New paper (2023): A revised central dogma for the 21st century: All biology is cognitive information processing

This new paper advances the provocative thesis that we should revise the central dogma of molecular biology in the direction of a biology of cognition, based on a regime of self-reference that is operational already at the level of the cell. Paper available here.

Abstract: Crick’s Central Dogma has been a foundational aspect of 20th century biology, describing an implicit relationship governing the flow of information in biological systems in biomolecular terms. Accumulating scientific discoveries support the need for a revised Central Dogma to buttress evolutionary biology’s still-fledgling migration from a Neodarwinian canon. A reformulated Central Dogma to meet contemporary biology is proposed: all biology is cognitive information processing. Central to this contention is the recognition that life is the self-referential state, instantiated within the cellular form. Self-referential cells act to sustain themselves and to do so, cells must be in consistent harmony with their environment. That consonance is achieved by the continuous assimilation of environmental cues and stresses as information to self-referential observers. All received cellular information must be analyzed to be deployed as cellular problem-solving to maintain homeorhetic equipoise. However, the effective implementation of information is definitively a function of orderly information management. Consequently, effective cellular problem-solving is information processing and management. The epicenter of that cellular information processing is its self-referential internal measurement. All further biological self-organization initiates from this obligate activity. As the internal measurement by cells of information is self-referential by definition, self-reference is biological self-organization, underpinning 21st century Cognition-Based Biology.