> The courts have considered ideas of this kind many times before and discarded them for the reason I described: "petitioner['s] [...] argument that if everything other than the algorithm is determined to be old in the art, then the claim cannot recite statutory subject matter [...] To accept the analysis proffered by the petitioner would, if carried to its extreme, make all inventions unpatentable because all inventions can be reduced to underlying principles of nature which, once known, make their implementation obvious" (Diamond v. Diehr)
Simply put, the court was wrong. They created a straw-man argument--that knowledge of the underlying principles makes all inventions obvious--and based their conclusion on that rather than the actual argument. If an invention is truly obvious to anyone who understands the underlying natural principles, then the patent *shouldn't* be granted. There is no public *benefit*, either in the form of an incentive for inventing or public disclosure, to granting such a patent, only public *cost*. However, it is not true that knowledge of the principles of nature is enough to make an invention obvious. It is precisely non-obvious applications of known principles which patents are supposed to cover.
Evaluating an algorithm on a device specifically designed to evaluate algorithms is always obvious. Taking a bit of math which you could evaluate in your head, and evaluating it on a computer, is an *obvious* application of known principles, regardless of the specific algorithm.