Publication 8043

Kampis G. & Csányi V. (1991) Life, self-reproduction and information: Beyond the machine metaphor. Journal of Theoretical Biology 148(1): 17–32.
The problem of representing information in automaton models of self-replication is considered. It is shown that, unlike in the natural reproduction process, in a computable model the reproduced entities do not contain all the information necessary for guiding the process. Current theoretical understanding of life and its replication, based on such models, is argued to be essentially inadequate. The solution to this problem is claimed to require recognition of the theoretical fact that information in living systems is different from that subsumed under the category of “knowledge”, which is representable as computer programs or triggers of state transitions. A discussion of fundamentals of a new theory of information and its relationship to replication models is given and a new direction of further developments of biological theories is envisioned.
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