[edited by mods to get rid of odd formatting]
Digital information is composed of abstract entities involving discrete mathematics or statements of logic that apply to and exist by necessity. It involves language that humans use to communicate with each other every day, such as phrases, signs, and symbols that are meaningful and personal. Analog information refers to continuous or redundant but orderly complex patterns of information reflected within the laws of nature. DNA possesses these types of information processes where the nucleotide sequence both specifies the digital information of the gene and the higher order architectures of the genome, which have an impact on the expression of the digital information found in the gene.
More importantly, our conscious agency seems to be reflected within both the digital and analog information present in DNA. For example, the genome is virtually identical to computer operating systems (Yan et al. 2010), and the genetic information in DNA is mathematically identical to that in human language (Yockey 1981). Of course, some scientists insist that these comparisons between DNA information and human information are merely used in a metaphorical sense (Pigliucci & Boudry 2011). This contradicts the work done by biotechnologists who store specified information within the nucleotide sequences of DNA or RNA. For instance, Church and Kosuri (2012) were able to create a biotech version of an e-reader, with the highest storage capacity to date.
However, this close relationship between digital and analog information does not necessarily mean that physico-chemical laws of nature produce digital information. This is because the forces of chemical necessity (analog information) produce redundant order or rule-generated repetition that reduces the capacity to convey specified information (Polanyi 1968). For instance, random mixtures of polymers or granite are examples of complex structures generated, but they are not specified. Crystals are typically understood as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules held together in a uniform way. However, neither crystals nor polymer mixtures qualify as living organisms because they do not possess both information forms simultaneously found in DNA, leading to “specified complexity” (Orgel 1973).
Crick (1958), who was one of the first to elucidate the information properties of the DNA molecule, explained this meaning of information in biological terms in 1958 as “the speciﬁcation of the amino acid sequence in protein. … the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein.” Shortly thereafter, leading molecular biologists deﬁned biological information to incorporate this notion of speciﬁcity of function and complexity (Sakar 1996).
I aim to show how we can test whether or not a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry. Let me be clear, this is going to be about testing for the existence of a Universal common designer or an undiscovered law of nature to potentially explain the origin of digital information within the bounds of biochemistry. However, this is NOT about showing how the origin of life or advanced life emerged whether its our life or another. Finally, I wish to explicitly clarify that my hypothesis does not defend the intelligent design theory proposed by intelligent design theorists. In fact, intelligent design theorists do not actually pioneer or promote a theory of intelligent design that involves a transcendent agent because they do not believe it is a testable scientific model and they do not believe present experiments or observations can lead us to infer or conclude a transcendent agent.
(1) Universal common designer hypothesis
What I mean by “Universal” is existing by necessity where a world could not possibly have been otherwise. What I mean by “common designer” is a human mind that composed of digital information and consciousness or agent causality, which would be us according to Orch-OR’s theory of consciousness (Hameroff, Stuart; Penrose, Roger 2014). Both combined make a Universal mind:
If the Universal common designer hypothesis is true, there could not be a pre-biotic condition that created life without an intelligent designer as the primary cause.
In order to falsify this hypothesis, the biochemist needs to make sure his interference is reasonable or consistent with Miller-Urey experiments when he/she chooses a particular set of pre-biotic conditions to work on. If the biochemist applies the procedure to a different pre-biotic condition, it would be another attempt at falsification. If, at some point, someone produces digital information within a pre-biotic condition in nature that does not require a conscious agent, then this would falsify the hypothesis completely.
This is because it would show how a possible condition could have created or developed life before the existence of finite conscious agents. For example, as Kaufman (1995) suggested, “there is no central directing agency” that is necessary for life nor are there irreducibly complex living systems, such as RNA and DNA sequences. Rather, the physico-chemical laws of nature could eventually produce digital information without a mind.
In order to verify this hypothesis, the biochemist must perform the same experiment with the same set of prebiotic conditions following the previous one but impose unrealistic interference in the second round of experiments. The combined outcomes of these experiments would produce evidence for the hypothesis. If we apply the same procedure to a different pre-biotic condition, it would produce additional evidence for this hypothesis.
This is because even though the experimenter who produces life within each prebiotic condition is finite and contingent, there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged, hence why we have to include the first experiment to support the “necessary” attribute of this intelligent designer.
ONE MORE THING, its important to note that I am NOT suggesting from these experiments that this hypothesis is proven beyond a reasonable doubt nor am I concluding its true. Instead, I am simply trying to show how these experiments could provide evidence that a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry.
If you want me to show you a chart of what is considered realistic versus unrealistic interference, I will do so next time. But, for now, I just want everybody to focus on the task at hand before we get into particulars or specifics.