Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Can Organised Information Solve the Mysteries of Life?

FoI at Waterstones/
Mon 03 June 2019

Paul Davies

Can Organised Information Solve the Mysteries of Life?

Paul Davies
Mon 03 June 2019,

Darwin’s account of the origin of living things makes no attempt to answer the deepest question, what is life? What is the origin of DNA? What explains the astounding properties of biological organisms? There is a gap in our knowledge and it seems unbridgeable without fundamentally new concepts. Now, an answer is at hand. In this event, physicist Paul Davies outlines how ‘organised information’ may be the key to understanding new laws of life.

From DNA through cell signalling to brains and ecosystems, hidden patterns of information emerge and combine to conjure order out of chaos. It is here, Davies asserts, at the intersection of biology, physics and information theory, that scientists are finally elucidating the deepest laws of life. Dazzling advances in nanotechnology and biophysics have demonstrated how living organisms manipulate information to power molecular motors, control chemical reactions and navigate the uncertain world of molecular randomness. These discoveries are upending established ideas in biology, medicine and the search for life beyond Earth. Davies explains his own thinking about physics, life and complexity, and lays out the foundations for the next great frontier in science, in which new physical laws will be understood and exploited.

In conversation with Margaret Heffernan.

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