Spore – Intelligent Design or Evolution?

Spore - its just a game

Spore - it's just a game

As I predicted in an earlier blog, the analysis over the game Spore has begun in earnest with a thread on the official Richard Dawkins site here.

It has shocked some posters that Wright (the game designer) is a Republican supporter. As if accepting evolution as a scientific theory influences your political philosophy. It may shock them to know that there are people who voted for George W Bush involved with the Dawkins website. The point is that atheism, and science do not mean that you have a predestined political outlook on life. Hence the fact that though atheists have the numbers, the political organization of them has been like herding cats.

I may well have said about Wright’s game SimCity that it dismissed the invisible hand idea of economics in the game play suggesting a central planner was needed for a successful economy. Naturally to make a game interesting the player is involved in key decisions, interactions in the game having consequences which effect gameplay and results. If Spore was really about evolution and natural selection you would start a game and just watch – the only question then would be when you start a new game from the beginning would the evolution happen in the same way? A question Dawkins himself ponders the answer to.

I am tempted to say that it is all just a game, and what matters is whether the game is fun or not. From the makers perspective what matters is will enough units be shifted to cover costs, and if there are future revenue streams to be made with added extras, and internet downloads/access to main site content.

Yet people are trying to spin the game so that it favours intelligent design – with the argument that you need a designer (the player) for the creatures to survive and develop. We should not worry too much. This is the finding a watch on a walk argument which Dawkins dealt with in The Blind Watchmaker.

I am more with the opinion that it may make some kids take an interest in evolutionary biology. But the fact is that it will be more or less neutral on that score. For most it will just be a game they played.


1 Comment

Filed under atheism

One response to “Spore – Intelligent Design or Evolution?

  1. Gosh, I’m a regular on the Dawkins website and I hadn’t even noticed the thread.

    I don’t think it makes sense to analyze the game from an evolutionary point of view. I’d suggest that, at best it’s a demonstration of artificial selection. I couldn’t say more without playing the game.

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