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 Trial, Error and God Complex - II 

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This baby was produced through trial and error. I realize realize that's an ambiguous ambiguous statement. Maybe I should clarify it. This baby is a human body: it evolved. evolved. What is evolution? Over millions of years, variation and selection, variation and selection trial and error, trial and error. And it's not just biological systems that produce miracles miracles through trial and error. You could use it in an industrial context. context.

So let's say you wanted to make detergent. Let's say you're Unilever and you want to make detergent in a factory near Liverpool. How do you do it? Well you have this great big tank full of liquid detergent. You pump it at a high pressure through a nozzle. You create a spray spray of detergent. Then the spray spray dries. It turns into turns into powder. It falls to the floor. You scoop it up. You put it in cardboard boxes. You sell it at a supermarket. You make lots of money. How do you design that nozzle? It turns out turns out to be very important.Now if you ascribe ascribe to the God complex, what you do is you find yourself a little God. You find yourself a mathematician; you find yourself a physicist somebody who understands the dynamics of this fluid.And he will, or she will, calculate the optimal optimal design of the nozzle. Now Unilever did this and it didn't work too complicated. complicated. Even this problem, too complicated. complicated.

But the geneticist Professor Steve Jones describes describes how Unilever actually did solve this problem trial and error, variation and selection. You take a nozzle and you create 10 random random variations on the nozzle.You try out try out all 10; you keep the one that works best. You create 10 variations on that one. You try out try out all 10. You keep the one that works best. You try out try out 10 variations on that one. You see how this works, right? And after 45 generations, you have this incredible incredible nozzle. It looks a bit like a chess piece functions absolutely absolutely brilliantly. We have no idea why it works, no idea at all. And the moment you step back from the God complex let's just try to have a bunch of stuff; let's have a systematic systematic way of determining determining what's working and what's not you can solve your problem.

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