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Algorithmic Specified Complexity: The Game of Life

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Photo: John Conway, by "Thane Plambeck", CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

On a classic episode of ID the Future, Robert J. Marks and Winston Ewert, both of the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, discuss John Conway’s Game of Life, played on a rectangular grid. In the game, cells live or die depending on the cells that surround them. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Hobbyists have designed highly complex patterns using Conway’s simple rules of birth, death, and survival. Patterns include oscillators, spaceships, and glider guns. Ewert explains how the theory of algorithmic specified complexity can be applied to the game and to exploring design questions. The discussion centers around a peer-reviewed journal article by Ewert, Marks, and William Dembski: “Algorithmic Specified Complexity in the Game of Life.

Dr. Dembski, by the way, is among the speakers at the upcoming Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, February 20, 2021. Register now to join us, online or in person!