John Baez

Biological and Bio-Inspired Information Theory, Banff International Research Station

October 29, 2014

Biodiversity, Entropy and Thermodynamics

The most popular measures of biodiversity are formally identical to the measures of entropy developed by Shannon, Rényi and others. This fits into a larger analogy between thermodynamics and the mathematics of biodiversity. For example, in certain models of evolutionary game theory, the amount of information the population has 'left to learn' is nonincreasing. This is mathematically analogous to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

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© 2014 John Baez except the photo is by Christian Ziegler.