This paper gives details of Squirm3, a new artificial environment based on a simple physics and chemistry that supports self-replicating molecules somewhat similar to DNA. The self-replicators emerge spontaneously from a random soup given the right conditions. Interactions between the replicators can result in mutated versions that can outperform their parents. We show how artificial chemistries such as this one can be implemented as a cellular automaton. We concur with Dittrich, Ziegler, and Banzhaf that artificial chemistries are a good medium in which to study early evolution.

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