22 June 2012

Who says evolution can't be fun?

DarwinTunes, a fascinating experiment in evolution, is a great way to appreciate the absolutely unintentional forces that drive a thing to evolve into something...pleasant.

The idea, which has been written up now in the scientific literature, is that a piece of music can be made to evolve by letting people choose which bits of it are pleasant and which aren't.  The people involved don't know each other and don't exchange information except to like or dislike "loops" of music.  No one is directing the evolution; no one provides oversight.  The most pleasant bits - as voted upon independently by many users - are the bits that "survive."

And the really neat part of it is that not only can you listen to the music as it has evolved, you can even participate yourself and become another force pushing the music to evolve.

Who says evolution can't be fun?

New page on religiosity

I've started a new page on religiosity.  (Follow the link just under the blog's title.)  The goal of that page is to gather some of the research on religion as a human phenomenon - the science of religion, as it were.

At the moment, there's only a couple of entries, but I've plenty more links which I'll be adding as time permits.