Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 8
It has a level of complexity AND specification that is only known to originate in an intelligent source.

I don't think you know much about genetics, then.

DNA has just 4 bases. Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine (A, C, G, T). RNA substitutes Uracil for Thymine, but is otherwise the same. You think 4 bases is a "level of complexity only known to originate with intelligent sources?" That seems like a pretty low standard.

Perhaps you mean the DNA / Amino Acid encoding. That's the usual definition of "the genetic code." Transcription always involves base-pair triplets, so there are 64 possible combinations. 64 doesn't sound very complicated... and it's even less so when you discover that 42 of the patterns are duplicates. There are only 22 unique results, 20 amino acids and stop / start.

They're not even distributed evenly. 3 are unique, 9 have 2 patterns, 2 have 3 patterns, 5 have 4 patterns, and 3 have 6 patterns. That doesn't sound designed. It's almost, well, random. So far, I'm having a hard time seeing what's so "obviously designed" about it.

Maybe proteins? String a bunch of amino acids together, and you get some pretty interesting results. The actual behavior of which seems to depend on the way the protein is folded. But you also get a lot of combinations that do nothing at all.

What's more, DNA frequently "codes" for things that fall into the latter category. 80% of human DNA can be transcribed, but only 2% of it actually does anything. 20% blanks, 78% random noise... that's not a very convincing argument that it "looks designed."

The ability to replicate is not the same thing as originating information.

Another Creationist buzzphrase. "Originating information." Which completely neglects what "information" really means in this context.

Every time you get a transcription error, that originates information. Substitution, addition, transposition, deletion, it doesn't matter. It's a new pattern, and from an information theory point of view, it's new data. The new information may not be useful in any way, like 98% of human DNA, but it's a pattern that didn't exist before.

Completely random noise is in fact the most difficult kind of data to compress, because it has the highest information content: the minimum amount of data that can uniquely identify the data. English is relatively low in information by comparison, at around 1 bit per letter. Far from not being able to "originate information", random processes are in fact a marvelous source of "information."

If instead you define "information" as something functional, well then 98% of human DNA has no demonstrated information.

- Gus
Print the post  

Announcements

When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.