I got the idea for this page from a beautiful article, in which the author said: “Computerized ‘life’ games re-created a whole biosphere, with all its orientation and complexity, without the codes for generating ‘grass eaters’ and all the rest being programmed by anyone.”
Can simple processes of replication and survival really create more complex forms by themselves? I recalled the Life Game we liked so much during basic programming training. And it goes more or less like this: Let’s imagine a colony of, say, imaginary living cells, which reproduce and die generation by generation according to the following rules:
A cell surrounded by too few other cells (one or zero) – will die of loneliness in the next generation.
An empty slot surrounded by exactly two cells – will give birth to a new cell in the next generation.
A slot surrounded by exactly three cells – will retain its status (living cell or no cell) in the next generation.
A cell surrounded by four or more other cells – will die of crowdedness in the next generation.
And now let’s see what evolution does to our imaginary cells (tip for beginners – try starting from simple symmetric shapes):