Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)

TEDx Talk by Peter Sloot: The Fire of Life

3 April 2017

Professor Peter M.A. Sloot is scientific director of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the UvA.

Abstract

Greek mythology talks about Prometheus who stole fire from heaven to animate his clay men. My central conjecture is that what Prometheus stole was not fire but information in the form of Gibbs free energy. This resulted in our complex world, with zillions of molecules in the living cell to the billions of human individuals and countless living organisms that constitute our planet, all interacting in nonlinear and often unpredictable ways. In this talk I’ll explore a new way to connect the dots, from the life bringing free energy of the sun to the information stored and processed by the animate.

Where science has given us the limits and the laws that living systems obey, and Darwin has given us the conditions needed for life to thrive, what are then the rules of this information processing in natural systems? In this talk I explore a new way to connect the dots, from the life bringing free energy of the sun to the information stored and processed by the animate. 

Published by  UvA Institute for Advanced Study