Something that exploits its environment to make copies of itself. Two kinds of replicator are the gene and the meme, which inhabit the biosphere and infosphere, respectively. The replicator is the fundamental unit of evolution by Natural Selection.

In the Star Trek universe, a device that can make an exact copy of almost any object. It works by analyzing the object to be replicated, then using the computer to reconstruct it using any old matter that happens to be lying around. It does, however, have its limitations. It cannot replicate energy, and replicator food never tastes as good as the real thing.

religious issues = R = reply

replicator n.

Any construct that acts to produce copies of itself; this could be a living organism, an idea (see meme), a program (see quine, worm, wabbit, fork bomb, and virus), a pattern in a cellular automaton (see life, sense 1), or (speculatively) a robot or nanobot. It is even claimed by some that Unix and C are the symbiotic halves of an extremely successful replicator; see Unix conspiracy.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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