difficult “Steiner network problem”. Intelligent design creationists have since reacted by publishing two “analyses” of the Thomas algorithm. Dave will show that these new attacks are based on fallacious logic and outright misrepresentations. Are the creationists wrong? Is 1217 less than 1246? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”
Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received bachelor degrees in mathematics and in physics, and a master of science in mathematics, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he was awarded the Brown Medal and the Langmuir Award.
Dave is president of the science group New Mexicans for Science and Reason (http://www. nmsr.org), and also is a Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), the publishers of Skeptical Inquirer. He has published several articles in Skeptical Inquirer on the Roswell and Aztec UFO Incidents, as well as on the Bible Code. Dave has also published in Scientific American (Dec. 1980 cover article), and has several patents. He received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award in 2000.
Dave is past president of the Coalition for Excellence on Science and Math Education (CESE), and is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.