Computer Model of Evolution

Steve McGrew stevem at comtch.iea.com
Sat Nov 9 18:55:17 EST 1996


I've been looking for help in designing a software model of evolution that 
might be useful for testing some of the ideas in evolutionary theory, and for 
teaching the principles of evolution to students in grades 8 through 12.  

I thought a genetic algorithm all by itself was a pretty good model, but got 
pretty unanimous contrary opinions from folks in the biology field.  I don't 
think the objection is that software *can't* model evolution, but that so far 
it hasn't.

So, I'd like to hear opinions on the *essential* features a software model 
will need to have, in order to give experts in the field some confidence that 
its behavior will be usefully similar to natural evolution.  [and please don't 
say it has to accurately model biochemistry!  This needs to be a *simplified* 
model that retains the important features of the system it is modeling.]


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