Code as an Analogy of DNA?


(Dan Eastwood) #342

This is an interesting stance, because ID would have us believe that the parameters of the universe DO determine whether something can evolve, and invoke fine tuning as an argument for Design. Dale was making a point about whether or not certain things can exist at all, but this also applies to what sorts of things might come into existence naturally - without some sort of intelligent intervention.

I object to the use of “code” as an argument in favor of Intelligent Design. We can encode random noise in binary (or quad-nary) form, but than doesn’t not imply random noise is intelligently designed. The “DNA is code” analogy doesn’t help us understand how DNA functions.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #343

So, what is the problem with life (or the seeds of life) coming to Earth via meteors 4.1 billion years ago?

(Dan Eastwood) #344

Tying this back to the source discussion with @Perry_Marshall, I was looking for information about his Evolution 2.0 challenge, and came across this post:

There is some good discussion in the comments about what constitutes code in the sense Marshall is looking for.

(John Mercer) #345

Why does it seem that way?

(John Mercer) #346

Accurate, but incomplete. The original discussion was about whether it meets Perry Marshall’s definition, which it definitely doesn’t.

(Joshua Hedlund) #347

Whoops, there’s an embarrassing mistake… The price of learning on a public forum! The 4 base pairs make the 64 codons (4^3) that make the 20 amino acids that make the essentially unlimited number of proteins… Do I got it now?

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #348

Yep, you got it. Now for something really hard. Although most amino acids can exist in both left and right handed forms, Life on Earth is made of left handed amino acids, almost exclusively. Why?

(Chris Falter) #349

Hi Patrick, I would appreciate any contribution you and other biologists would care to make to the thread I created for codes other than DNA.

It seems to me that codes as defined by Shannon information theory pop up everywhere in the domain of biology. If that is correct, it provides an important counterweight to the “DNA as code” argument that many ID proponents make.

However, I am not a biologist, so I would like to get the opinion of experts like you and the other biologists here (@swamidass @sygarte @John_Harshman @Mercer etc.) before I draw any conclusions.

Thanks! And a happy new year to you!


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #350

3 posts were split to a new topic: Patrick on ID Information Theory

(Dale Cutler) #351

Is anyone familiar with the word ‘irony’? :slightly_smiling_face:

//“The key to curing such conditions is our ability to elucidate underlying mechanisms,” said Thomas Gregor, an associate professor of physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. “The goal is to use these rules to regulate and re-engineer the programs underlying development and disease processes.”//

(John Harshman) #352

Are you familiar with the words “clueless” and “obscure”?

(Dale Cutler) #353

I take it that you saw no irony it the excerpt.

(John Harshman) #354

I take it you don’t want to say what your point is, assuming you have one.

(Dale Cutler) #355

My point was, and I said it, there’s irony in the excerpt.

(John Harshman) #356

What is the irony? Please explain.

(Mikkel R.) #357

Yes. You posting about irony on the subject of junk DNA, is itself ironic.

Are you familiar with this literature?
Of course you aren’t.

You take up a subject of which you are evidently completely unfamiliar, claim that it is ironic presumably because some claimed piece of junk DNA has a biochemical effect(?), and through that reveal your ignorance of the concept, arguments, and evidence for junk DNA.

Now that is ironic.

(Mikkel R.) #358

Unsurprisingly, the actual published article does not even mention junk DNA. Nowhere in the article is ANY kind of evidence provided that the enhancer piece of DNA, or associated transcrition factor analyzed, was once thought to be junk DNA. They don’t even do any kind of comparative genetics to see how conserved it is between species. The word junk DNA is never used, no article or person is referenced as having claimed it was once thought to be junk, and nothing relating to the concept is discussed or mentioned.

So the grandiose press release article makes claims that NOTHING in the actual scientific article is capable of supporting. The published paper speaks only and exclusively about how enhancers and promoters can affect multicellular development.

That, too is, ironic.

(Dale Cutler) #359

If the irony is lost on you, it’s kind of like trying to explain a joke to to someone who didn’t get it: what’s the point?

But I’ll do my best: the irony is in the use of the terms in ‘re-engineer the programs’.

(Dale Cutler) #360

You seemed to have missed that I was referring to the excerpt, not junk DNA.

(John Harshman) #361

Go on. What’s the irony in that? Is it that you ironically don’t understand metaphors?