If the world is a computer, life is an algorithm

Cellular automata could describe quantum physics, the universe and biological evolution

By Tom Siegfried, 11:54 AM June 18, 2014

First of two parts

To Shakespeare, all the world was a stage. To natural philosophers of Newton’s era, it was a mechanical clock. Physicists of the 19th century viewed reality more like a steam engine. Today a fair number of scientists regard nature as a computer.

You can’t blame scientists for conceiving of the universe in terms familiar from their everyday life. That’s just the way that thinking works, whether it’s about the laws of nature or anything else. And you have to admit that nowadays...

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