Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The World as Evolving Information

By Carlos Gershenson


This philosophical paper discusses the benefits of describing the world as information, especially in the study of the evolution of life and cognition. Traditional studies encounter difficulties because it is difficult to describe life and cognition in terms of matter and energy, falling into a dualist trap. However, if matter and energy, as well as life and cognition, are described in terms of information, evolution can be described consistently as information becoming more complex. Moreover, information theory is already well established and formalized. The paper presents five tentative laws of information, which are generalizations of Darwinian, cybernetic, thermodynamic, and complexity principles. These are further used to discuss the notions of life and cognition, including their origins and evolution

Topics: Complexity Theory, Evolution, Epistemology
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). 30 years of computational autopoiesis: A review.
  2. (2002). A New Kind of Sciene.
  3. (2004). A.: Basic autonomy as a fundamnental step in the synthesis of life.
  4. (1991). An approach to the synthesis of life.
  5. (1956). An Introduction to Cybernetics.
  6. (1974). Autopoiesis: The organization of living systems, its characterization and a model.
  7. (2004). Behavioral adaptive autonomy. a milestone in the alife route to ai?
  8. (2003). C.: Live Evolving: Molecules, Mind, and Meaning.
  9. (2004). C.L.: Organization of the information flow in the perceptionaction loop of evolved agents perception-action loop of evolved agents.
  10. C.L.: Representations of space and time in the maximization of information flow in the perception-action loop. Neural Computation doi
  11. (1994). C.T.: Evolutionary learning in the 2d artificial life system ”avida”.
  12. (2001). Causal Architecture, Complexity and Self-Organization in Time Series and Cellular Automata.
  13. (1995). Cognition = life : Implications for higher-level cognition. Behavioural processes 35
  14. (2004). Cognitive paradigms: Which one is the best?
  15. (1990). Computation at the edge of chaos: Phase transitions and emergent computation. doi
  16. (2001). Cybernetics and second order cybernetics.
  17. (2000). Darwinian Dynamics: Evolutionary Transitions in Fitness and Individuality.
  18. (2006). Energy flow and the organization of life.
  19. (2004). H.C.: Information: The New Language of Science. doi
  20. Hierarchical self-organization in the finitary process soup.
  21. (2006). I.: Evolving spatiotemporal coordination in a modular robotic system.
  22. (2005). Information and its Role in Nature.
  23. (2004). Introduction to random Boolean networks. doi
  24. (2006). Mechanical vs. informational components of price impact. doi
  25. (1996). Metazoan complexity and evolution: Is there a trend? doi
  26. (1974). On a formal definition of organization. doi
  27. (1999). Optimal self-organization.
  28. (2004). Physical relationships among matter, energy and information.
  29. (1994). Physics, computation, and why biology looks so different.
  30. (1990). quantum: the search for links.
  31. (1995). Self-organized criticality in living systems. doi
  32. (1987). Self-organized criticality: An explanation of the 1/f noise. doi
  33. (2006). The maintenance and open-ended growth of complexity in nature: information as a decoupling mechanism in the origins of life.
  34. (1993). The Origins of Order. doi
  35. (2007). Viral individuality and limitations of the life concept.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.