Seeing is believing: Creating 3D environments to facilitate evolutionary education. (Visiting Scholar)
We address the pressing need for public education about evolutionary theory using a 3 dimensional virtual world as a platform to host a simulated ecosystem (implemented from previous work by our lab). The simulation consists of multiple models of plant and animal species interacting in a virtual space. Different organism configurations possess different efficiencies of energy use, motility, etc. The body plan for each simulated animal will be dictated by a simple character-based “genetic” code. Competition for food resources (primarily plants, represented by a hybrid cellular automata/artificial life scheme) will be the dominant driver for natural selection.