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First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the emergent-gameplay dept.

Math 241

Calopteryx writes "New Scientist has a story on a self-replicating entity which inhabits the mathematical universe known as the Game of Life. 'Dubbed Gemini, [Andrew Wade's] creature is made of two sets of identical structures, which sit at either end of the instruction tape. Each is a fraction of the size of the tape's length but, made up of two constructor arms and one "destructor," play a key role. Gemini's initial state contains three of these structures, plus a fourth that is incomplete. As the simulation progresses the incomplete structure begins to grow, while the structure at the start of the tape is demolished. The original Gemini continues to disassemble as the new one emerges, until after nearly 34 million generations, new life is born.'"

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241 comments

Nanites (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603542)

They're coming to take over. Sure, of course there are only a few hundred at first...but then those become thousands, then millions, then billions. Soon, we will all be knee deep in this shit.

lolwut?

Re:Nanites (1)

archmcd (1789532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603616)

OMG!! What have we done!? Let's hope these creatures don't become intelligent, and devise a way to harvest energy from "human batteries."

Re:Nanites (5, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604766)

IBM has already developed a high-fidelity 3-D copier. They scrapped the project when they realized they would likely sell only two units.

Re:Nanites (4, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605222)

That's a superb joke, but if you're bored and want to read some extensions of the idea you should find a copy of Venus Equilateral [wikipedia.org] by George Smith some time. In one of the stories, engineers make (by mistake, basically) a device that can replicate other devices, and then realize it can replicate itself, so they build a few mostly for fun. Since they're on an isolated space station they transmit information about what they've done back to earth and then find out that earth's economy is collapsing because everyone's either duplicating money or duplicating duplication machines and there's no reason to buy anything. Smith explores how that affects the economy for a while (one character's snooty wife has to stop being a socialite and get a job as a nurse, because Smith was basically a 1930's misogynist) and then has his engineers cook up a physical item that contains energy, which the matter duplicator can't duplicate (since it only deals with matter) to act as a new basis for currency. He wrote all this in the 1940's, so, y'know, prior art and all that.

First! (0)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603560)

Self Replicating post! :-P

Second! (1, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603590)

Self Replicating post! :-P
Self Replicating post! :-P

Re:Third! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603704)

Self Replicating post! :-P
Self Replicating post! :-P
Self Replicating post! :-8

uh oh mutation...

Re:Third! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603980)

uh oh mutation...

That's evolution. :p

Re:Third! (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604400)

Evolution is the preservation of beneficial traits, only time can tell if :-8 will survive to establish a new species or if it will die off after a few generations.

Re:Third! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605100)

Evolution is the preservation of beneficial traits

Wrong.

Evolution is the preservation of non-detrimental traits.

Re:Third! (3, Interesting)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605292)

Detrimental traits such as lactose-intolerance can be preserved if there is no or weak evolutionary pressure for this trait. But over time and changing enviroments it's the beneficial traits that are more likely to preserve the genotype.
A better wording is perhaps that the enviromental viability of a geno and phenotype is what is the driving force behind evolution.

Re:First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603592)

Self Replicating post! :-P

Re:First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603648)

Elf Replicating Host ;-D

Re:First! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603740)

I FUCKED YOUR GRANDMA

Re:First! (4, Funny)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603784)

OMG!!... What have I done... it is already mutating and evolving.

Elf Replicating Ghost ;-D

Re:First! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603852)

No worries, this one can't replicate itself. It's the Monsanto strain.

Re:First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604064)

Life finda a way.

I thought someone had a glider gun... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603576)

I thought someone had come up with a glider gun which created & shot out other glider guns... this was about 20 years ago from my memory...

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (4, Informative)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603638)

TFA mentions glider guns - they're indeed an old discovery, but they just create and shoot out gliders. This thing actually creates copies of itself.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

Crippere (1825560) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603816)

No, this structure, Gemini, creates -a- copy of itself, self-destructing in the process.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604042)

And doesn't a glider do that?

Reading in between the lines of the article, it sounds like this thing manages to create the copy before the destruction of the original is complete, unlike a glider which is basically moving itself. But it seems a fairly arbitrary distinction, since that destruction is going to happen and it's not going to reverse itself.

Perhaps the trick is that this thing can _teleport_ itself a few cells away, without passing through the intervening space, but again, that seems kind of an arbitrary and unimportant distinction.

And not even that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604188)

It only copies once, because it needs a whole "tape" of instructions that gets fed to it from outside.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604618)

Perhaps the trick is that this thing can _teleport_ itself a few cells away, without passing through the intervening space, but again, that seems kind of an arbitrary and unimportant distinction.

Agreed. Kind of like all of the commonly accepted scientific definition of "life" [wikipedia.org]. Requirements that lifeforms be made of cells or have a metabolism seem incredibly silly in face of the possibilities computation has presented us. The entire topic is wishy-washy and not terribly objective. People just make up the requirements as they go to allow them to classify things as they had been before.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (0)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604734)

But it seems a fairly arbitrary distinction, since that destruction is going to happen and it's not going to reverse itself.

It seems arbitrary, but given that they haven't been able to do it in the last 20 years, it's obviously not an arbitrary distinction.

Check out the forum where it was posted: http://conwaylife.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=399&start=0 [conwaylife.com]

That's the game of life forum - Conway is the guy who invented it.

Reading the replies suggests this is a very, very big deal. Lots of comments like "A new age in Game of Life exploration and design!" or "undoubtedly the single most impressive construction so far in Life" seem to indicate that this is a very significant achievement.

One big distinction, is a glider doesn't take 34 million generations to replicate. In fact, the pattern itself is what moves it, so it's not really generating new gliders at all. More like a "take a pixel from here and put it here" operation, caterpillar style movement.

From the article, there are other designs that should work, but they require 10^18 generations to complete the replication, which isn't workable.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (5, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604154)

If I understand correctly, it creates two copies while self-destructing in the process. So it is, indeed, replicating.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605130)

Now that's interesting.

When i first read the headline I was befuddled. The whole point of the game is that its structures replicate themselves and create other things all over the map.

But I don't recall ever seeing one that made multiple copies of itself, and then died.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604466)

If a glider is mutated, it most likely is not viable and dies. Perhaps the gemini have a tolerance for mutations, being a evolution-compatible replicator.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603652)

Sort of like a vending machine that sells other vending machines?

With apologies to Mitch Hedberg (RIP)

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (0, Redundant)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604166)

Sort of like a vending machine that sells other vending machines?

No, it's more like the ATM Machine. The machine that makes ATMs!

You just go to the ATM Machine, put in your ATMM card, and withdraw a shiny new ATM.

As a bonus, from this ATM you can then withdraw money to use in your above vending machine machine, and various vending machines.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604208)

Does it run on AC current?

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604646)

Only if enough AC's post crap comments without getting modded to -1

Oh crap...

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604892)

No, but it's mobile and runs completely on electricity, so it's an EV vehicle. It's got a CVT transmission and qualifies as a PZEV vehicle as well. I haven't seen the diagrams, but I assume it would run on DC current.

When it runs out of power, your SOL of luck, though. But only an astute /.dot reader would know about that if they RTFAed the article.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604856)

You would need a glider gun that shoots out more glider guns.

Which would be hella fun, actually.

Re:I thought someone had a glider gun... (2, Informative)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605094)

You would need a glider gun that shoots out more glider guns.

Which would be hella fun, actually.

There is a breeder pattern that uses a set of ships to produce a stream of glider guns, but (being regular Gosper Glider Guns) they don't move once they've been created.

The applet on Paul Callahan's page [math.com] has it stored as one of the example patterns.

At least we can kill it (4, Funny)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603612)

Fortunately the glider gun is already discovered, so at least we have a means of killing this new self replicating entity. ;)

Re:At least we can kill it (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604226)

Except gliders are the very fuel it uses to grow and replicate! We're DOOMED!

Most impressive and important pattern? (5, Interesting)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603658)

From the article:

In fact, this is arguably the single most impressive and important pattern ever devised.

Really? Not the universal Turing machine pattern, or the pattern that emulates the game of life itself? Those both seem more impressive to me.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (0)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603712)

Also from the article:

"...on the website Game of Life News."

Gee, do you think maybe the context was implicitly limited to patterns within the Game of Life?

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (2, Insightful)

paskie (539112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603960)

And Score:4, Insightful? Of course the GP _was_ talking about patterns within the Game of Life itself.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604114)

Those are patterns in the game of life itself. The Turing Machine one is particularly impressive. It demonstrates that the game itself is a Turing-complete computation engine - the more complex version is a Universal Turing Machine, so you can encode any arbitrary algorithm on the 'tape' (a streak of cells that runs diagonally across the grid).

Given that it demonstrated the Turing completeness of the system, it's probably the most important pattern, as it shows that you can create a pattern with any algorithmic behaviour that you want. This includes providing a proof that the pattern discussed in TFA is possible, although not (of course) telling you how to create it. This pattern is interesting, but knowing that it's possible is more interesting than knowing exactly what it is.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604276)

And those mentioned game of life patterns aren't patterns withint the Game of Life because???

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603750)

I don't see whats impressive about it at all - but then again, I don't really see whats going on.

I mean, we've programmed robots that can build themselves if you give them the materials. I figured that was self replicating, and that was done a couple years ago.

So whats going on exactly thats impressive in this simulation?

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603988)

The impressive part seems to me to be that this pattern in Conway's Game of Life makes a copy of itself within the rules of the game. A robot designed to build a copy of itself does so within the much more flexible rules of real-world physics.

Then again, maybe the impressive thing is that there are people out there with enough time on their hands to run 34 million iterations of the Game of Life with enough different patterns to find this one.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604074)

what robots? care to give a link? i only found this, which cannot create it's own building blocks: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/may05/selfrep.ws.html

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (5, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603986)

From the article:

In fact, this is arguably the single most impressive and important pattern ever devised.

Really? Not the universal Turing machine pattern, or the pattern that emulates the game of life itself? Those both seem more impressive to me.

Well, he did say "arguably", which is arguably the worst weasel word in the history of mankind.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604656)

Well, he did say "arguably", which is arguably the worst weasel word in the history of mankind.

Or arguably, it means you understand both sides of the coin and are open to discussion. No weaseling required.

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (-1)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604130)

In fact, this is arguably the single most impressive and important pattern ever devised.

Really? Not the universal Turing machine pattern, or the pattern that emulates the game of life itself? Those both seem more impressive to me.

If either of those things existed, then yes you would be right, they would rank right up above this pattern.

I haven't seen a turning machine implemented in the game of life, nor have I seen a game of life interpreter written in the game of life. So what's the point of comparing something existing to two non-existent ideas?

(Taking things out of their context purposefully is a game everyone can play!)

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605044)

Posting like a know-it-all without even the minimal attempt at verifying basic facts is a game everyone can play!

Re:Most impressive and important pattern? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604926)

I've heard about the Turing machine pattern, do you have a link about the pattern that emulates the game itself?

I searched some but only found your comment and various crawler-spam "fact" sites that crawled a page briefly mentioning such a pattern exists. :P

Not to be a killjoy but... (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603734)

If a new pattern is created while an old one is destroyed, it's not self-replicating; it's just moving.

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (2, Insightful)

Binder (2829) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603872)

You mean like a human giving birth to another human and then dying off?

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603934)

More like REALLY slow teleportation (ala Star Trek)

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604294)

Are you trying to imply something about the roles of the people in the Teleport room?

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603984)

You mean like a human giving birth to another human and then dying off?

If every time one human was born, an identical human died, it would be like that.

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604144)

This is slashdot -- some people here think that's actually how it works, while many more think births are all faked by the government, and still more are arguing for more openness in the early stages of the process.

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (2, Insightful)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604246)

still more are arguing for more openness in the early stages of the process.

The internet is for 'more openness in the early stages of the process'!

Re:Not to be a killjoy but... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605072)

still more are arguing for more openness in the early stages of the process.

The internet is for 'more openness in the early stages of the process'!

So that explains all the porn?

Displacement not Self-Replicating (4, Informative)

porter235 (413926) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604356)

Yep, and if you read the entry on LifeWiki [conwaylife.com] you would see they agree with you.

"It displaces itself by 5120 cells vertically and 1024 cells horizontally every 33,699,586 generations."

that's what the entire universe is: (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603810)

some alien 43 dimensional child's entry in the local science fair

"look: i've created self-replicating life based on a few simple rules!"

and the judge says: "but it's only 4 dimensions, and one of the dimensions is only one way. shoddy, very simplistic, not a good middle school level effort"

to which the alien's mom says: "don't worry honey, next year we'll put baking soda and vinegar in a paper mache cone and simulate a volcano!"

and the alien child says: "that's ok mom, i don't like science anymore, i want to be a ranch hand. bye bye, little universe critters, i always thought you were cute"

and then he pulls the plug on his simulation, and trillions of animal, plant, and human lives on earth and septillions of lives on the other inhabited planets cease to exist in a puff

Re:that's what the entire universe is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603966)

Or maybe it's just a 4 dimensional being 'painting' on a 3 dimensional 'surface'.

Wrap your head around that one.

Re:that's what the entire universe is: (1)

AhabTheArab (798575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604058)

Or maybe it's just a 4 dimensional being 'painting' on a 3 dimensional 'surface'.

Wrap your head around that one.

Let me take a few hits of acid and I'll try.

Re:that's what the entire universe is: (1)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604116)

Don't worry. All that's needed for a pattern to persist is for it to be self-consistent. All the alien kid did was break the connection to his computing device. Life goes on. (See also: Permutation City)

Re:that's what the entire universe is: (4, Funny)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604306)

Oh man, that just made me get uneasy there for a while. Fantastic piece of writing you have done! You really should consider building that skill up and start submitting manuscripts.

Re:that's what the entire universe is: (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604376)

That's nothing, I read of one planet in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole, killed ten billion people.

Only scored thirty points too.

Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32603860)

This definitely sets the stage for Cold Fusion to become reality.

For those who don't know about the Game of Life (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603864)

The Game of Life is one of the first cellular automata discovered that had simple rules but complicated behavior. The rules very roughly mimic bacterial growth. One has an infinite lattice grid, and some starting set of cells on the grid are designated as alive (every cell on the grid is either alive or dead). Each new generation is made by the following four rules: Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies. Any living cell with more than three live neighbors dies. Any living cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation. Any dead cell with three live neighbors (exactly) becomes a live cell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life [wikipedia.org]

The Game of Life is mathematically interesting because it can be shown to be Turing complete. That is, if you have a process that tells you whether any given starting configuration will eventually dieout then you can answer whether any given computer program will eventually halt. In general, there's a theorem known as the Turing Halting Theorem which says that no general procedure exists to do that for all programs.

Prior to the work in TFA, there were known configurations called "gliders" which could replicate themselves as they moved across the grid, but they only left the same number of copies. There were also configurations which could spawn gliders (called glider guns). However, no configuration that was actually self-replicating in the sense of spawning more copies of itself was known. This work by Andrew Wade shows how to make configurations that do self-replicate. His original announcement is at http://conwaylife.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=399&start=0 [conwaylife.com] and the actual configuration can be found at https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B9e96aFfebqqZmY5NjBkYjctY2ViNi00NmJlLTgwZDAtNmU5OTQwYjc1OWQ0&hl=en&pli=1 [google.com] Thus, this very simply system is still showing itself to have surprising and interesting behavior 30 years after the fact.

Als

Re:For those who don't know about the Game of Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604258)

Thus, this very simply system is still showing itself to have surprising and interesting behavior 30 years after the fact.

Or even 40!

Re:For those who don't know about the Game of Life (4, Informative)

Ether (4235) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604486)

Turing-complete means that it is able to perform all of the functions of a universal Turing machine, not that it is able to solve the Turing halting problem; a Turing-complete language (or system) by definition is unable to solve the halting problem expressed within that system.

Re:For those who don't know about the Game of Life (1)

Vasheron (1750022) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604778)

Turing-complete means that it is able to perform all of the functions of a universal Turing machine

Correct, that is the definition of what it means to be Turing-complete.

a Turing-complete language (or system) by definition is unable to solve the halting problem expressed within that system.

Wrong, assuming a system can perform all the functions of a Turing machine we can prove that said system is unable to solve the Halting Problem by assuming that it does, and proceeding to obtain a contradiction. You are confusing theorems with definitions - a subtle, but important distinction exists.

Re:For those who don't know about the Game of Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32605264)

You are basically saying the same thing he is, that the halting problem cannot be solve (which to be true, you need to add "in the general case"). Secondly, he isn't confused, you are. The concepts of "Turning Complete" and the "Halting Problem" are distinct. I believe you are just trying to regurgitate concepts that your professors lectured about to appear educated. You fail.

Google Docs is slashdotted... Alternate download (2, Informative)

gbrayut (715117) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604678)

The Google Docs page with the Gemini.zip file is not allowing any more downloads right now. Here [conwaylife.com] is another link with more info about Gemini and an alternate download hosted on drop.io. Follow the instructions on page 2 of the original article to set it up.

WireWorld is more fun to play with. (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603928)

My favorite CA is WireWorld. The designs in the CA look and behave like circuit boards. People have designed some very complex "computers" in it.

WireWorld on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

This flash-based wireworld app is listing prime numbers. [rezmason.net]

Re:WireWorld is more fun to play with. (1)

schon (31600) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604240)

Awesome!

I remember reading about this 20 years ago in (IIRC) Omni.. it was an introduction to circuitry (it used the rules as an example to demonstrate logic gates.) I didn't know it had a name, and while I always thought it would be a cool thing to code (now that I can) I'd never thought someone had actually done it... thanks for the links! :)

Re:WireWorld is more fun to play with. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604370)

Am I supposed to do anything but hit play on the prime number generator? It loads for me, and the counter in the corner of the screen goes up, but nothing happens.

Re:WireWorld is more fun to play with. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604388)

It takes a few hundred thousand iterations between each of the early primes.

Re:WireWorld is more fun to play with. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32605102)

So you'd have to run it for days to see, "1" pop out? That little speed slider needs to scale a bit more. Like 5,000% more. :)

Conway? (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603950)

Pretty sure LIFE it was created by Milton Bradley. Mine doesn't spawn any self replicating creatures though :(.

Re:Conway? (3, Funny)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604150)

What, you never landed on the "you've had a baby, collect presents" block?

I suppose there wasn't a loop from selling the kids to having the kids go to "start".

Is there a video? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#32604876)

The article has steps to reproduce this, but does anyone have a video or animated gif or something for those of us who are interested, but not this interested?

I just copied the text to illustrate the steps involved, for those unfamiliar with how articles work the article has more information along with the links.

See Gemini in action

You can run Gemini on your own computer: just follow these simple instructions.

First, install Golly, a Game of Life simulator, by downloading and unzipping this folder from SourceForge. This will give you a folder called golly-2.1-win, which contains a number of sub-folders.

Next, get a copy of Gemini by downloading and unzipping this document from Google Docs. Save the resulting file, which is called gemini.rle, inside the golly-2.1-win/Patterns sub-folder.

Now double-click "Golly" in the golly-2.1-win folder to start the software. The program icon should be a yellow square with patterns of blue dots on it.

Go to File/Open Pattern and select the Gemini file. You should end up with a white diagonal line, going from top-left to bottom-right, on a black background.

You'll need to choose an algorithm with which to run the Game of Life. Simply go to Control/Set Algorithm and choose "HashLife".

Next, set the speed at which the simulation will run. To do this, press the "+" key four times. In the blue bar at the top, you should see "Step = 8^0" change to "Step = 8^4".

Now you're all set: just click the play button in the top-left corner to start the simulation.

If you hover your mouse over the top-left corner of the screen, Golly will give you controls allowing you to zoom in and out, and to move around. All the interesting stuff is at the top-left and bottom-right of the white diagonal line, and you'll need to zoom in a few steps.

This proves intelligent design!! (1)

robcozzens (1835894) | more than 3 years ago | (#32605108)

From TFA: "It might help us understand how life on Earth began..."

So God is some pimply-faced kid programming away in his mom's basement?

GulfSniper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32605258)

The trouble with tribbles...

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