The term autopoiesis, which means "self-production" was originally introduced by Chilean biologists Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana in the early 1970s. They attempted to create simple models which capture the essence of the living organism, like:

Its identity remains constant while its components continually change.
It is a whole (holon) despite the dynamics of its component parts.
It is self organizing, can repair itself, and its properties emerge.

The original model was written in FORTRAN and placed in a lattice. The unit had a interior wrapped in a membrane through which it interacted with the exterior. You are invited to experience a more sophisticated autopoiesis model, the proliferon, which applies two powerful tools, JAVA and CA.

The experiment illustrates a profound philosophical question. Are living organisms teleological? Do they have an end purpose? The proliferon has two end purposes: To mature and produce offspring.

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