(Bob has done a great deal of admirable work in computational intelligence, and I don't count him as a personal enemy. In fact, I recently joined with him in recommending an IEEE member for elevation to a higher rank.)
This is from a July 31, 2008, note that went, at his request, to his Yahoo address rather than through the (no doubt archived) Baylor email system:
Dawkins' weasel program implements a (1, λ)-ES, not partitioned search. In each generation, there are λ offspring. All points in the parent string are subject to mutation in all generations. The fittest of the offspring replaces the parent. Fitness is the number of positions containing correct letters. It is possible for fitness of the parent to decrease from one generation to the next. The mutation probability is "low," so offspring are concentrated in the neighborhood (naturally defined in terms of Hamming distance) of the parent, not uniformly distributed on a subspace of the solution space as you indicate.
I think your analysis of partitioned search makes for a good example, but you should not suggest in any way that you're analyzing Dawkins' algorithm. I would like to see you change the target sentence. In any case, the Bard (and Dawkins) wrote "methinks" as one word, not two.
It would be interesting to see an analysis of the active information of the (1, λ)-ES Dawkins used. There are plenty of published analyses of the (1, λ)-ES as a Markov process for λ = 1 [actually 2]. I'm not sure about greater values of λ. What you need is the probability that the process enters the state corresponding to the target string in Q or fewer time steps, expressed as a function of mutation probability and λ. Of course, you could fall back on simulation.
Marks did not respond to this particular note, but "ME*THINKS" turned into "METHINKS" in later drafts, and section III-F-2 of the published article addresses a (1,2)-ES [evolution strategy; sometimes it's instead "EA" for "evolutionary algorithm"] solving a restricted form of the problem solved by the Weasel program. Furthermore, section III-F-3 deals with the closely related (1+1)-ES.
It's not plausible, I think, that Marks ignored my note - he's responded to others since - and that he and Dembski subsequently happened to think of analyzing the evolutionary algorithms. The article neither gives the established names of the algorithms nor cites prior analyses in the literature. You have a good idea now of why I consider this to be academic misconduct.