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Ever suffering with Amoeba Fever?

No? Then dive down to the imponderable depths of the primordial soup in "Ursuppe", a wonderful game by External Link IconDoris & Frank. You'll be elected by some tribe of amoeba to become its master. Your tasks:

  1. Tell your amoebas where to find rich grazing grounds.
  2. Tell your amoebas when and where it is favourable to breed.
  3. Enhance your amoeba population with efficient gene combos or some good timed genetic mutation.

Basically, your amoebas can only eat, excrete, breed, drift and move in a random direction. All of these abilities can be improved to an amazingly high level with the help of genes which you can acquire by investing biopoints. But beware - if your amoebas have too many genes some of the genes could be destroyed due to a thin ozone layer!

Of course, all the other tribes also have their masters. Try to mar their plans; they'll do it with yours. Many amoebas and many genes will earn you many progression points which you need to win the game.

Ursuppe is a game with great strategic depth, especially if you play with the additional genes from the expansion "Ursuppe - Frisch abgeschmeckt". And it is much fun to play. Usually, I'm interested solely in the "fun factor" of the games I play. But in this case there is more, since the subject of the game kept my interest for several years. There are many interesting scientific results concerning the hypothetical origin of life on the hypothetical early earth several hypothetical billion years ago, but there's still no complete theory of the origin of life without any divine intervention. (Not that I would believe in any god(s). In my life, I have found nothing that would give me the feeling of justification for one of the following daring statements: "There is a god (and he/she/it has these and these properties)" - "There is no god whatsoever." - "We can't know anything about the question whether there is a god or not." I just dunno. This should qualify me as some meta-agnostic weirdo. ;-) Imho, the main problem is to explain how the DNA-code of the structure of proteins emerged - how did it come to happen that the structure of all proteins the cell needs to function (esp. the cell needs to copy its DNA with an extremely low error rate) is coded on the DNA in such a way that all necessary proteins can be produced according to this code by the cell in a manner that strongly resembles industrial production?

If you are interested in this subject, you can try the following external links:

Punkt  External Link IconLeben auf der Erde: Von der Uratmosphäre zu den ersten Lebewesen (German/ by Klaus Strobach)
An extensive article about the hypothetical early evolution. You can find there also in-depth material concerning the evolution of matter and many branches of science. The motto is: "Geist oder Materie ?! Schein oder Sein ?!"
Punkt  External Link IconChemische Evolution (German/ by Ralph Hübner)
some materials concerning the chemical evolution (covers Urey effect, primordial soup, hypercycles, early evolution and biomembranes)
Punkt  External Link IconLeiwen's Origin of Life (English/ by Leiwen)
a collection of different hypotheses concerning the origin of life
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first published: 10.09.1998 Critics, comments, remarks, questions? Mail to © 1998 - 2006 Jörg Zuther
last modified: 03.09.2006