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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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Evolution Of Cyberlife

The evolvable hardware described in SF#115 is only one several efforts underway aimed at modeling life and evolution.

Network Tierra. Here we have a network of 150 computers linked worldwide by the Internet. One objective is the exploration of structures and patterns of information that drive evolutionary processes. A key element is an artificial lifeform that begins as a "seed organism" (modeled as information, of course) that wanders at will among the different environments presented by the computers in the network. So far, these digital organisms are surviving and changing.

(Blakeslee, Sandra; "Cyberlife Critters Evolving in Computer Network," Austin American-Statesman, November 30, 1997. Cr. D. Phelps.

Minad Project. Begun in 1953, the Minad Project is pure futurism; that is, the prediction of where the computer revolution is taking us. The Minad Project envisioned three evolutionary stages:

  1. Wiring the world (already accomplished as today's Internet);
  2. The transformation of the network into a high-speed creative mechanism (the Technosphere); and
  3. The emergence of global hyperintelligence (the Autosphere).

The Minad Project is now forecasting what this all means for non-silicon-based life in the 21st. Century.

(Baker, Lance; "They're Taking Over," New Scientist, p.55, December 6, 1997.)

Evolution of cyberlife

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987