What is communication?

Webster says that it is: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior <the function of pheromones in insect communication>; also : exchange of information

Given that, would elements bonding with each other be considered communication? How about atoms negotiating a covalent or metallic bond? Information does need to the exchanged in order for such things to occur correctly, therefore, can it too be considered communication?

I think it’s obvious that the term “individuals” implies that they are **conscious **individuals, rather than inanimate object that happen to affect each other.

I don’t know about that. Machines communicate with one another all the time.

Communication is the exchange of information.

And information can be defined in terms of of change in entropy. Now, atoms on their own don’t decrease in entropy. But if an outside source provides entropy (i.e., it is not a closed system), then the entropy can decrease. But the source then gains entropy. In information terms, some information goes from the source to the atoms. E.g., bits are written in RAM.

Exactly. In my business we occasionally talk about this machine talking to that machine. Some of the data is passed through multiple machines with no active human participation.

Also, the comment about concious individuals is suspect. Plants communicate, not just to other plants but to bees, butterflies, and other insects. Are they conscious?