Darwin believed that biological inheritance was an analog, continuously variable process. Mendel described the discrete (not continuously variable) nature of inheritance. Watson and Crick revealed that inheritable organism characteristics are controlled by a digital method.
Can any information be transferred and stored in purely analog form ?
Digital information allows the message to be independent of the medium- analog does not allow this.
e.g. analog computers - have specific mechanisms - are not universal.
“an analog computer’s output can vary even if the input is identical” because of noise - this implies difference of information (i.e. not stored)
Analog information is ambiguous and therefore is it really information, it is context dependent and collapses to digital on measurement.
“quantum mechanics. It became a general principle that on the smallest scale, all information is digital, not analog.”
Digital theory may be a better term for quantum theory.
A summary of Schrodinger’s classic ‘what is life’ life requires
1. life large number of atoms (since large scale order comes from small scale disorder)
2. carrier of hereditary information has to be both small in size and permanent in time
3. molecules proposed
4. molecule which does not repeat itself like a crystal - aperiodic
5. order from disorder is second law of thermo, life feeds on negentropy - order from order.