Darwin's Continent Cycle Theory and Its Simulation by the Prisoner's Dilemma

Theoretical biology has largely ignored Darwin 's true evolution model. In his famous book about the origin of species, Darwin detailed the importance of a population structure on evolution. He conjectured that a large continent that exists for long periods in a broken condition will be the most favorable for the production of many new forms of life. We call this conject ure Darwin 's continent cycle theory. In this paper we investigate some of Darwin 's arguments in support of his theory by simulat ing an art ificial ecology with the parallel genetic algorithm. The art ificial ecology consists of a populat ion playing the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Th e major emphasis of this paper is on the methodological questions of the simulation. These are the genet ic representation, the mapping of the genotypes to phenotypes, and the spatial population st ructure.

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