This highly interdisciplinary book discusses the phenomenon of life, including its origin and evolution (and also human cultural evolution), against the background of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory. Among the central themes is the seeming contradiction between the second law of thermodynamics and the high degree of order and complexity produced by living systems. This paradox has its resolution in the information content of the Gibbs free energy that enters the biosphere from outside sources, as the author shows. The role of information in human cultural evolution is another focus of the book. One of the final chapters discusses the merging of information technology and biotechnology into a new discipline - bio-information technology.
* Pioneers of Evolutionary Thought * Charles Darwin's Life and Work * Molecular Biology and Evolution * Statistical Mechanics and Information * Information Flow in Biology * Cultural Evolution and Information * Information Technology * Bio-Information Technology * Looking Towards the Future