Computing Information Content in Biology

Let’s talk about the information in a single cell’s genome. It has a finite amount of information contained in it, I in bits. (Several billion bases coding several thousand proteins). Now the cell divides, not perfectly but with quite high fidelity, but mutations are in the daughter cell, so hasn’t information been lost in the process of dividing? With no mutations, no loss in information. How can a cell gain information by dividing?

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I don’t agree with this. it seems wrong on the math.

We have common ground here. I think this is generally true.

I cannot defend your proof at this point but I am working to try to understand it better. My questions at this point are simply to understand it better.

The tests you preformed is computer code. You need to biological tests where you prove your application of information theory to biological systems. Or use real code of real genomes and random mutations.

@Patrick… please behave.
@EricMH, when Patrick is in a fugue state, there is really no profitable way of discussing things with him.

Cc: @swamidass

You can’t even tell me about the information content of a single organism’s genome. Yet you make grandiose claims about all of evolutionary biology. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


Some of the original works on information theory were about its application to biology. I don’t blame you for not knowing about these publications. But they do exist.

Can you please send me some I am now very interested as I only studied information theory as it relates to digital communications and quantum mechanics. I always wonder about DNA as a code and how much information is transferred and losed in mutations.

Sure. I’ll provide just one, as sort of “proof of concept.”

There is a book, edited by Henry Quastler. Essays on the use of Information Theory in Biology. This book was published in 1953. I’ll sell you my cope for ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

Do you take bitcoin?

1953? A few years after Shannon and Watson & Crick? Must have withstood the test of the huge increase in knowledge of evolution.

That would depend on the information content of one bitcoin.

One bitcoin has i bits of information.

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Isn’t that the point? Shortly after “information theory” appeared on the scene, it’s application to biology was explored. You expressed doubt. I addressed your doubt. You’re a moderator here?

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@patrick is not a moderator. All moderators can be viewed here:

thank you. I was concerned about being bullied by a militant atheist who had been granted powers not in keeping with the goals of your blog.


Why should I trust you?

No, I expressed interest in it. Just that it is a very old set of documents has it stood up?

You shouldn’t. I am interest in it scientifically and in help in discussing the current information theory argument and simulations.

bullied? Common on you give me too much power.