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Digital Organisms


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The February 2005 issue of Discover discussed a recent advancement in research about evolution.


Recent advancements in computer technology have made it possible for scientists to prove basic concepts of evolution. These advancements are exciting to me, because they increase the plausibility of evolution being true. The scientists are using small computer programs, known as “digital organisms”, that behave in certain aspects like real organisms. The digital organisms can reproduce or replicate themselves, and they pass to their descendants changes in their nature that result from external stimuli. The digital organisms are not simulations of evolution in which the reactions to stimuli are programmed into the organisms a priori. The organisms actually experience mutations and natural selection, and they react to those stimuli in ways that are not programmed into them.


The software used is called Avida.



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