Quarterly (winter, spring, summer, fall)
128 pp. per issue
7 x 10, illustrated
ISSN
1064-5462
E-ISSN
1530-9185
2014 Impact factor:
1.39

Artificial Life

Winter 2014, Vol. 20, No. 1, Pages 95-110
(doi: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00098)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evolutionary Acquisition of a Mortal Genetic Program: The Origin of an Altruistic Gene
Article PDF (1.21 MB)
Abstract

As part of our research on programmed self-decomposition, we formed the hypothesis that originally immortal terrestrial organisms evolve into ones that are programmed for autonomous death. We then conducted evolutionary simulation experiments in which we examined this hypothesis using an artificial ecosystem that we designed to resemble a terrestrial ecosystem endowed with artificial chemistry. Notable results corroborating our hypothesis were obtained, which showed that mortal organisms emerged from indigenous immortal organisms through mutation; such mortal organisms survived and left behind offspring, albeit very rarely, and, having survived, surpassed immortal organisms without exception. In this article, we report the details of the above findings and also discuss a background framework we previously constructed for approaching altruism.