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Artificial Life

Winter 2020, Vol. 26, No. 1, Pages 5-22
(doi: 10.1162/artl_a_00307)
© 2020 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
An Investigation into the Origin of Autopoiesis
Article PDF (1.53 MB)
Using a glider in the Game of Life cellular automaton as a toy model of minimal persistent individuals, this article explores how questions regarding the origin of life might be approached from the perspective of autopoiesis. Specifically, I examine how the density of gliders evolves over time from random initial conditions and then develop a statistical mechanics of gliders that explains this time evolution in terms of the processes of glider creation, persistence, and destruction that underlie it.