An Evolutionary Approach to Synthetic Biology: Zen and the Art of Creating Life

  title={An Evolutionary Approach to Synthetic Biology: Zen and the Art of Creating Life},
  author={Thomas S. Ray},
  journal={Artificial Life},
  • T. Ray
  • Published 1993
  • Biology, Art
  • Artificial Life
Our concepts of biology, evolution, and complexity are constrained by having observed only a single instance of life, life on earth. A truly comparative biology is needed to extend these concepts. Because we cannot observe life on other planets, we are left with the alternative of creating Artificial Life forms on earth. I will discuss the approach of inoculating evolution by natural selection into the medium of the digital computer. This is not a physical/chemical medium; it is a logical… 
Evolving autonomous software agents
  • T. Ray
  • Physics
    Proceedings of 1994 3rd IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Communication
  • 1994
The approach of inoculating evolution by natural selection into the medium of the digital computer is discussed, which means that new instances of evolution exist in what amounts to another universe, governed by the "physical laws" of the logic of the computer.
Studying the evolution of bacterial micro-organisms by modeling and numerical simulation approaches
The objective of this thesis was to develop and exploit mathematical and numerical models to tackle different aspects of EvoEvo, in order to produce new knowledge on this topic, in collaboration with partners from diverse fields, including experimental biology, bioinformatics, mathematics and also theoretical and applied informatics.
Artificial Life as a Tool for Biological Inquiry
Several grand challenge open problems in biology seem especially good candidates to benefit from artificial life studies, including the origin of life and self-organi- zation, cultural evolution, origin and maintenance of sex, shifting balance in evolution, the relation between fitness and adaptedness, the structure of ecosystems, and the nature of mind.
Artificial life: sustainable self-replicating systems
This work summarized the ALife research interests and divided them into thirteen themes: origins of life, autonomy, self-organization, adaptation (evolution, development, and learning), ecology, artificial societies, behaviour, computational biology, artificial chemistries, information, living technology, art, and philosophy.
Studying Artificial Life Using a Simple, General Cellular Model
This work presents designed multicellular organisms that display several interesting behaviors, including reproduction, growth, and mobility, and turns its attention to evolution in various environments, including an environment in which competition for space occurs, an IPD (Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma) environment, an environment of spatial niches, and a environment of temporal niches.
Evolution as a Random Walk on a High-Dimensional Manifold Defined by Physical Law: Implications for Open-Ended Artificial Life
The discussion above implies that a system defined only in terms of a suitable set of elemental rules might in theory support open-ended evolution, and that the authors' natural universe is an example of such a system.
Artificial Life 13
The details and distinctions between these modes of reproduction are reviewed; how the abstract von Neumann architecture can be readily realised in coreworld systems are indicated; and the research program that flows from this is outlined.
Species in Morphogenesis: Introducing Symbiogenesis as an Additional Method for the Evolutionary Process of an Artwork
This paper demonstrates the introduction of a symbiogenesis inspired technique as an additional method for the evolutionary process into an adaptive multi-agent system called Morphogenesis, a system created in 2012 to represent the life process as an artwork, simulating the diversity of natural life inside its restricted environment.
The Enduring Legacy of Aristotle: The Battle over Life as Self-Organization or (Genetic-Based) Reproduction
  • Philosophy
    The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life
  • 2019
There are universal theories in physics and chemistry but no universal theories in biology. The failure of biologists to come up with such a theory is not due to a lack of effort. Philosophers and
The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution: A Collection of Anecdotes from the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life Research Communities
Evolution provides a creative fount of complex and subtle adaptations that often surprise the scientists who discover them. However, the creativity of evolution is not limited to the natural world:


An Approach to the Synthesis of Life
A truly comparative natural biology would require inter-planetary travel, which is Iight years away, and the ideal experimental evolutionary biology would involve creation of multiple planetary systems, some essentially identical, others varying by.
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
Charles Darwin's seminal formulation of the theory of evolution, "On the Origin of Species" continues to be as controversial today as when it was first published. This "Penguin Classics" edition
Origin of sex.
Coevolution in the Computer: The Necessity and Use of Distributed Code Systems
If evolution is the genetic change of a population due to a given selection force, then coevolution should be deened as the production and application of recursively deened selection forces in a
Computing with biological metaphors
Theoretical and conceptual issues: the importance of selectionist systems for cognition, Bernard Manderick life-like computing beyond the machine metaphor, George Kampis nature's machine - mimesis, the analog computer and the rhetoric of technology, James Nyce.
Adaptation in natural and artificial systems
Names of founding work in the area of Adaptation and modiication, which aims to mimic biological optimization, and some (Non-GA) branches of AI.
What use is sex?
Competition, Cooperation, and Mutation: Improving a Synthetic Replicator by Light Irradiation
Two molecules were prepared having sufficient structural similarity that they catalyzed each other's formation as well as their own, and one of the replicators bears a photochemically active function that is cleaved on irradiation.