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Andrew Eckford is starting up the Banff meeting on information theory and biology. An overview:
Information theory is everywhere in biology.
Evolution is a process of optimization.
What does this mean, if true?
Information theory should help us biological processes. E.g., any transducer should be operating near its signal capacity.
Biological communication should have good information-theoretic properties that human technology can exploit.
But is it true? There's evidence on both sides.
Yes: neuroscience on the information processing properties of neurons, "infotaxis": how mobile organisms operate inside a chemical gradient in an information-theoretically efficient manner.
No: information-optimal strategies are not always utility-optimal. Strategies for eating are different from strategies about learning!
So, information theory is only as good as the model to which it's applied. Organisms learn and act.