What is Artificial Life?

Barry McMullin

Dublin City University

Rethinking Life: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives
A Workshop at Artificial Life IX
Boston, 12 September 2004
(FoilTeX Presentation)



Schrödinger's Question [1]

...We feel clearly that we are only now beginning to acquire reliable material for welding together the sum total of all that is known into a whole; but, on the other hand, it has become next to impossible for a single mind fully to command more than a small specialized portion of it. I can see no other escape from this dilemma (lest our true aim be lost forever) than that some of us should venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them--and at the risk of making fools of ourselves.

Schrödinger's Question [2]

von Neumann's Question [1]

von Neumann' Question [2]

Image vnsr-plus

\begin{displaymath}((u_0 \oplus m) \oplus d(u_0 \oplus m)) \leadsto
((u_0 \oplus m) \oplus d(u_0 \oplus m)) \end{displaymath}

Vitalism is Dead! (Long live vitalism?)

Questions of Origin

Questions of Being

Questions of Growth

Simulation and Realization (!?)

Frankenstein Redux

The past appeared to me in the light of a frightful dream; yet the vessel in which I was, the wind that blew me from the detested shore of Ireland, and the sea which surrounded me told me too forcibly that I was deceived by no vision and that Clerval, my friend and dearest companion, had fallen a victim to me and the monster of my creation.

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© 2003 Barry.McMullin@dcu.ie
Datestamp: 2004-09-12