The evolution of organismal populations is not typically thought of in terms of classical mechanics. However, many of the conceptual models used to approximate evolutionary trajectories have implicit parallels to dynamical physical systems. Therefore, it stands to reason that dynamical physical models can be adapted to model less explored aspects of evolutionary (biological) systems. In this paper, I will present the parallels between currently-used evolutionary models and a type of model called Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS). Based on this comparison, I will then introduce a new model for characterizing evolvability in living (biological) systems based on the LCS approach (an LCS-like model that shares attributes with agent-based approaches). It is my contention that the limits of evolvability in a population can be treated in a way analogous to fronts, waves, and other aggregate formations observed in fluid dynamics. To accomplish this, the various measures and architectures that constitute this approach will be introduced. Relevant evolutionary scenarios will also be reinterpreted using this framework. Specifically, I will provide examples of how this model can be applied to modeling so-called evolvable boundaries and related scenarios involving evolutionary neutrality, such as migrations, demographic bottlenecks, and island biogeography. While still in the conceptual stages, the LCS-like model introduced here could eventually be applied to a wide range of problems, including open problems in theoretical biology and controller design.
Below is a summary cartoon describing the evolutionary process discussed in the paper: