June 2013, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 203-222
Living is Information Processing: From Molecules to Global Systems
Keith D. Farnsworth, John Nelson, Carlos Gershenson
We extend the concept that life is an informational phenomenon, at every level of organisation, from molecules to the global ecological system. According to this thesis: (a) living is information processing, in which memory is maintained by both molecular states and ecological states as well as the more obvious nucleic acid coding; (b) this information processing has one overall function—to perpetuate itself; and (c) the processing method is filtration (cognition) of, and synthesis of, information at lower levels to appear at higher levels in complex systems (emergence).