Evolutionary Dynamics

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Sep 29, 2006 - Science - 363 pages
7 Reviews
At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. Evolutionary Dynamics is concerned with these equations of life. In this book, Martin A. Nowak draws on the languages of biology and mathematics to outline the mathematical principles according to which life evolves. His work introduces readers to the powerful yet simple laws that govern the evolution of living systems, no matter how complicated they might seem. Evolution has become a mathematical theory, Nowak suggests, and any idea of an evolutionary process or mechanism should be studied in the context of the mathematical equations of evolutionary dynamics. His book presents a range of analytical tools that can be used to this end: fitness landscapes, mutation matrices, genomic sequence space, random drift, quasispecies, replicators, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, games in finite and infinite populations, evolutionary graph theory, games on grids, evolutionary kaleidoscopes, fractals, and spatial chaos. Nowak then shows how evolutionary dynamics applies to critical real-world problems, including the progression of viral diseases such as AIDS, the virulence of infectious agents, the unpredictable mutations that lead to cancer, the evolution of altruism, and even the evolution of human language. His book makes a clear and compelling case for understanding every living system—and everything that arises as a consequence of living systems—in terms of evolutionary dynamics.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amarcobio - LibraryThing

Nowak's writing is always engaging, and this book is no exception. It provides an alternative view to the classic allele population genetics. Specifically, he strongly relies in game theory. It is a good complement to more classic texts to prepare a course. Read full review

Review: Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life

User Review  - Frank - Goodreads

Important content, but somewhat too dumbed down. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
What Evolution Is
9
Fitness Landscapes and Sequence Spaces
27
Evolutionary Games
45
Prisoners of the Dilemma
71
Finite Populations
93
Games in Finite Populations
107
Evolutionary Graph Theory
123
HIV Infection
167
Evolution of Virulence
189
Evolutionary Dynamics of Cancer
209
Language Evolution
249
Conclusion
287
Further Reading
295
References
311
Index
349

Spatial Games
145

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About the author (2006)

Martin Nowak is Professor of Biology and of Mathematics at Harvard University. He is Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics.

Bibliographic information