I know DNA gives instructions for proteins, but is it information as in the sense that it was created by a conscious mind? What about biologists who say that DNA is information?
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
The molecule that encodes genetic information. DNA is a double-stranded molecule held together by weak bonds between base pairs of nucleotides. The four nucleotides in DNA contain the bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). In nature, base pairs form only between A and T and between G and C; thus the base sequence of each single strand can be deduced from that of its partner.
Ok, there is matter and there is energy. But you can't describe a system by just matter and energy, because several different arrangements of matter ad energy can all have the same total matter/energy but function completely different as a function of the geometry (arrangement) of the matter and energy.
That is what information is.
Kevin Kelly discussed the nature of information in his blog recently and reported a conversation with Freeman Dyson on the subject . See http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2011/04/infinite_order.php - Infinite Order in All Directions.
There seems to be a contradiction between the observed increasing complex structures we see in the Universe in galaxies and life forms and the second law of thermodynamics which demands increasing disorder.
Hope this helps G
No, we don't.We see information (the codified form created by humans) to always come from intelligence.
The premise is flawed, therefore the logical inference is flawed.could we, by strong inference, say that DNA is also from an intelligence?
But there's more narrow definition about codifying sequences of events. Wiki has a defintion: "any kind of event that affects the state of a dynamic system." but I'm not sure it needs to affects a dynamic system.
What's been bugging me is that I cannot find an example of information (in the codified instructions sense) that does not involve life.
We see information (the codified form created by humans) to always come from intelligence. could we, by strong inference, say that DNA is also from an intelligence? (Regardless of whether we know the nature of the intelligence except that it is an intelligence someone similar to our own?)
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).
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The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.
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An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.
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Mammals with wings, etc.
Over four billion years of evolution, plants and animals grew far more complex than their single-celled ancestors. But a new comparison of proteins shared across species finds that complex organisms, including humans, have accumulated structural weaknesses that may have actually launched the long journey from microbe to man.
The study, published in Nature, suggests that the random introduction of errors into proteins, rather than traditional natural selection, may have boosted the evolution of biological complexity. Flaws in the "packing" of proteins that make them more unstable in water could have promoted protein interactions and intracellular teamwork, expanding the possibilities of life.
"Everybody wants to say that evolution is equivalent to natural selection and that things that are sophisticated and complex have been absolutely selected for," said study co-author Ariel Fernández, PhD, a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago and senior researcher at the Mathematics Institute of Argentina (IAM) in Buenos Aires. "What we are claiming here is that inefficient selection creates a niche or an opportunity to evolve complexity."
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Please read on . . .
Hey guys, I have to bring this post back because I got some news on the subject.
OK the reason I started this thread is because someone is claiming that dna is a "Language" used to convey "information" that same way that English is a language used to convey information...And those used it to say that DNA could therefore only come from a mind...which is god he concludes...
Information is an incredibly ambiguous word in the sense that in it's rawest form you could say that it was "any event that effects the state of a dynamic system" (quoting from the wiki page) or you could talk in terms of language etc.
To my mind DNA is information in the same way that any constituent molecule of a chemical reaction is information. DNA is a molecule that facilitates specific chemical reactions that result in the working of a biological system. To bring in notions of code/information/language is only useful for analogy.
Other than that, information just is. There's no reason why it should have a) come from an intelligent mind or b) appeared out of thin air. DNA does store and convey information, yes, but so do charged particle configurations. There's no intelligence required.
Thing is, I am finding a concept here that identifies a particular kind of information. I just haven't figured out how to define it yet.
The closest I can come is 'blueprints'.
There's all sorts of information out there in the universe but only a tiny subset of it is used the way life uses it - as a language that follows rules to build stuff. I can't think of a single non-life example where configurations are stored in an abstract form, then "read" to make something.