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I have asked a similar question in Biology.SE (What physics knowledge can be applied to biology of organisms and ecosystems?), but it just about organisms and ecosystems, not evolution. After watching a clip that Richard Dawkin talks about applying Darwinian evolution to physics, I would like to ask a vice versa question: is there any knowledge of physics can be applied in to evolution?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you wanting to know about the biophysical interactions of nucleic acids driving evolution, or applying brownian motion to evolving population models? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Jan 11, 2015 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @GoodGravy I want to know both to have a good start to google better $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 11, 2015 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ Related question on Physics. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jan 12, 2015 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 I agree that it's a related question, but it's not a duplicate one. $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 12, 2015 at 1:05
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    $\begingroup$ Meteors an such are part of astrophysics. Meteors can cause extinction, which is related to evolution. So I would say yes. $\endgroup$
    – jinawee
    Jan 13, 2015 at 12:12

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There's some. The basic idea is that entropy, as rigorously defined in statistical physics, can be equated to complexity. This is an idea that has been around since at least the 1957 paper by Jaynes. In a fairly hand-wavey way, one can then say that a system that is being fed a large quantity of free energy (as the earth is by the sun) tends to become more complex over time (i.e. evolve).

Thinking this through a bit, the above argument applies as easily to weather patterns as it does to living creatures. Recently, with the rise of computers and modeling there have been attempts to apply these kinds of general ideas (increasing free energy leading to increasing complexity) to living creatures in a more systematic way. Jeremy England is one researcher working on this problem, and this link goes to a pretty good pop-science-style writeup of his work on the topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ your answer is indeed what I'm looking for. Thank you so much. $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jan 14, 2015 at 1:01

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