Books on bioinformatics which began appearing in the mid 80s primarily served gene-hunters, and biologists who wished to construct family trees showing tidy lines of descent. Given the great pharmaceutical industry interest in genes, this trend has continued in most subsequent texts. These deal extensively with the exciting topic of gene discovery and searching databases, but hardly consider genomes as information channels through which multiple forms and levels of information, including genic information, have passed through the generations. This book identifies the types of information that genomes transmit, shows how competition between different types is resolved in the genomes of different organisms, and identifies the evolutionary forces involved. The early chapters relate the form of information with which we are most familiar, namely written texts, to the DNA text that is our genome. This lends itself well to introducing historical aspects dating back to the nineteenth century.