About
Examples
Interests
Overview
Pondulation
Number Waves
3-D House Plan
Garden Site
Treasure Tales
Games

Pondulation

An artificial life program written in Flash/Actionscript 3, made to demonstrate to middle school students, through simulation, the natural phemonenon of evolution in response to environmental change.

The microbes are propelled by flagella that are regulated by sensors. The sensors have matching colors/shapes to the food particles that they detect. A solidly-shaded sensor excites the flagellum to which it is connected, while an outlined sensor suppresses the activity of the flagellum. Over time (which can be sped up with the "Speed" slider, the microbe strains mutate from generation to generation, altering the size limits (the points at which they can eat and grow no more and undergo binary fission) and flagellum configurations. If available food is changed to food of a specific color using the swap buttons on the left, the microbes will gradually evolve through the combination of random and natural selection to specialize in seeking that type of food. (Note that the buttons change only the free particles, not any particles currently locked up inside microbes, which get released when microbes die, so it takes several presses, with waits between presses, for all particles to be changed to the desired type.)

There is no deliberate coordination of this process of adaptation; the microbes are simply alllowed to randomly incrementally mutate, and the process of natural selection takes care of the rest, because microbes that are worse at finding the needed food (or waste too much energy on unneeded body parts) go hungry sooner.

Demonstration video:

©2012-2017 Jacob Cappell