virus: ESS's and Punc. Equil.

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 11:45:02 -0400

Hi virians,

I have a quick question regarding my recent reading of The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins, 1976). In chapter 5, on page 93, Dawkins writes:

"The gene pool will become an /evolutationary stable set/ of genes, defined as a gene pool which cannot be invaded by any new gene. Most new genes which arise, either by mutation or reassortment or immigration, are quickly penalized by natural selection: the evolutationary stable set is restored. Occasionally a new gene does succeed in invading the set: it succeeds in spreading through the gene pool. There is a transitional period of instability, terminating in a new evolutationary stable set -- a little bit of evolution has occured. [...] Progressive evolution may be not so much a steady upward climb as a series of discrete steps from stable plateau to stable plateau."

So my question is -- when did Puncuated Equilibrium enter the meme pool? And has anybody else written on the relationship between evolutationary stable strategies and puncuated equilibrium?