Information Theory and Evolution

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World Scientific, 2003 - Science - 217 pages
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This highly interdisciplinary book discusses the phenomenon of life, including its origin and evolution (and also human cultural evolution), against the background of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory. Among the central themes is the seeming contradiction between the second law of thermodynamics and the high degree of order and complexity produced by living systems. This paradox has its resolution in the information content of the Gibbs free energy that enters the biosphere from outside sources, as the author shows. The role of information in human cultural evolution is another focus of the book. One of the final chapters discusses the merging of information technology and biotechnology into a new discipline — bio-information technology.
 

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Contents

PIONEERS OF EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT
1
CHARLES DARWINS LIFE AND WORK
13
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
35
STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND INFORMATION
73
INFORMATION FLOW IN BIOLOGY
95
CULTURAL EVOLUTION AND INFORMATION
109
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
133
BIOINFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
151
LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
183
Appendix A ENTROPY AND INFORMATION
191
Appendix B BIOSEMIOTICS
197
Index
203
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