I take it your answer to the thought experiment I described in the post then would be no. There would be no difference in the actual process or the appearance of evolution between the “natural” world and the“artificial” simulated world created by powerful beings, assuming they had the necessary computing power, hardware, and software. You would say that evolution by natural selection does not really require anything natural at all. It could function exactly as it has and does in our world (assuming our world is indeed a natural one) in a totally simulated world. In this simulated world in which evolution works exactly as it does in our natural world would you maintain the name “natural selection” or would you rename it evolution by simulated selection? Does it matter? Should it matter?

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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