I am interested in studying the theoretical feasibility that very complex systems such as the vascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, among others, could have emerged by means of random mutations plus natural selection. Are there computational models that have successfully verified (via simulation or other means) the theoretical feasibility of the Darwinian hypothesis that random mutations plus natural selection can indeed give rise to sophisticated systems under the time constraint and the environmental constraints life on Earth probably had to face? What is the state of the art (as of 2020 and later) on this regard?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, those exist. Look up "Artificial Life" , "Genetic Algorithms" and "Evolutionary Computation". $\endgroup$
    – S. McGrew
    May 7 '20 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the search keywords, but do you know if they have been able to successfully simulate DNA mutations in a population and see if new organs or new systems can emerge from that? Maybe asking for a 100% accurate simulation of a biological organism can be too much, but at least an approximate simulation, as close to reality as possible. Do you know if anything like that has been done? $\endgroup$
    – xwb
    May 7 '20 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ Eyes have been evolved digitally. I dont know about ohher organs. Starting from DNA per se has not been done, because we don't yet know how to calculate the process of producing an organ from DNA instructions. However, the principles of evolution have been extremely well verified digitally as well as in the lab, as in "directed evolution". $\endgroup$
    – S. McGrew
    May 7 '20 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. Can you share some references to learn more about this? Especially on the evolution of eyes digitally. $\endgroup$
    – xwb
    May 7 '20 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ Here is one. Really, a Google search will get you pretty far down this road. ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8790284 $\endgroup$
    – S. McGrew
    May 7 '20 at 15:43

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