June 18, 2010

Self-Replicator in Conway's Game of Life

New Scientist reports. (HT: Slashdot.)

The "creature" replicates itself, but destroys itself in the process of producting a copy.

The Life community immediately realized that the next step is to produce something that creates multiple copies of itself. Two dimensions might be too constrictive for that to work: at least when interactions extend no farther than next-nearest-neighbor. Otoh, do present storage and CPU constraints permit simulation of complex structures in threeor more dimention?(Life on a Cayley tree (with stabilizing boundary conditions at the edge)? Can one increase the complexity of rules together with dimension so that the high-dimension limit does not approach a tree? Life on a fractal?)

1. Note the structural complexity and temporal duration for replication to take place.

2. If it's so hard to simulate reproduction, how hard is it to simulate duplicity in interpersonal and societal dynamics? Maybe history--and the future--are not computable.

Life sites here and here.

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