MathBench > Population Dynamics

Mutation and Equilibrium

>Episode 2: Hardy and Weinberg to the rescue

The topic of the day is equilibrium ... dynamic equilibrium.

dynamiteEquilibrium means stability. Dynamic, on the other hand, implies movement. Explosive movement, in the case of the related word “dynamite”.

So when you put them together, what do you get? How can something(s) be moving and not moving at the same time? This is not actually one of those Zen riddles. Actually the world around us is full of dynamic equilibrium:

I exercise

I eat
guy walking my weight does not change
I argue

my opponent argues back
2 tigers 'arguing'

no one changes their mind

some people move to the city

other people move to the countryside
moving truck both have the same population as before


The Hardy-Weinberg Law predicts equilibrium for both allelic and genotypic frequencies. However, this equilibrium is not DYNAMIC, because it is not produced by dynamic processes acting in opposition to each other. In the final episode of this module, however, we will discuss how the allelic equilibrium really is dynamic, and happens much more slowly than the Hardy-Weinberg genotypic equilibrium. Stay tuned...