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Thread: Simulating Evolution Question

  1. #1 Simulating Evolution Question 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Can it be done using a computer? Has it been done? Or is it just too complex and we don't know enough to accurately develop the viable software? Are people working on such a device? What I'm thinking of is to take a computer generated life form and put it through the eons while facing ever changing environmental pressures along the way.


    Last edited by zinjanthropos; November 22nd, 2011 at 10:17 PM.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    It's been done, but obviously hasn't incorporated all the variables. Some are called genetic algorithms. An example is 3DVCE (not very famous but cool b/c it builds creatures out of blocks), there are more classic examples but I forget there names, I think I found them on wikipedia the first time


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    do you have something like Richard Dawkins' weasel program or his biomorphs in mind ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Actually it has gone beyond this. It is no longer just a research tool but a means of developing new designs. Engineers now use computer programs to apply natural selection algorithms to successive generations of designs to finally come up with the best possible design. It works well, and many wonderful new inventions have resulted.
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    Professor of Articulation Zesterer's Avatar
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    Yes. I am currently doing a programming experiment that simulates such things in evolution. I am creating 2D 'creature' that have various variable assigned to them. These include health, hunger, speed, size, view-length, defense(armour and protection) and camouflage. The simulation starts with all of these 'bots' in the same state. As they started to diverse, I found that some went off to make entirely new species in this artificial world. Some at 'plants'. These were simply food sources that grew next to each other. Other adapted a hunting lifestyle, and became very quick and fast, as well as deadly. Some even became very small and grouped together in large groups, and running around to confuse the predators As they kept switching targets. As the simulation got into about the 4,000th generation, I noticed another kind of creature emerging. These kind where VERY big, almost twenty times the size as the smaller ones. They used to be hunters, and this still showed in their behaviour - they would occasionally attempt to 'hide' out of the line of sight of plant-eaters. They were well armoured, but slow.I hope to continue this evolution cycle further - perhaps adding more sensory abilities for the creatures. 'Smell' might be a good one to experiment with. I am hoping to eventually allow them to become intelligent enough to form civilisations, but I am unsure as to whether I shall every get that far...
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