Information Theory, Molecular Evolution, and the Concepts of von Neumann

  • Lila L. Gatlin
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (volume 62)


In his theory of self-reproducing automata, von Neumann (1966) begins with the concept of complexity as a given primitive notion. Von Neumann, with creative original work to his credit in quantum theory, theory of operators, ergodic theory, and many other areas of pure mathematics, was well versed in the art of beginning with an axiom, definition, or primitive notion as given and deducing its consequences rigorously. He did not hesitate to begin with the axiomatic observation that today’s organisms are phylogenetically derived from ancestral forms which were much less complex.


Redundancy Structure Primitive Notion Efficient Encode Markov Source Classical Information Theory 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lila L. Gatlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Genetics DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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