A definition of information, the arrow of information, and its relationship to life

Journal Article


A new definition of information is proposed that is minimalistic and incorporates a lifetime requirement for conditions, (which we define here) applied to anything that can be considered to be information. The definition explicitly treats a state in thermodynamic equilibrium as an effectively zero information state. The definition includes the absolute requirement of selection for achieving information; the selection criterion being that the information directly or indirectly contributes to its own replication. The definition also explicitly incorporates the Laws of Thermodynamics, the Second Law leading to the requirement for replication. Finally, the definition explains the origin of information and predicts the monotonic increase of information with time. Published 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2011

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.