Category Archives: Evolution

Think I was trying for the wrong thing.



Written on Thursday September 27, 2018

mutation each extinction
figures1 skipcom
5.pop average 73
figures just fat
6.pop average 48
x.pop average 460 just fat longest with mu 131616 without only 38453
61.pop keeps doing too well to tell

I was trying to make s.pop into a six figures steady pop size stable population. I wanted to recreate 6.pop whose magic children have done so well that they climb off the measurement scale. I set things up so that s.pop was read from disc and stored in memory. Then, when s.pop died out, she’d be restored from memory rather than from disc. Mutations would happen unless the population was within a certain size range. Once it was all ready and as tested as I was willing to bother with, I let er rip.
Continue reading Think I was trying for the wrong thing.


Ep 193: The Pleistocene Ice and rat poo



The Pleistocene Ice and rat poo

For our final episode on the topic of natural history, we take a look at the Pleistocene. This epoch was the most recent ice age, and toward the end of this time, lots of the largest land mammals went extinct, while in the middle of the epoch, humans finally arrived on the scene.
Continue reading Ep 193: The Pleistocene Ice and rat poo


Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood



The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood

I managed to talk Phil into co-hosting again, even though he’s far away. Thanks to the internet, we talked about the Pliocene. At the beginning of this time, a nearly dry Mediterranean basin was flooded by the sea, causing a global drop in sea levels. Later, north and south America were connected, allowing plants and animals to travel to new places. This included the largest cat and largest bear ever to roam the Earth.
Continue reading Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood


Solving the mutation problem



This might solve everything. I’ll need to do some testing to make sure I’m right, but there’s a beautiful way around the mutation problem.

It’s not the type of mutation; it’s the type of population. We’ve got two main types: the quick and the slow. The quick ones, like m1.pop, do their best to fill up all available space and to make new figures as quickly as possible. The slow ones generally find a particular population size, and stay there, no matter how much more room is available; and they only make new figures slowly. I’ve said several times, and it turns out to be true—speed isn’t everything.
Continue reading Solving the mutation problem


Ep 189: The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job



The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job

Today we chat about the Miocene. During this epoch, kelp forest spread along the shoreline, creating habitat for otters and pinnipeds. The climate cooled and forest gave way to open grassland. Those grazing animals without the right kind of teeth died out, and the early apes diversified. Toward the end of the epoch, the branch of apes that would give rise to humans appeared.
Continue reading Ep 189: The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job


ep 188: The Oligocene, getting cold and growing huge



The Oligocene, getting cold and growing huge

Today we talk about the Oligocene epoch, when the climate cooled and forest gave way to areas of open land. Grass spread beyond the lake shores and river sides where it had been living, and began to spread across the landscape. Many animal types changed their bodies to become better runners, and we got the largest mammal ever to walk the earth.
Continue reading ep 188: The Oligocene, getting cold and growing huge


Ep 187: The Eocene, giant birds and proto-herds



The Eocene, giant birds and proto-herds

We cover the Eocene epoch, including early horses that lived in forests, but didn’t climb trees. We also had early forms of bores, rhinos, whales and primates.
Continue reading Ep 187: The Eocene, giant birds and proto-herds


Ep 186: Why would Paleocene males lay eggs?



Why would Paleocene males lay eggs?

Today, Phil and I get back to talking about the history of life and evolution, with the Paleocene epoch. During this time the birds spread out and diversify, along with the mammals. We talk about the early versions of the hooved animals and elephants, and a few other creatures. And I misspell champsosaurus. Hurray!
Continue reading Ep 186: Why would Paleocene males lay eggs?


Now that’s evolution!



Remember six? She’s a small population of the digital creatures I implemented, called “figures.” Six has a population size of 6, thus the name, and no matter how much room there is, no matter what the maximum population size happens to be, she always has a population size of 6 figures. Meanwhile, each figure will make one copy of itself and then die. There’s a constant stream of figures being born and copying themselves and dying, but the population size never changes/ it’s always 6.

I put six in a larger world. There was enough room for 200 figures. As expected, she still stayed at a 6 figure pop size. Then I started mutation.

Like I said in the last entry, the mutations are nasty, and often kill off an entire population. If that happened, six would be reloaded, back where she started before all this “mutation” business started going on, and do it all over again.

The notion was to see if six could evolve into a population that grows, instead of just holding steady. I set it up so it would beep at me when the population size reached 200, and pause the system so I could take a look at what six had become. I had no clue how long the experiment would run, or if six could be mutated into a growing population at all. I was all set to leave it running in the background while I did any&everything else.
Continue reading Now that’s evolution!


Playing with populations



For once, there are no bugs to report, or fix. There are some utility methods I should add, and the perennial chore of updating the documentation. All that is all well and good, and I’ll get it done well… or good. However, since I can, I spent a few days just playing with the system and some of the populations that have been generated.

Let me introduce you to some of the populations.
Continue reading Playing with populations