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The Blind Watchmaker algorithm was conceived by Richard Dawkins and is described in his book The Blind Watchmaker. The Blind Watchmaker applet is easy to use and demonstrates very effectively how random mutation followed by non-random selection can lead to interesting, complex forms. These forms are called "biomorphs" (a word invented by Desmond Morris) and are visual representations of a set of 'genes'.
Click on the button below and the applet window will open (the window can be expanded). Inside you will see 12 squares, each containing a biomorph. The top-left biomorph is the parent and the other eleven are its children (differing by one randomly selected gene). At first the biomorphs are very small, but after a number of generations they really start to develop - be patient!
Select one of the children to become the parent for the next generation. Choose carefully, the point is that the selection is not random. Continue, generation after generation, until you have 'evolved' a biomorph that you like.
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