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The Logic of the Physics of Information
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Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life

Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ, USA3 Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Seattle, WA, USA 
Information 2014, 5(3), 424-439;
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 23 June 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics of Information)
PDF [269 KB, uploaded 21 July 2014]


Biological systems represent a unique class of physical systems in how they process and manage information. This suggests that changes in the flow and distribution of information played a prominent role in the origin of life. Here I review and expand on an emerging conceptual framework suggesting that the origin of life may be identified as a transition in causal structure and information flow, and detail some of the implications for understanding the early stages chemical evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: origin of life; emergence; top-down causation origin of life; emergence; top-down causation

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Walker, S.I. Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life. Information 2014, 5, 424-439.

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