Artificial Life: Where to Start?
I have some concepts for artificial life experiments that I would like to implement. However, I know next to nothing about the actual implementation of artificial life programming. Notice I say artificial life and not artificial intelligence, they are two very separate things in my mind. By artificial life I mean non-sentient (maybe eventually sentient, who knows...? but not to begin with) beings who are capable of self-replication, self-defense, and resource allocation, and eventually self-organization...Now I understand that it's a conceptually difficult, not to mention technically difficult, experimental field to begin in as well as to be successful in. So all I'm asking is this:
Where do I start? That is to say, where can I find suitable source code for simple life emulation programs? The only thing I've found so far has been certain Java classes for pre-existing Alife like floys. I guess what I'm looking for is a tutorial or small examples with explanations...
Is C++ a suitable language for artificial life? From my novice perspective it seems that it should be, being object oriented and all.
Is there a good site that thouroughly explains genetic algorithms? After the beginning stages I'd like to eventually be able to implement genetic algorithms, or something with equal functionality, if such a thing exists, for an evolutionary approach to artificial life.
Any information is of use to me so please, whatever suggestions or clarifying questions you may have, post away!