Many scientists regard mass and energy as the primary currency of nature. In recent years, however, the concept of information has gained importance. Why? In this book, eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians chart various aspects of information, from quantum information to biological and digital information, in order to understand how nature works. Beginning with a historical treatment of the topic, the book also examines physical and biological approaches to information, and its philosophical, theological and ethical implications.
Paul Davies is Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University. He is a passionate science communicator and has won several awards for his work, including the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society for promoting science to the public. Niels Henrik Gregersen is Professor of Systematic Theology and Co-Director of the Centre of Naturalism and Christian Semantics, both at the University of Copenhagen. He has won several international research awards, including one from the John Templeton Foundation for work on the constructive interface between science and religion.
1. Introduction: does information matter?; Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen; Part I. History: 2. From matter to materialism ... and (almost) back Ernan McMullin; 3. Unsolved dilemmas: the concept of matter in the history of philosophy and in contemporary physics Philip Clayton; Part II. Physics: 4. Universe from bit Paul Davies; 5. The computational universe Seth Lloyd; 6. Minds and values in the quantum universe Henry Pierce Stapp; Part III. Biology: 7. The concept of information in biology John Maynard Smith; 8. Levels of information: Shannon-Bolzmann-Darwin Terrence W. Deacon; 9. Information and communication in living matter Bernd-Olaf Kuppers; 10. Semiotic freedom: an emerging force Jesper Hoffmeyer; 11. Care on earth: generating informed concern Holmes Rolston; Part IV. Philosophy and Theology: 12. The sciences of complexity - a new theological resource? Arthur Peacocke; 13. God as the ultimate informational principle Keith Ward; 14. Information, theology and the universe John F. Haught; 15. God, matter, and information: towards a Stoicizing Logos christology Niels Henrik Gregersen; 16. What is the 'spiritual body'? Michael Welker; Index.