Based on a recent set of questions asked about Artificial Life, it appears that it is a subject that is primarily Computer Science-based.

It also does not appear that in the manner that the questions are being asked, that there is a direct question to understand the actual workings of Evolution and Natural Selection as evidence shows that it has worked through out the history of life on Earth.

The questions have tended more towards a speculative nature, with parameters set that do not faithfully model the facts of Evolution on Earth. If the OPs are not simply asking for clarification about the underlying biology and mechanisms of Evolution, then they are asking about things that should be considered off-topic for the site.

While some of these questions are interesting thought experiments, they do not appear to be on-topic for a site that provides fact-based answers to questions about Biology. We can only speculate what the results would have been if we changed a parameter of evolution, and as such, would have to leave the realm of fact-based answers.

We have similar guidelines on the help-center regarding bioinformatics

Questions on interdisciplinary subjects like bioinformatics are also welcome, as long as they focus on the biological part of the subject.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd like to hear from some people closer to evolutionary biology on how relevant this kind of simulations are to the biological research in the area before deciding anything here. I'm just not sure where the line should be drawn here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'm hesitant to generally consider models with biologically "unrealistic" assumptions as uninteresting for biology - to test corner-cases and the consequences of alternative assumptions can be a good way to better understand the "real" world. One example would be Fisher's work on why there are only two sexes (also see Hurst, 1996), which use hypothetical scenarios and models to help us to better understand evolutionary dynamics. So I agree with @MadScientist, that it's difficult to draw the line. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ [cnd:] As long as Qs are framed in biological terms and has biologically interesting implications I think that they should be allowed (as long as they fit the scope of the site in other ways, naturally). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater I am not saying speculation is not an important tool for thinking about scientific problems, I am only raising the observation that they tend not to be productive in this format. If you have examples of these sorts of questions on the main site that fell into the "Unrealistic" category that produced productive and interesting answers, then I would be interested in you providing them here as it might help in the discussion to have actual counterarguments where leaving the question open produced fruitful results. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ No, I don't have any particular examples from the site that I can think of. I just feel hesitant to create a general "rule" that prohibit these types of questions based on a couple of examples, especially since I can imagine situations where such questions (either based on personal musings or e.g. when failing to understand published Artificial Life simulations) could be fruitfully answered. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 1:12

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I made a meta post about non-biological questions featuring biological things being of topic, which I think is of relevance here.

ALife questions are on topic if, and only if, they focus on the biological aspects. For example, the question "If evolution is not about improvement why is there so much improvement?" is/was a biological question. Darwin had the exact same question, he realised that the frequency with which we see adaption must have an explanation, that is, selection is one mechanism of evolution. So the answer to the question is to explain the difference between the concepts of evolution and adaptation.

Just as with bioinformatics questions, if they are non-biological questions then they are off topic.

The trick is getting to the core of the question, often ALife questions are lengthy and cryptic. It would help to have users streamline their questions to make the core question obvious. I think this would also help in the battle against poor quality answes as the post would be less attractive to opinion based answers.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that this gets back to comments I have made on other posters questions, and that is that there is a core question that does not require all of the superfluous details and editorialization about simulation or, in some cases, religion. I can fit the question from the question you linked into my remaining characters in this comment: Is evolution responsible for all of the improvements that we see in nature? If it is, then why do we say that evolution is only about change and not improvement? If evolution isn't responsible for improvement, then what mechanism accounts for it? $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @AMR I've done some work... biology.stackexchange.com/posts/42050/revisions $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 13:22

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