Synopsis of Scientific Proceedings: Biological Information - New Perspectives

 

This booklet is a synopsis and limited commentary on the 563 page proceedings of the symposium Biological Information - New Perspectives. The author of this synopsis was the organizer of that symposium and was one of the editors of the proceedings. At this symposium a diverse group of scientists gathered to critically re-examine neo-Darwinian theory, in light of major new evidences that relate to the nature of biological information. This symposium brought together experts in information theory, computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics.
                
This synopsis summarizes a milestone book. For over 100 years, it has been very widely believed that the mutation/selection process is sufficient to explain virtually everything within the biological realm. The 29 contributors to this volume bring into serious question this neo-Darwinian paradigm. They use their wide-ranging expertise to carefully examine a series of very fundamental theoretical problems that are emerging. These problems all relate to the exploding field of biological information. Biological information is becoming the primary focus of 21st century biological research. Within each cell there are information systems surpassing the best human information technologies. These systems create what is essentially a biological Internet within each cell. The authors, although holding diverse philosophical perspectives, unanimously agree that the mutation/selection process is not adequate to explain the labyrinth of informational networks that are
essential for life.
 
“For daunted readers of the superb (but very technical and lengthy) “Biological
Information - New Perspectives”, here comes an extremely condensed version. Editor Sanford offers a splendid synopsis - providing short easy summaries of the book's articles. He adds pointed “significance” paragraphs after each summary – and these leave no doubt about how he interprets the data. Provocative, this synopsis is essential.”

 

- Dr. Bernard Bradstater - Professor of Anesthesiology, Loma Linda University