13.13. Glossary

Adaptation: Species interact with their environments in ways that seem too complex, too intricate, and too clever to happen by chance.

Differential Survival (Reproduction): The differences between individuals have to affect their ability to survive or reproduce.

Environment: The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.

Fitness: Fitness is a quantity related to the ability of an agent to survive or reproduce.

Fitness Contributions: The genotype of an agent, which corresponds to its location in the fitness landscape, is represented by a NumPy array of zeros and ones.

Fitness Landscape: The function that maps from genotype to fitness.

Genotype: The information that gets copied when the agent replicates.

Increasing Complexity: The history of life on earth starts with relatively simple life forms, with more complex organisms appearing later in the geological record.

Increasing Diversity: Over time the number of species on earth has generally increased (despite several periods of mass extinction).

Natural Selection: The process in which inherited variations between individuals cause differences in survival and reproduction.

Phenotype: The fitness landscape represents information about how the genotype of an organism is related to its physical form and capabilities.

Replicators: We need a population of agents that can reproduce in some way. We’ll start with replicators that make perfect copies of themselves. Later we’ll add imperfect copying, that is, mutation.

Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection: Claims that new species are created and existing species change due to natural selection.

Variation: We need variability in the population, that is, differences between individuals.

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