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Information 2012, 3(4), 739-750; doi:10.3390/info3040739

Information Theory and Computational Thermodynamics: Lessons for Biology from Physics

University of Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK
Received: 7 November 2012 / Revised: 17 November 2012 / Accepted: 19 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Energy/Matter)
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Abstract

We survey a few aspects of the thermodynamics of computation, connecting information, thermodynamics, computability and physics. We suggest some lines of research into how information theory and computational thermodynamics can help us arrive at a better understanding of biological processes. We argue that while a similar connection between information theory and evolutionary biology seems to be growing stronger and stronger, biologists tend to use information simply as a metaphor. While biologists have for the most part been influenced and inspired by information theory as developed by Claude Shannon, we think the introduction of algorithmic complexity into biology will turn out to be a much deeper and more fruitful cross-pollination.
Keywords: thermodynamics of computation; algorithmic probability; information theory; computability and Turing universality thermodynamics of computation; algorithmic probability; information theory; computability and Turing universality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zenil, H. Information Theory and Computational Thermodynamics: Lessons for Biology from Physics. Information 2012, 3, 739-750.

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