A COMPUTER SIMULATED EXAMPLE OF EXTINCTION WITH
A TYPICAL POWER LAW SIGNATURE:
Ecologist Tom Ray suggested that co-evolving systems create ecosystems
which attain the poised edge of chaos. Ray began studying model ecosystems
in which the organisms are self-reproducing computer programs that live
and spawnwithin the confined world of a computer's memory core.
He named his artificial simulated world, Tierra. Each program was capable
of copying it's self onto an adajent lcation in the core.The programs are
also able to mutate, thus forming a community with
one another. Many lively things occurred in the computerized ecosystem.
Organisms emerged acting as parasites, borrowing the instructions of their
hosts to replicate themselves and hosts respond by forming boundaries to
ward off the parasites.
In time however, Ray's organisms expired. A plot of the size distribution
of extinction events in Tierra was performed to look for a
typical power law signature, indicative of complex systems.