I’m not familiar with the ‘autopilot’ option in Spore. Iow, a wide variety of creatures are produced by video game players of Spore making decision trees, as you say ‘choices & intervening’. The creature avatar they play with ‘emerges’ or results directly from their choices. Nothing here smacks of Philip Johnson-fathered Seattle ideology at all because the focus is on human design & development.
The game protocol must have developed a massively open territory for ‘phylogenetic’ trees, and maybe just a standard one or a small few, to ‘autopilot’ - demonstrate the game space to potential players and observers. The ‘one single path’ idea would be required by programming limits unless there is a ‘random’ option of some kind that simply selects a ‘trait’ or ‘skill’ when the ‘autopiloted’ Spore player reaches a decision node. But that suggests a level of AI programmed into the game that is beyond what should be ascribed to it. The game cannot carry on to move to the next level unless a ‘decision’ is made among options. Again, this is not Seattle Discovery Institute thinking at work, nor BioLogos’ main focus of interest.
It seems to me that @jongarvey said it well:
So in @Revealed_Cosmology’s case here, we have author as gods or game designers as gods. There is no need to confuse theology with Spore system architecture bent on free will within digital ‘life’ parameters. The IDC people have gone stomping around with & on the word ‘design,’ sometimes making it a proud one named ‘Design’ claiming it belongs in science, but any thought of ‘design’ or ‘Design’ just echoes man’s mind anyway.
So the ID people lost a reflexive battle that they don’t even want to admit ever happened, though in some ways we are now nearly past it and may be better for it that it happened. In any case, it was before the time of the current USA President whose name doesn’t usually come up in the ‘bad design’ category these days. IDists at the DI are largely fans & think White House = ‘good design,’ not ‘bad design’ nowadays mostly, maybe, or well, perhaps they thought it would be good design for white evangelical Protestants anyway, etc.
Maybe a term something like ‘derivative evolution’ is therefore needed, to split the primary & secondary causal power of evolutionary theories into ‘makers’ and ‘makees’; those who are active changers & those who are passive receptacles of change. The ‘autopilot’ is passive and is constrained by the options the game designers give to the players. An option outside of the game parameters is functionally impossible; it does not exist except in imagination. Although, noteably Spore has simply an amazing # of ‘variation’ options for players to choose. Does anyone know how many total different Spore decision trees are possible to play?
“the game’s “autopilot” might never come up with on its own.”
The game designers & developers set the options. The notion of ‘coming up with’ sounds a bit anthropomorphic here, though it likely wasn’t meant that way. Suffice it to say there is no ‘consciousness’ in the packaged single-player video game on its own. Let us be clear about the source of agency, even if that agency is ‘scientifically’ reduced largely to ‘efficient cause.’
The rules of the game limit how we can play. But within the rules there is no reason that ‘bad design’ cannot be a fruitful and necessary topic. I can see focus groups discussing it to help improve products or services. Style columns thriving on it critically as a way to promote their alternative ‘good design’ offerings, which of course are now also on sale. Plunking it down in ‘this conversation’ (& I am not sure that most of us are having more than 60% of the ‘good designed’ conversation possible between us) as if people ‘simply need to discuss design’ has been an act of imbalancing language intentionally perpetrated by the DI that ‘the conversation’ needs to recover from.
Maybe with @Agauger here, still representing the DI and IDC, she can help us?