After having discussed how life might have originated in the early Earth (chapter 6), chapter 7 looks at how living organisms evolve by natural selection. It does that from a quantitative perspective, appropriate in the context of Artificial Chemistries. It starts with an introduction to evolutionary dynamics, the mathematical modelling of evolutionary processes. Basic concepts in evolutionary dynamics such as replication, death, selection, fitness landscapes, resource limitations, neutrality, drift and mutations are briefly explained. The classical Lotka-Volterra system is illustrated as a chemistry involving these basic concepts. An early artificial chemistry called random catalytic reaction network is then discussed, which links to the final part of the chapter, where various artificial chemistries that model evolutionary processes are reviewed, together with a brief overview of some algorithms in this area.
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