Is information a proper observable for biological organization?

G. Longo, P.-A. Miquel, C. Sonnenschein, A.M. Soto
2012 Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology  
In the last century, jointly with the advent of computers, mathematical theories of information were developed. Shortly thereafter, during the ascent of molecular biology, the concept of information was rapidly transferred into biology at large. Several philosophers and biologists have argued against adopting this concept based on epistemological and ontological arguments, and also, because it encouraged genetic determinism. While the theories of elaboration and transmission of information are
more » ... alid mathematical theories, their own logic and implicit causal structure make them inimical to biology, and because of it, their applications have and are hindering the development of a sound theory of organisms. Our analysis concentrates on the development of information theories in mathematics and on the differences between these theories regarding the relationship among complexity, information and entropy. Abstract In the last century, jointly with the advent of computers, mathematical theories of information were developed. Shortly thereafter, during the ascent of molecular biology, the concept of information was rapidly transferred into biology at large. Several philosophers and biologists have argued against adopting this concept based on epistemological and ontological arguments, and also, because it encouraged genetic determinism. While the theories of elaboration and transmission of information are valid mathematical theories, their own logic and implicit causal structure make them inimical to biology, and because of it, their applications have and are hindering the development of a sound theory of organisms. Our analysis concentrates on the development of information theories in mathematics and on the differences between these theories regarding the relationship among complexity, information and entropy.
doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2012.06.004 pmid:22796169 pmcid:PMC3953560 fatcat:rkvu47imo5ef3a4uzxg7yi3ogu