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Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie

International journal of research in physical chemistry and chemical physics

Editor-in-Chief: Rademann, Klaus

12 Issues per year

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Volume 216, Issue 1


From Quasispecies to Universal Grammar

Martin A. Nowak
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/zpch.2002.216.1.005

The perspective of this paper is to compare mathematical models for the evolutionary dynamics of genomes and languages. The quasispecies equation describes the evolution of genetic sequences under the influence of mutation and selection. A central result is an error threshold which specifies the minimum replication accuracy required for maintaining genetic information of a certain length. The language equation describes the evolution of communication, including the cultural evolution of grammar and the biological evolution of universal grammar. A central result is a coherence threshold which specifies certain conditions that universal grammar has to fulfill in order to induce coherent communication in a population.

About the article

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2002-01-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Volume 216, Issue 1, Pages 5–, ISSN (Online) 2196-7156, ISSN (Print) 0942-9352, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/zpch.2002.216.1.005.

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