Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift by Florencia Reali, Thomas L. Griffiths
This publication demonstrates that the transmission of frequency distributions over variants of linguistic forms by Bayesian learners is equivalent to the Wright–Fisher model of genetic drift.
Meaning that, even though there are different “mechanisms” for language evolution and genetic evolution, the abstract processes governing the transmission of frequency distributions is the same.
To me, this has profound implications. There are “physical” forces at work, driving the evolution of this “information”.
Language is information. Genetics is information. The analogy being words are alleles. Language is a complex arrangement and organization of words to render meaningful information, that is then used to guide the actions (behavior) of biological organisms. Genetics is a complex arrangement and organization of alleles to render meaningful information, that is then used to guide the action (behavior) of biological organisms.
This discovery is fascinating, because it reveals that there are “physical” forces at work. And by physical, I’m referring to energy, and the operational principles guiding that energy through matter, specifically biological organisms, on different levels– psychological and biological.
Information is patterns. Patterns result from energy, or heat. Vibrations.
The same physical force driving genetic evolution is driving language evolution.
This indicates an isometric thermodynamic process guiding information formation and evolution processes.