Monday, December 29, 2008

Genetic Error Correction Mechanism

What I've learned, through experimentation with open ended evolution by computer simulation, is that evolution will take a random path towards no particular goal as long as reproduction remains successful. If, however, there is an added parameter to maintaining survival, a particular evolutionary response (linear on average) will result. In extraordinarily simple self replicating machines, the process is nearly immediate, since it is necessary, but in more advanced systems, there is a great deal of redundancy and seemingly dormant code can "reactivate" to allow the organism to persevere. Also, interestingly, it is very common for complementary pairs of "genetic" code to form which each disallows the other from mutating. It is only when both of these is coincidentally mutated in the correct way that either of them can be changed successfully. This is a very natural, very common process, which acts as an error correcting mechanism very similar to that of a checksum.

Of course in my experiments there is no actual genetic code, meaning there is no DNA, however there is a code and that code is capable of mutation. I assume that essentially the natural laws of evolution and processes of natural selection can be governed by a universal mathematical description and for any system, regardless of material composition, the same will apply.

I'd like to hear from people about this, if anyone has had similar results with experiments. Also, if there are any readers out there that would like to take advantage of some of my source code for the universal open ended evolver please leave me a message. Thanks!

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