Uncommon Descent

5 June 2013

How does life incorporate information?

Denyse O'Leary

Recently, I attended a conference at Cornell University on information and biology. One thing that has puzzled me is this: How life forms that may not themselves have the intelligence to incorporate information do so.

I wrote a story a while back on how amoebas appear to behave with a multicellular intelligence. But it is not clear what intelligence platform they are using, then discarding.

Papers, which I found enlightening, have been published here.

Apparently, some people don’t think I should have had the chance to hear what I did on that question, or that you should either:

It looks like some creationist engineers found a way to slither some ID/creationism into a major academic publisher, Springer. The major publishers have enough problems at the moment (e.g. see the Elsevier boycott), it seems like the last thing they should be doing is frittering away their credibility even further by uncritically publishing creationist work and giving it a veneer of respectability. The mega-publishers are expensive, are making money off of largely government-funded work provided to them for free, and then the public doesn’t even have access to it. The only thing they have going for them is quality control and credibility – if they give that away to cranks, there is no reason at all to support them.


Based on what I heard at Cornell, Panda’s Thumb sounds like yet another group, one must suppose, of Americans who have never heard of the idea of free critique of majority opinion. Here is more from them. All the more, I commend to you Biological Information: New Perspectives.

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