Biology as Information Dynamics [IT forum]

Topic: 
Biology as Information Dynamics
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:20pm
Venue: 
Clark S361
Speaker: 
John Baez (UC Riverside)
Abstract / Description: 

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.