Cite as:

Yaneer Bar-Yam and Hiroki Sayama, Formalizing the gene-centered view of evolution, InterJournal, Brief Article 385.


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.