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Is information essential for life?

点击量:   时间:2019-03-01 05:17:00

By Colin Barras (Image: Wikimedia) We are used to thinking about how evolution selects for a wide range of physical traits, but the idea that natural selection could favour a quality as abstract as information content takes some getting used to. It’s something that physicist William Bialek at Princeton University takes in his stride, by thinking about organisms as computers. “How well we do in life depends on our actions matching the external conditions,” he says. “But actions come from ‘inside’, so they must be based on some internal variables.” In other words,