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Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 195–200 | Cite as

Response to commentaries on “The Transmission Sense of Information”

  • Carl T. Bergstrom
  • Martin Rosvall
Discussion Note

First of all, we wish to thank the respondents for their comments, both formal and informal, on our treatment of the transmission sense of information (Bergstrom and Rosvall 2010; Godfrey-Smith 2010; Maclaurin 2010; Shea 2010). Through this type of dialogue, both as we wrote the original paper and during the present process of commentary, we have been able to substantially improve and refine our approach to the problems of information in biology. For this we are very grateful.

Second, we want to stress that when we talk about information in biology, our use of the term “information” is not intended to be metaphorical. We mean it literally. We are not saying that it is as if genes carry information; we are saying that genes do carry information, and that their role as information carriers is clear from their structure and function.

Non-semantic information?

Each of the commentators recognizes the transmission sense of information as a legitimate non-semantic account of biological...

Keywords

Semantic Content Biological Information Sequence Property Transmission Sense Transmission View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

CTB was supported in part by NSF ATB-1038590.

References

  1. Bergstrom C, Rosvall M (2011) The transmission sense of information. Biol Philos. doi: 10.1007/s10539-009-9180-z
  2. Cover TM, Thomas JA (2006) Elements of information theory, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Godfrey-Smith P (2011) Senders, receivers, and genetic information: comments on Bergstrom and Rosvall. Biol Philos. doi: 10.1007/s10539-010-9206-6
  4. Maclaurin J (2011) Commentary on “The transmission sense of information” by Carl T. Bergstrom and Martin Rosvall. Biol Philos. doi: 10.1007/s10539-010-9233-3
  5. Maynard Smith J, Szathmáry E (1995) The major transitions in evolution. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Shannon CE (1948) A mathematical theory of communication. Bell Syst Tech J 27, 379–423, 623–656Google Scholar
  7. Shea N (2011) What’s transmitted? Inherited information. Biol Philos. doi: 10.1007/s10539-010-9232-4
  8. Shen B, Dong L, Xiao S, Kowalewski M (2008) The Avalon explosion: evolution of ediacara morphospace. Science 319(5859):81–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA
  3. 3.Integrated Science Lab, Department of PhysicsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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