The Biomatrix: what it is

Tom Schneider toms at fcs260c2.ncifcrf.gov
Fri Feb 5 23:44:29 EST 1993


In article <199302050404.AA07792 at Menudo.UH.EDU> Davison at UH.EDU (Dan Davison) writes:

>> 	Is there a specific twist to information theory just with biology?
>
>Not really, not more than any other speciality.  Tom, comments?

(toms eyes come back into focus as he emerges from mooland...)

Well, I am now of the opinion that Shannon was really a biologist!
Information theory does not make sense except in the context of
communication between or within living things.  The entropy concept
is separate, but Shannon was really working with "uncertainty".
Information is the decrease of uncertainty of a system, and only has
consequences if that system is alive.  That is, it doesn't matter
if the Shannon spheres intersect if the system is dead, but matters
greatly (in an evolutionary sense) if it is alive.  I hope that helps -
it won't make any sense if you haven't read Shannon and my papers!

Tom



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