Code as an Analogy of DNA?


(Dale Cutler) #282

We could go back and enumerate, but that would be a positive exercise in negativity for me.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #283

True. Part of scientific training is learning to be ruthlessly self-opposed to your own arguments. Everything is torn down so something might be built.

Now at my stage I do not unwisely risk my reputation on anything but an argument I can win, because I know from the get go I can. I abandoned a 100 arguments every one I take forward. The clarity and quality that comes from that ruthless selectiveness is why my opinion counts and why I have a scientific reputation to speak of.


Dale, questioning your intelligence and understanding is part of the strategic territory. You’ll notice that no one has yet given you probative physical evidence that the genetic code is not a code. Suggesting that you don’t know what your talking about is a placemat for that missing evidence – as is suggesting that using the word “code” is a poor analogy which clearly breaks down at some point, then declining to say where that point is. The issue is that when that “point” is put on the table, it is quickly shown that the conclusion is merely (and must be) assumed to be true.

(Dale Cutler) #285

I’m known where I need to be known.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #286

He said he wasn’t interested, that is why I didn’t give it to him.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #287

It is not about being known it is about making good arguments and abandoning the bad.

(Dale Cutler) #288

If you were referring to me, I actually did say to @Dan_Eastwood that we could go ahead and tear away at the factory analogy, and ‘code’ would be part of that, so have at it.

But if our ET visitor elected to call the information on DNA analogous to code, well… :slightly_smiling_face:

(Mikkel R.) #289

You, too, can call the genetic code a code just as much as you want. Just understand that the label you use to describe the object is not any sort of indication how it came about. If you are trying to argue the genetic code was designed, you still have all your work ahead of you and no amount on insisting the genetic code is a code is capable of getting you to that conclusion.

(Timothy Horton) #290

We’ve agreed it is a code, a physical process with a mapping of inputs to outputs. It’s just not an intelligently designed code which uses arbitrary symbols as abstractions to pass messages.

Some day ID-Creationists will stop the dishonest equivocation between the different definitions of “code”. But not today it seems.

(Dale Cutler) #291

Likewise, insisting it was not designed is not capable of getting you to the conclusion that it was not – just objecting to the analogy doesn’t get you there either.

(Dale Cutler) #292

We’ve agreed it’s a code. Nice to know.

(Timothy Horton) #293

Science has reached the conclusion DNA was not designed because 1) there is zero positive evidence of any conscious design and 2) there is lots of evidence it evolved naturally.

All scientific conclusions are of course tentative and subject to change pending the introduction of new evidence. If and when you finally get your first piece of positive evidence for “design”, let us know.

(Dale Cutler) #294

Okay then. :slightly_smiling_face: Similar to abiogenesis and eukaryotes.

(Mikkel R.) #295

I agree. So where do we go from here?

(Mikkel R.) #296

Yes, there’s evidence those evolved naturally too. Correct.

(Dale Cutler) #297

Since I was recently informed of my naivety and that yes, we do all emphatically agree that DNA is a code (@swamidass? :slightly_smiling_face:), we could proceed to tear away at the cell :left_right_arrow: factory analogy and see where it fails.

(Mikkel R.) #298

I don’t think the labelling enterprise is conducive to anything. I think you can also call a cell a factory too if that makes you happy. That also does nothing to establish the ultimate origin of cells. For that we have to look at evidence, not labels.

I’m just going to call the genetic code, the genetic code, and I’m going to call cells, cells. And if you want to call the genetic code a code too, I’m fine with that, and if you want to call cells factories, have at it.

Meanwhile, I will be looking at some evidence rather than obsess about the labels. How’s that?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #299

@DaleCutler DNA is not a code. “Code” is an imperfect analogy for the genetic code. It can be a valid and invalid analogy based on the argument. You appear to be using the analogy in an invalid way.

(Dale Cutler) #300

Strong evidence that abiogenesis ‘evolved’. You have not conversed with Dr. Tour lately.

(Timothy Horton) #301

As with everything else it is or isn’t depending on which definition one is using.