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Respecting the Medium

If the objective is to instantiate rather than simulate life, then care must be taken in transferring ideas from natural to artificial life forms. Preconceptions derived from experience with natural life may be inappropriate in the context of the artificial medium. Getting it right is an art, which likely will take some skill and practice to develop.

However, respecting the medium is only one approach, which I happen to favor. I do not wish to imply that it is the only valid approach. It is too early to know which approach will generate the best results, and I hope that other approaches will be developed as well. I have attempted to articulate clearly this ``natural'' approach to synthetic life, so that those who choose to follow it may achieve greater consistency in design through a deeper understanding of the method.

Thomas S.Ray
Thu Aug 3 13:59:36 JST 1995