Here’s an interesting example of genetic programming: use a program that slightly alters colored polygons, compares the results to a target, and selects variants that most resemble the Mona Lisa. After less than a million generations, a black square turned into this:
Not bad. The description of the algorithm is a bit thin, but he promises to release the source code soon. It sounds like a million generations is an overestimate, since his population size in each generation was 1, and it also sounds like his selection was far more stringent than you’d find in nature, but it’s an interesting if oversimplified example of the power of chance and selection.