Evolving Processors (was re:challenge of design complexity)

James Ganong (JGanong@webtv.net)
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 22:01:11 -0800 (PST)

Billy brown wrote:

In principle you might be able to make devices capable of evolution, but you would sacrifice performance and predictability to achieve that goal.

According to a report on NPR a couple of months ago, this has been done. A chip has been developed for use in A-life research that can modify its own connections. This produced several different chips that could meet the criteria of success (BTW, please forgive the lack of detail, I'll try & find exact references) after several generations. Some of the designs
were odd in that several connections semed to serve no useful purpose---until, when those superfluous connections were removed, the chips no longer worked.

The researcher involved drew some interesting theological conclusions:

Assume a Creator Who sets the starting conditions for a system, then lets it run along Darwinian principles of selection & mutation. If the system runs long enough, it is possible for that system to evolve into a tremendously complex thing which is *beyond the understanding of the Creator & beyond Its power to interact with meaningfully.*

God isn't dead, just perplexed.