The EvoGrid
Earlier Project Background

The EvoGrid, A Project in Concept Development

Background to and the EvoGrid

In 1996 Bruce Damer founded an organization called to serve as a catalyst bringing diverse communities together around the theme of the origin of life, software that simulates life-like properties, artificial-life platforms, synthetic biology, and artistic and science fiction visions. Four conferences were held, the first at the site of the Burgess Shale in 1997, and featured notable figures as Douglas Adams, Richard Dawkins, Karl Sims, Tom Ray, Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker and others. After a decade of work with NASA on building open source 3D simulations, Bruce and an international team are coming together to develop another endeavor for, Project EvoGrid. "EvoGrid" is a short form of "Evolution Technology Grid" and will take a bottom-up approach to the challenge of merging biology with technology.

In one version of the EvoGrid known as "Broad", existing A-life simulations will be connected together into a common network allowing, say, the virtual ants from one simulation to travel into a virtual forest of another. Each A-life simulation would be enriched by the flow of increasingly complex objects and their collective biological realism could rise. In the second version of the EvoGrid, know as "Deep", we plan to create a multi-core, grid-based high performance simulation system in which with the right mix of properties, spontaneous adaptive complexity and the emergence of simple, life-like entities might be observed. EvoGrid Broad is a vision of a life simulator involving "intelligent designers", whereas EvoGrid Deep is more akin to an "Origin of Artificial Life" experiment. The EvoGrid concept is being developed in several communities, including the Grey Thumb "home brew artificial life" clubs worldwide.

EvoGrid the Un-Singularity

While the EvoGrid may bear some similarity to many Singularity concepts, it is at heart very much an "un-singularity" project. A co-author of the concept, Bruce Damer, believes that humanity is likely very far from being able to create top-down intelligence in software. Instead, he proposes that a more realizable and profound goal for humanity would be to show that an analog to evolution of life from the simplest starting virtual materials can in principle happen in a properly tuned and sufficiently powered digital simulation. The buildng of a successful "Evolution Machine" would shed life on the origins of terrestrial life, help us understand where in the universe life might arise, and give Humanity a powerful new tool: the tool of evolution, to shape life in the 21st Century and beyond.

EvoGrid Resources

New! EvoGrid Wiki starting!

The source concepts for the EvoGrid emerged from a collaborative writing project which have produced a new book: Divine Action and Natural Selection (World Scientific) scheduled for release on October 27th. For more details see:
and see attached chapter by Bruce entitled "The God Detector" which develops the EvoGrid concept., its conferences and new podcast are at:

More about Bruce's work with NASA at:
and his personal homepage is at:

EvoGrid Update Slide Presentations (Fall 2008)

And More...

New! EvoGrid PhD Research Proposal for the SMARTLab, University of East London (Revised Sept 2008)

Getting involved in the EvoGrid

EvoGrid Podcast Wiki is Launched and now you can subscribe to the EvoGrid mailing list.

EvoGrid Conversations and Presentations

New! Full Biota Podcasts mentioning the EvoGrid here:

Biota Live #26 - the EvoGrid (August Update) [August 1, 2008]

Biota Live #20 - the EvoGrid (May Update) [May 30, 2008]

Biota Live #14 - the EvoGrid (April Update) [April 18, 2008]

Biota Live #10 - the EvoGrid [March 22, 2008]

... and find the full Biota Podcast archive here

First Official Grey Thumb Silicon Valley/Bay Area Gathering 5.27.08 from Allan Lundell on Vimeo.  Bruce Damer presents an initial
vision of the EvoGrid vision.

Grey Thumb - Silicon Valley Gathering 6.24.08 @ Internet Archive in San Francisco. Part I (19 Minutes). Bruce Damer presents another version of the EvoGrid vision  

Bruce Damer's introduction to the Third Grey Thumb Silicon Valley meeting, July 28, 2008, at SRI International, Menlo Park, CA
Bruce Damer does another overview of Biota and the evolving EvoGrid concept. Meeting also features sessions by Zann Gill and Scott Schafer.

Powerpoint of presentation of EvoGrid Concept
(11MB) at SMARTLab, Univeristy of East London, July 2008

See detailed page of event here

See the event Poster (thanks Justin Lyon)

Bruce Damer talked about the EvoGrid at the British Computer Society in London on July 11, 2008
See the full page here with description and photos. Also see the PDF of presentation here and MP3 audio here (45MB).

Photos of the March 3rd, 2008 Grey Thumb presentation

See Bruce Damer's March 3, 2008 Grey Thumb Boston presentation slides on the EvoGrid here:
(Powerpoint (10MB) or PDF (1.8MB)) and the MP3 audio here (video to follow on


See Tish Shute's UgoTrade Blog Entry on the EvoGrid here! (February 2008)

EvoGrid Architectural Components (proposed)

Bruce Damer's original design notes for Nerves (the Autolab Project)
from December 1994-August 1995

Original site of the Nerves Prototype, 1995

Digital Spaces (DSS) an Open Source 3D Platform Developed by DigitalSpace and a distributed team for NASA
is a building block of the EvoGrid prototyping effort. See applications built in DSS at the DigitalSpace Corporation site

Sign up for the Biota Podcasts with some discussion of the EvoGrid here!

Sign up on the Biota mailing list here!

A project of

Site Launched February 4, 2008, Last updated September 19, 20008

Creative Commons License
The EvoGrid website contents by Project EvoGrid/Bruce Damer is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at