🔖 The Demon in the Machine by Paul Davies | Allen Lane (2018)

Bookmarked The Demon in the Machine by Paul Davies (Allen Lane)

How does life create order from chaos? And just what is life, anyway? Leading physicist Paul Davies argues that to find the answers, we must first answer a deeper question: 'What is information?' To understand the origins and nature of life, Davies proposes a radical vision of biology which sees the underpinnings of life as similar to circuits and electronics, arguing that life as we know it should really be considered a phenomenon of information storage. In an extraordinary deep dive into the real mechanics of what we take for granted, Davies reveals how biological processes, from photosynthesis to birds' navigation abilities, rely on quantum mechanics, and explores whether quantum physics could prove to be the secret key of all life on Earth. Lively and accessible, Demons in the Machine boils down intricate interdisciplinary developments to take readers on an eye-opening journey towards the ultimate goal of science: unifying all theories of the living and the non-living, so that humanity can at last understand its place in the universe.

book cover of The Demon in the Machine by Paul Davies

Found via review.

8 thoughts on “🔖 The Demon in the Machine by Paul Davies | Allen Lane (2018)”

  1. @c Now this is an insight that I don’t believe could have occurred to anyone before the advent of computer networks:

    Davies proposes a radical vision of biology which sees the underpinnings of life as similar to circuits and electronics, arguing that life as we know it should really be considered a phenomenon of information storage.

  2. @artkavanagh In fact, it actually was thought about by at least one person dating back to 1940: Claude Shannon, the father of the modern digital age whose MIT master’s thesis is responsible for applying Boolean Algebra to digital circuits, wrote his MIT Ph.D. thesis on the topic: “An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics“. It’s generally little known in microbiology circles, but has almost certainly influenced Davies and some of his colleagues. I’m only aware of maybe 10 researchers who are currently tinkering around with theoretical biology and its overlap with information theory, mathematics, and physics.

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