Biology as information dynamics

Seminar | March 20 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

 John Baez, UC Riverside

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

If biology is the study of self-replicating entities, and we want to understand the role of information, it makes sense to see how information theory is connected to the ‘replicator equation’ — a simple model of population dynamics for self-replicating entities. The relevant concept of information turns out to be the information of one probability distribution relative to another, also known as the Kullback–Liebler divergence. Using this we can get a new outlook on free energy, see evolution as a learning process, and give a clearer, more general formulation of Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection.

 clamata@berkeley.edu