Re: Fundamental Genetic Algorithm

From: David Picon Alvarez (
Date: Thu Sep 14 2006 - 15:10:45 MDT

From: <>
> I am trying to write a 'genetic' algorithm that approximates how life
formed on earth. I put genetic in quotes because it is not like the genetic
algorithms I have dealt with in the past. They all used an existing
algorithm and random variation to improve on it. I want to start at a much
lower level. If this type of project exists or has been discussed before
please point me to it. I could not find anything searching because there was
too much noise from other traditional genetic algorithms.

You want to look at Tierra, Primordial Soup, and possibly Corewars.
Basically things more or less analogous to what you propose have been tried,
without the idea of food or such. In particular primordial soup can be
initialized completely ex nihilo from a random buffer as you propose. In
general what tends to happen is that you get a certain amount of evolution
and then things get stuck, I suspect but cannot prove that the complexity
which you can get from a system depends on the complexity of the substrate,
and computer instructions have very low complexity compared to, say, organic

PS Not saying that you cannot run life on computer instructions, just saying
that evolution is hindered by the lack of breadth of the search space. An
intelligent programmer isn't so hindered.

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