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Stewart Dean's Guide to Artificial Life


Artificial Life explains complex organisms.
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Michigan State University and the California Institute of Technology, with the help of powerful computers, have used ALife, to create a road map detailing the evolution of complex organisms, an old problem in biology. More Here

Conway's life in Flash.

You'll need the latest version of the Flash plug-in but here's one of my first interactive alife examples. Click here to launch. See the cellular automata section for more information.

Support the eDarwin project.
John Torrey has been busy working away on a Tiarra like program that runs under windows. Please take a look at his work and give him some feedback. Visit

Your Feedback.
Thanks for all the great feedback I have received. I am aware that this site is in need of some bringing up to date and am thankful for pointing out some older errors that persisted - like Dawkings instead of Dawkins. Here's a few kind words...

"Thank you for the website on Alife, it was very informative, interesting, and visually pleasing. I think this is one of the websites that should be an example for others to follow. True, free information on the informations superhighway."
Victor A. Waters

"I just wanted to thank you for the web site you' have made it's clear, understandable."
Jean Jacques

"I just had to drop you an email and tell how remarkably wonderful your website is. I've been looking for good Alife/Evolutionary algorithm research to start an ALife project that I plan on pursuing and I found your website to be extremely helpful."
John Mancine

As well as all those linking to the site I'd like to give special thanks to Ray Kurzweil for the reference in The Age of Spiritual Machines that have brought readers from outside of cyber space.

Stewart Dean May 2003


If you want to understand life - build it. If you want to prove a theory - use it. That's what separates artificial life (alife) from other theories of life, it's about constant demonstration and experimentation. You'll find alife can be applied to any system, from politics to blood. Artificial life was born in about 1987 by combining many already existing fields and is making it's way through modern thinking. See an introduction to Artificial Life to begin your exploration of what could claim to be the most realist explanation of life.

Stewart Dean Jan 1999

Please send any corrections, comments or additions to: alife(at)stewdean(dot)com

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