Thursday, 30 October 2014

Recent work on informational genetics

I've long been a proponent of informational genetics. This is the idea that genetics is based on information theory - as opposed to the (ridiculous) idea that genetics can be based on molecular biology.

The basic idea was pioneered by G. C. Williams (1966,1982), Richard Lewontin (1970), Richard Dawkins (1976, 1982) and others. To recap, information theory provides a theoretical foundation for a science of heredity - a generalised genetics that unites the organic and cultural realms and acts as a foundation for universal Darwinism.

I'm pleased to see that the topic has seen recent activity. Gérard Battail wrote two recent books on the topic:

Also, Steve Frank published a long and interesting paper on the topic in 2012, which is freely available online:

These recent contributions are encouraging. Critics have previously complained that proponents of applying information theory to biology lacked a systematic and rigorous approach to the topic (see references below for examples). This criticism was never very viable, but nonetheless, these recent contributions to informational genetics are welcome and encouraging.


No comments:

Post a Comment