What is a major difference between "to mimic something" and "to simulate something?"
I thought both expressions could be almost the same, but they are used together in one sentence like "mimic or simulate, for example, human behavioral patterns."
Thanks for your help.
They end up referring to the same process, but when you mimic something it's a two-way activity - you hear/watch and then you copy. 'Simulate' refers just to the productive phase of the process; you could program a computer to simulate something (you wouldn't use mimic there). At least, that's the difference to my ear.
Also, 'mimic' often refers to imitating people (or other animals). You'd mimic a politician or an orang-utan, but use a computer to simulate a process. (... So I'm coming round to your way of thinking; I suspect 'mimic or simulate' is often used for the sake of padding out a word-count! - I'd prefer to use one or the other.)
Thank you, BobK, for your explanation!
Now I realized that this question was something even a native English speaker would think the same way I do about
I'm glad at least that I was able to confirm the difference in the way each word should be used.