# I Infinite Monkey Theorem Tests?

1. Oct 2, 2016

### greswd

I'm curious if anyone has ever simulated the infinite monkeys on typewriters using a computer, and managed to generate short sentences or phrases that have appeared in books/print media before.

That would demonstrate the effectiveness of the infinite monkey theorem.

2. Oct 2, 2016

### phyzguy

What would be the point? Do you have any grounds to doubt the fact that given an infinite number of sequences, any desired sequence will appear?

3. Oct 2, 2016

### mathman

The major problem is that the probability, although not 0, is very small for even a simple 5 letter word, $(\frac{1}{26})^5=8.4\times 10^{-8}$, that a simulation would take a lot of computer time and wouldn't add much to what we know.

4. Oct 2, 2016

### greswd

Hey, relax man. I was just curious if anyone has ever tried it out big time. Just to see what it looks like when attempted practically.

I have no doubts, but it would help make a case against dumb anti-evolutionists.

Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
5. Oct 2, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

It would not. It would reinforce the misconception that evolution would be random. It is not. Every single mutation occurs randomly, but the same is true for each individual photon from the sun reaching your eye. You can clearly see the sun, and you don't have to rely on chance to do so.

Producing a billion random letters will give you a few 5-letter words (and many shorter words), but where is the point?

6. Oct 3, 2016

7. Oct 3, 2016

### PeroK

It's not clear to me how you keep the monkeys concentrating on typing. They might turn the typewriters over and/or pull the paper out. Or worse. And, who decides when to change the paper? Or, do the monkeys do that at random as well? I think the monkeys would all be dead before they got even one sonnet beween them.

8. Oct 3, 2016

### greswd

haha very funny. I already said "simulated" though.

also this:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/may/09/science.arts

9. Oct 3, 2016

### PeroK

10. Oct 3, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

Adding a tenth character would mean he needs a factor 26 more computing power. Computing power is not free.

11. Oct 3, 2016

### greswd

I know, and that wasn't my question.

Though I believe no one has upstaged Jesse Anderson so far.

12. Oct 15, 2016

### Learner60

13. Oct 15, 2016

### FactChecker

The odds and expected time required to get any phrase you specify is easy to calculate. There would be no point in running a simulation that is only fast enough to do pathetically small examples.

14. Oct 17, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

Have you ever seen the expression 'a fool's errand'? This is one. That is what everyone is telling you in polite terms, @PeroK with some potty humor. The fact that it is potty humor should tell you a lot about what his opinion is. Please let this thread die and fade away.

Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
15. Oct 18, 2016

### Demystifier

As @mfb said, randomness and big numbers are not a good model for biological evolution. Evolution is based on complexity and self-organization. A good mathematical model for this sort of phenomena is the Conway game of life:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life

For those who want also to enjoy the Conway game of life, I recommend:

16. Oct 18, 2016

### FactChecker

I think it greatly strengthens the case for evolution. The survival selection process is not worth as much if there is not a great variety of options to select from.
Just because an important part is random does not mean that the whole thing is random.
Clearly if it was not random and deterministic (like standing in a closed room) so that no photons reached your eyes, you would not see the sun.
Because there is a survival selection process.

17. Oct 18, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

Exactly, but looking for phrases in random letters gives the impression that the whole thing would be random. English has fixed rules and every deviation is a mistake, this is completely different from evolution.
You missed my point.

18. Oct 24, 2016

### greswd

An errand at what cost? I'm just asking if anyone happens to know of something (infinite monkey test), if someone is aware, they'll give me an answer and I'll be happy. If not then I just get no answers. I don't see why I'm being impolite, neither do I see any reason for you to be upset. As I have already mentioned in #11.

also, I don't think that that was PeroK's intention.

19. Oct 24, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

20. Oct 24, 2016

### FactChecker

If this is just seeing if 9 random characters appear in any of the Shakespeare works, you can see that this attempt is a tiny, tiny fraction of what the quote implies. It is doing something much more simple than the quote. Carrying that simplification to the extreme, I could limit myself to 1 character length and claim that all of Shakespeare was recreated as soon as all 26 characters have occurred. That would only take a millisecond on a computer.