Information and the Origin of Life
The relationship between law and chance in the early evolution of life is the guiding theme of this provocative study. The author explores modern ideas about the origin of life from the standpoint of philosophy of science, emphasizing the contribution made by information theory.
Küppers asserts that all life phenomena are steered by information and that this information is already defined materially in a universal form at the level of the biological macromolecule. The question of the origin of life turns out to be the question of the origin of biological information.
Information and the Origin of Life takes up the fundamental problems of whether and, if so, to what extent the origin of semantic information during evolution can be explained as a general phenomenon within the framework of physics and chemistry. The results could have far-reaching consequences for such fields as the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence.
Bernd-Olaf Küppers has long focused his attention on basic questions of natural science and the philosophy of science at the borders of physics, chemistry, and biology. He has been engaged since 1971 in research at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and from 1979 to 1984 he held lecture courses in philosophy at the University of Göttingen
“This is an essential contribution toward the solution of one of the fundamental problems of biology.”
—Sir John Kendrew, St. John's College