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reationists occasionally charge that evolution is useless as a scientific theory because it produces no practical benefits and has no relevance to daily life.
However, the evidence of biology alone shows that this claim is untrue.
One common approach is to encode solutions as binary strings: sequences of 1's and 0's, where the digit at each position represents the value of some aspect of the solution.
Another, similar approach is to encode solutions as arrays of integers or decimal numbers, with each position again representing some particular aspect of the solution.
This approach allows for greater precision and complexity than the comparatively restricted method of using binary numbers only and often "is intuitively closer to the problem space" (Fleming and Purshouse 2002, p. This technique was used, for example, in the work of Steffen Schulze-Kremer, who wrote a genetic algorithm to predict the three-dimensional structure of a protein based on the sequence of amino acids that go into it (Mitchell 1996, p. Schulze-Kremer's GA used real-valued numbers to represent the so-called "torsion angles" between the peptide bonds that connect amino acids.
Again these winning individuals are selected and copied over into the next generation with random changes, and the process repeats.
The expectation is that the average fitness of the population will increase each round, and so by repeating this process for hundreds or thousands of rounds, very good solutions to the problem can be discovered.