The Mirror of Physics: On how the Price Equation can Unify Evolutionary Biology
December 15, 2021
XII Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Metateoría Estructuralista
Buenos Aires, December 15-17, 2021
Victor J. Luque, Lorenzo Baravalle, The Mirror of Physics: On how the Price Equation can Unify Evolutionary Biology
Due to its high degree of complexity and its historical nature, evolutionary biology has been traditionally portrayed as a messy science. According to the supporters of such a view, evolutionary biology would be unable to formulate laws and robust theories, instead just delivering coherent narratives and local models. In this article, our aim is to challenge this view by showing how the Price equation can work as the core of a general theoretical framework for evolutionary phenomena. To support this claim, we outline some unnoticed structural similarities between physical theories (in particular, classical mechanics) and evolutionary biology. More specifically, we shall argue that the Price equation, in the same way as fundamental formalisms in physics, can serve as a heuristic principle to formulate and systematise different theories and models in evolutionary biology.