I'm periodically amazed that there hasn't been a modern update of Sim Earth, the genius of which was that it made me feel equal parts scientist and god, both of which are unattainable goals in my actual life as I have no aptitude for reality or divinity. Doesn't matter because we'll all be bald space marines within the next twenty years and I'm sure some sort of shaving implement and stick-to-wall training will be provided. Meanwhile, I'm still looking for the next great Science-God game and I've found Discovery, a free browser-based offering. It's short and fairly simple, given that its scope is the creation and contemplation of a world, but it is an interesting little toy. Try it.
Maybe it is my inner nostalgic taking over, but I don't find it too hard to see life in these blotches of colour. The biggest and most damaging limitation is the size of the world, which doesn't provide the proper scope for fusing continents and sinking mighty land bridges, but the game is perhaps more about discovering the limits of structure rather than unlimited horizons.