ABSTRACT

Evolution of self-replicating macromolecules through natural selection is a dynamically ordered process. Two concepts are introduced to describe the physical regularity of macromolecular evolution: sequence space and quasi-species. Natural selection means localization of a mutant distribution in sequence space. This localized distribution, called the quasi-species, is centered around a master sequence (or a degenerate set), that the biologist would call the wild-type. The self-ordering of such a system is an essential consequence of its formation through self-reproduction of its macromolecular consti tuents, a process that in the dynamical equations expresses itself by positive diagonal coefficients called selective values. The theory describes how population numbers of wild type and mutants are related to the distribution of selective values, that is to say, how value topography maps into population topography. For selectively (nearly) neutral mutants appearing in the quasi- species distribution, population numbers are greatly enhanced as compared to those of disadvantageous mutants, even more so in continuous domains of such selectively valuable mutants. As a consequence, mutants far distant from the wild type may occur because they are produced with the help of highly populated, less distant precursors. Since values are cohesively distributed, like mountains on earth, and since their positions are multiply connected in the high-dimensional sequence space, the overpopulation of (nearly) neural mutants provides guidance for the evolutionary process. Localization in sequence space, subject to a threshold in the fidelity of reproduction, is steadily challenged until an optimal state is reached. The model has been designed according to experimentally determined properties of self-replicating molecules. The conclusions reached from the theoretical models can be used to construct machines that provide optimal conditions for the evolution of functional macromolecules.

chapter 1|15 pages

The Concept of the Institute 1

ByMurray Gell-Mann

chapter 3|22 pages

Macromolecular Evolution: Dynamical Ordering in Sequence Space

ByManfred Eigen

chapter 5|13 pages

Prospects for a Synthesis in the Human Behavioral Sciences

ByIrven Devore

chapter 6|10 pages

The Emergence of Evolutionary Psychology

ByJohn Tooby

chapter 7|7 pages

War in Evolutionary Perspective

ByRichard W. Wrangham

chapter 8|2 pages

The Relationship of Modern Archeology to Other Disciplines

ByDouglas Schwartz

chapter 9|7 pages

Reconstructing the Past through Chemistry

ByAnthony Turkevich

chapter 10|25 pages

The Conscious and Unconscious Stream of Thought

ByJerome L. Singer

chapter 11|2 pages

Emerging Syntheses in Science: Conscious and Unconscious Processes

ByMardi J. Horowitz

chapter 12|9 pages

Brain Mechanisms Underlying Visual Hallucinations

ByJ. D. Cowan

chapter 13|20 pages

Solitons in Biological Molecules 1

ByAlwyn C. Scott

chapter 14|2 pages

The New Biology and its Human Implications

ByTheodore T. Puck

chapter 15|11 pages

Biomolecules

ByHans Frauenfelder

chapter 17|8 pages

Fundamental Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

ByFrank Wilczek

chapter 18|8 pages

Complex Systems Theory 1

ByStephen Wolfram

chapter 19|13 pages

Mathematics and the Sciences

ByFelix E. Browder

chapter 20|6 pages

Applications of Mathematics to Theoretical Computer Science

ByHarvey Friedman

chapter 21|4 pages

Linguistics and Computing

ByM. P. Schützenberger

chapter 23|3 pages

Plans for the Future

ByGeorge A. Cowan