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J Theor Biol. 2002 Nov 7;219(1):93-8.

Unifying evolutionary dynamics.

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  • 1Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ, 08540, U.S.A.


Darwinian evolution is based on three fundamental principles, reproduction, mutation and selection, which describe how populations change over time and how new forms evolve out of old ones. There are numerous mathematical descriptions of the resulting evolutionary dynamics. In this paper, we show that apparently very different formulations are part of a single unified framework. At the center of this framework is the equivalence between the replicator-mutator equation and the Price equation. From these equations, we obtain as special cases adaptive dynamics, evolutionary game dynamics, the Lotka-Volterra equation of ecology and the quasispecies equation of molecular evolution.

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