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Open mike: Origin of Biological Information conference: Its goals


Biological Information

Recently, the papers from the Cornell conference went on line:

John Sanford of Cornell University (gene gun inventor) writes to advise us that

The Editors of the volume Biological Information – New Perspectives (BINP) are extremely happy to notify you that the proceedings of the 2011 symposium at Cornell (by the same name), has finally been published on-line ( here). Chapters are “open access” and can be freely downloaded at this site.

To facilitate discussion, we will publish the abstracts of the 24 papers here at Uncommon Descent, with cumulative links to previous papers at the bottom of each page.

All reviews expressed in civilized language are welcome; noviewing is strongly discouraged, and there is always the risk of being outed or, anyway, reasonably accused.

Here’s a passage from the quite readable Introduction that sets the context, and provides an opportunity for initial reactions to the project as a whole, a project that was clearly controversial:

In the spring of 2011 a diverse group of scientists gathered at Cornell University with an eye on the major new principles that might be required to unravel the problem of biological information. These scientists included experts in information theory, computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics. Original scientific research was presented and discussed at this symposium, which was then written up, and constitute most of the twenty-four peer-edited papers in this volume. These papers are presented in four sections: Information Theory and Biology, Biological Information and Genetic Theory, Theoretical Molecular Biology, and Self-Organizational Complexity Theory. Each of these sections begins with an introductory chapter laying out the themes and problems to be discussed there as well providing brief summaries of the papers appearing in that section.

Mikes are live.

Note: All conference papers here.


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