Yaneer Bar-Yam and Hiroki Sayama
New England Complex Systems Institute
24 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
yaneer@necsi.org / sayama@necsi.org

Submitted to the InterJournal (manuscript no. 385) and presented at the International Conference on Complex Systems, Nashua, New Hampshire, May 2000.


A historical dispute in the conceptual underpinnings of evolution is the validity of the gene centered view of evolution. We transcend this debate by formalizing the gene centered view and establishing the limits on its applicability. We show that the gene-centered view is a dynamic version of the well known mean field approximation. It breaks down for trait divergence which corresponds to symmetry breaking in evolving populations.

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