Home > Biology, Evolution, Uncategorized > A New Face on an Old Argument Part 1

A New Face on an Old Argument Part 1

I was recently came across the website cosmicfingerprints.com and found an article that made the audacious claim of being able to prove that God exists through just a few simple arguments. These arguments also undermined evolution in the process.  As an athiest and a darwinist, I was skeptical from the outset. Skepticism turned into frustration as I continued reading. The title asks the question “does a computer networking expert have something new and important to say about the evolution vs. intelligent design debate?” In this instance, the answer is clearly “no.” After reading the brief article and listening to the MP3 clip which accompanies it, I was convinced that this computer networking expert indeed had nothing new or important to say. In my experience following creationist vs. darwinist debate, I have come to expect a fair amount of faulty logic on the part of the former party. But what really annoys me is when creationists use outright lies to try and persuade people to their point of view, because not only are they tricking people into forming irrational beliefs, but good, reliable science often finds itself a collateral casualty.

In the author’s first argument, there are a myriad cases of faulty logic, and it would be exhausting to systematically go through them all, so I’ll just focus on the central fault in the argument. The author begins by arguing a distinction between a code and a pattern. Patterns can occur from chaos, and are commonplace in nature (an example would be weather patterns). Codes, on the other hand, are inherently the products of a designer. The author contends that DNA is a code, since it contains information. Information can only be created by a conscious mind. Therefore, if DNA contains information, it was created by an intelligent being (presumably God).

Intuitively, this almost makes sense. But stop and think about for a moment, and you’ll probably recognize this argument as an adapted teleological argument, or the “argument by design.” The argument by design basically asserts that living things are very complex, well suited for the roles they perform; in short, living things appeared to have been designed to live the ways they do. Consequently, they must have had a designer, or so the argument goes. This answer would certainly seem plausible to someone without  another, more supported explanation for how complex, well-adapted living things arose. But for approximately 150 years, we’ve had a better, scientific explanation: evolution. Evolution functions in some very intricate ways, but there are three main “ingredients” with which it works. Firstly, mutation and other genetic changes result in variation that causes living things to become different than one another, by chance. Secondly, selective forces such as the environment organisms live in causes certain individuals with better adapted traits to survive more easily, and to leave more offspring than others. And thirdly, heredity of genetic material ensures that offspring tend to resemble their parents. The result is that over time, better adapted individuals tend to leave more offspring such that their more successful traits become more common over time. This is the fundamental process of evolution, and over the billions of years life has existed on this planet, it has had the capacity to produce complex individuals which are well-adapted to their environments. There is absolutely no doubt among good scientists that evolution is responsible for all living things we see today. With this powerful fact that is supported by immense amounts of evidence, evolution is a superior theory with which to explain the origins of complex life than the unsupported ‘God hypothesis’ (credit to Richard Dawkins for that phrase).

So what does this have to do with an article about codes and patterns? The above section is useful in demonstrating a point: apparently meaningful thing like complex and well-adapted life that may seem to have been designed can sometimes be explained by sheerly physical phenomena. Live things function as though they have been created with a purpose (to survive, to grow, to reproduce, etc.) but this can all be explained by understanding evolution, a force which is completely devoid of intention. The same logic applies to the idea of DNA being a code, rather than a pattern. DNA certainly does seem function as a code might. It contain thousands to millions of chemicals arranged so that the “blueprints” of life can be passed down from one generation to the next. Certainly this seems like a code written by someone or thing that intended DNA to carry information. But as we saw before with the teleological argument, the apparent design of living things and their components, DNA included, can be explained wholly and completely by evolution, without the need for an intelligent designer to have ever existed. DNA is just a pattern. It is just molecules which have arranged themselves over billions of years into a complex structure because those molecules that did so became replicated, again and again, causing them to become more common and more elaborate over time. DNA has resulted from sheerly physical processes, and consequently does not carry true information because it is not a message. It is just molecules which have arranged themselves over billions of years into a complex structure because those molecules that did so became replicated, again and again, causing them to become more common and more elaborate over time. And since DNA is only a pattern, there need not have been a conscious mind behind it. And there need not have been a God.

This article claims to have presented a new and interesting argument for the proof of God. But this first argument is an old one that has been defeated before. And the article is not so much interesting as it is an irritating attempt at misleading people towards erroneous beliefs.

(I have taken some partially deserved flack for this post. Please see the comments section for this criticism and my response to it, as well as a few revisions I have made to this post.)

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  1. Unknown
    March 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    There’s no doubt evolution beats creationism on a purely rational and scientific level, but that’s the problem. The belief that there is a God is an emotional backboard to live a relatively “good” life. There is the rational and theoretical minds that just believe facts, and that’s fine, but believing in something is greater than just reading a scientific journal. Passion evokes millions to read a book that doesn’t have a branded scientists name on the front, and instead, allows people to take a “leap of faith” into something that may not work out for them (risk takers, who knew?!) You’re looking at religious people as beings who are ignorant of the facts, and to some that may be true, but to others that is not the case. The major problem with this old debate is the fact that scientists have no way to measure the effects that religion has on a certain being. Just like this article, the bible is full of words, interpreting them allows a new light to be shawn on issues; it’s the “chicken soup for the average, lost, soul” book. The same is true in debating if psychology is actually a science; a problem that will never be purely answered when using scientific data because it’s too hard to measure, leaving not a good enough foundation for many pure scientists.

    Now I’m not religious to say the least, however, I believe the two cannot be compared in a rational manner like your blog states. Evidence is evidence, and for that your article wins. This debate is just old, tired, news, like that of religion itself.

  2. PG
    March 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Hello MD,
    This might take some time to start correcting your misrepresentation of the ID “DNA is a literal code” arguement presented by cosmicfingerprints.com. In fact I am concerned that you really didnt carefully review the information before posting your comments. So lets first correct your basic understanding as the status of DNA is a literal code.

    You state above:

    “DNA is just a pattern. It is just molecules which have arranged themselves over billions of years into a complex structure because those molecules that did so became replicated, again and again, causing them to become more common and more elaborate over time. DNA has resulted from sheerly physical processes, and consequently does not carry true information because it is not a message. It is just molecules which have arranged themselves over billions of years into a complex structure because those molecules that did so became replicated, again and again, causing them to become more common and more elaborate over time. And since DNA is only a pattern, there need not have been a conscious mind behind it. And there need not have been a God.”

    Your attempt to define DNA as a simple molecule is a direct contradiction to current scientific convention. Bioinformation is an entire scientific field based on the scientific evidence that DNA is a literal code and not just an analogy or metaphor as you represent. Your assumptions that DNA is a simple pattern undergoing chemical processes does not have any basis in any peer reviewed scientific literature, and is simply your opinion. DNA does carry information over a complex communication system that meets the rigourous and specific criteria outlined in Shannons communication model.

    DNA has an Encoder to Decoder communication system. None of your proposed naturally occuring patterns exhibit this communicsation feature.

    Indeed, DNA also meets the specific and rigourous definition of Zipf’s law to determine its qualifications as an actual language. none of your naturally occuring patterns qualify as a language as defined by Zipf’s law.

    First Lets Start with Yockey, perhaps the worlds formost scientist in Bioinformatics :
    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    To save time and trouble, Google;DNA is a language or genetic code to learn how DNA is a literal code and refutes your statements that DNA is simply a molecule undergoing chemical processes as you state. You will find mountains of scientific Peer reviewed publications concludions that DNA is a Lieral code as origionally stated by Yockey!

    Here is the Syllogym:

    1) DNA is a Literal code as defined by science! (That is a scientific fact!)
    2) All known codes are designed!(That is a repeatable scientific observation)
    3) DNA is proof of design!

    Find empirical evidence of just 1 naturally occuring code to topple the proof that DNA is designed!

    Just 1!

    .

    .

    • mitcheldaniel
      March 20, 2010 at 3:52 am

      You are right to say that I may have jumped into this topic without doing as much research on it as I should have. For being overeager, I apologize. I would also like to make some adjustments to my original post in order to rectify a few misstatements I made which I now, after some investigation recognize, as such. I will not, however, back down from my ultimate assertion that DNA is NOT a code, and that it therefore needs not have been intelligently designed by a God or any other super-natural force.

      Thank for drawing my attention to the paragraph of mine that you quoted above. In the third sentence, I claimed that DNA does not contain information. I was wrong to state this, and made the mistake due to a misunderstanding of the semantics of the word “information” as used in Information Theory. DNA certainly does contain information. It is DNA’s function to replicate and carry information from parent to progeny. As such, DNA reduces uncertainty, and thus creates information. But this does not make it a code. Flipping a coin creates information, too, as it resolves the uncertainty of whether a ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ will result. But flipping a coin is not a code.

      Indeed, calling DNA a code IS just a metaphor, and an analogy to help us better understand how it works. You suggested that I google something along the lines of “DNA is a literal code” so I did. An, somewhat ironically, the search engine came up with more sites discussing the metaphor of DNA as a code or refuting the false analogy of DNA as a code, than it did sites which positively asserted DNA as being a literal code. Apart from on para-scientific websites that appeared to be motivated more by specious religious agendas than a concern for scientific truth, I was hard-pressed to find anyone claiming that “DNA is a Literal code as defined by science” (quoted from your comment above). It is simply untrue that calling DNA a literal code is a scientific fact. The vast majority of credible sources I have come across have either rejected this notion, or are arguing rather pointedly against it (see here for an example of this. Instead, most scientists and educated people seem to agree that DNA is a simply a physical molecule undergoing physical processes, and that there is nothing evidently supernatural about it. This has been established scientific fact for decades, and it is not “simply my opinion.”

      Moving on through your comment, you may be right to assert that DNA has many of the features of designed literal codes. Indeed, DNA does function much like a code, or language would. That is why we use the term code as a metaphor for DNA. DNA contains information encoded in the genome. Transcriptional and translational processes of molecules within the cell act as though they are “decoding” this information (though this is a false analogy since “decoding” implies agency that mere molecules don’t possess). DNA is a very elegant molecule that functions much like a code would. But it is fallacious to call DNA a code because of this. DNA has not been “written” or “encoded” in the truest sense of the word. DNA is the physical consequence of evolution, just like everything else in biology. The reason DNA appears to have been designed is because it has been designed. But it has been designed by the non-intelligent, and completely natural forces of evolution, and not an intelligent, super-natural designer. Biologists understand evolution with enough clarity to realize that even a system as elegant as the genome and the molecular machinery that make it work can be fully explained by natural forces. Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary geneticist, darwinist, and one of the most persuasive men in science today has upheld the notion that DNA is fully capable of importing information by the sheerly physical means of evolution, without the necessity of some intelligent, god-like designer having ever interfered. He mentions this in a debate against George Gilder, largely on the topic of information theory, which you can listen to here.

      And finally, I must contend the logic of your syllogym. You (erroneously) claim 1) DNA is considered a literal code by the scientific community. Then, you state that 2) all known codes are designed. And finally you conclude that 3) DNA is therefore proof of design, and that unless I can provide one naturally occurring code, I cannot refute this proof.

      I have spent most of the above refuting your first premise; DNA is not, in fact, a literal code. To call it a code is a metaphor, and a false analogy.

      Secondly, perhaps all known codes are designed, but that doesn’t wouldn’t automatically make DNA designed even if it were a code. Just because all of the binders that I see in my room are resting in a pile on the floor doesn’t mean that the second I discover a new binder in my room I must instantly conclude that it, too, is a part of the pile. No natural law has been found which mandates that all binders in my room must be part of the pile on the floor, nor has any natural law ever been found which mandates that all known codes must be designed.

      And finally, if we did agree to assume that all codes are designed as you imply in your second premise, your final statement would invalidate your argument. If we agreed that all codes are the products of designers, then it would be impossible to find a naturally occurring code because it would be impossible for a naturally occurring code to exist. Thus, your argument would be circular, self-fulfilling, unfalsifiable, and therefore invalid in any scientific discussion on the nature of the world.

      Thus, I state with confidence that DNA is not a code, and that even if it were, this would not be conclusive proof that it was designed by God, or by any supernatural or unnatural force. Rather, DNA, and the information it contains, is the product of evolution.

  3. PG
    March 20, 2010 at 5:15 am

    You cite Richard Dawkins?

    Here is what Richard Dawkins’ states in his book The Blind Watchmaker:

    “Every single one of more than a trillion cells in the body contains about a thousand times as much precisely-coded digital information as my entire computer.”

    What Im really looking forward to is any Scientific Peer reviewed published papers that support your contention that DNA is not a literal code.

  4. PG
    March 20, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Let me save you a trip to the library, Here are some peer reviewed publications and articles that support my position:

    Again, Yockey is the considered the foremost bioinformatic scientist in the world:

    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    The genetic code is a set of 64 base triplets (nucleotide bases, read in blocks of three). A codon is a base triplet in mRNA. -Cell Biology and Genetics, Starr and Taggart, Wadsworth Publishing, 1995

    Genetic Code: The sequence of nucleotides, coded in triplets (codons) along the messenger RNA, that determines the sequence of amino acids in protein synthesis….
    -50 years of DNA, Clayton and Dennis, Nature Publishing, 2003

    “The problem of how a sequence of four things (nucleotides) can determine a sequence of twenty things (amino acids) is known as the ‘coding’ problem.” –Francis Crick

    “The unique mark of a living organism, shared with no other known entity, is its possession of a genetic program that specifies that organism’s chemical makeup. s….DNA carries genetic specificity. This structure immediately suggests that genetic specificity, the “information” that distinguishes one gene from another, resides in the sequence of nucleotides.”
    -The Way of the Cell, Franklin M. Harold, Oxford University Press, 2001

    “A code is a set of rules governing the order of symbols in communication. This defines a code, regardless of the nature of the symbols, be they alphabetic letters, voice sounds, dots and dashes, DNA bases, amino acids, nerve impulses, or what have you. Codes are generally expressed as binary relations or as geometric correspondences between a domain and a counterdomain; one speaks of mapping in the latter case. Thus, in the International Morse Code, 52 symbols consisting of sequences of dots and dashes map on 52 symbols of the alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks; or in the genetic code, 61 of the possible symbol triplets of the RNA domain map on a set of 20 symbols of the polypeptide counterdomain.
    -The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication and the Foundations of Life, by Werner R. Loewenstein, Oxford University Press, 1999

    “(George) Gamow devised a scheme, illustrated by means of playing cards, that involved sets of three adjacent nucleotides per amino acide unit (“triplet” code) in a sequence of overlapping triplets. That proposal spurred Francis Crick and his colleagues to examine the coding problem more critically and to use knowledge gained from genetic experiments to test the possible validity of Gamow’s scheme and its variants.
    -Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology, Joseph S. Fruton, Yale University Press 1999

    “It had been revealed as the full complement of instructions embodied in a series of sets of three DNA nitrogenous bases. The totality of these long sequences were the instructions for the construction, maintenance, and functioning of every living cell. .”
    -The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life, by Thomas F. Lee, Plenum Press, 1991

    “The three-nucleotide, or triplet code, was widely adopted as a working hypothesis. Its existence, however, was not actually demonstrated until the code was finally broken…
    “With a knowledge of the genetic code, we can turn our attention to the question of how the information encoded in the DNA and transcribed into mRNA is subsequently translated into a specific sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain. The answer to this question is now understood in great detail… instructions for protein synthesis are encoded in sequences of nucleotides in the DNA molecule.”
    -Biology, 5th Edition, by Curtis & Barnes, Worth Publishers, 1989

    “The genetic code has many of the properties of codes in general, specifically the Morse Code, the Universal Product Bar Code, ASCII, and the US Postal Code. I shall explain the relation of these codes to the genetic code in the following discussion. Every code, as the term is used in this book, can be regarded as a channel with an input alphabet A and an output alphabet B.

    “Here is the formal definition of a code :

    Given a source with probability space [Omega, A, p(A)] and a receiver with probability space [Omega, B, p(B)], then a unique mapping of the letters of alphabet A onto letters of alphabet B is called a code.
    Here p(A) is the probability vector of the elements of alphabet A and p (B) is the probability vector of the elements of alphabet B. ( Perlwitz , Burks and Waterman, 1988)

    “Nature has extended the primary four-letter alphabet to the six-bit, 64 member alphabet of the genetic code. Each amino acid except Trytophan and Methionine has more than one codon . Thus, the genetic code is redundant (not degenerate). The sloppy terminology designating the genetic code as degenerate is responsible for most of the misunderstanding of the genetic information processing system.

    “The genetic code is distinct and uniquely decodable, because the single Methionine codon AUG, and sometimes the Leucine codons UUG and CUG, serve as a starting signal for the protein sequence and performs the same function as the long frame bars at the beginning of the postal message in the ZIP+4 code and the Universal Product Code. The codons UGA, UAA and UAG function usually as non-sense and stop the translation of the protein from the mRNA and initiate the release of the protein sequence from the mRNA ( Maeshiro and Kimura, 1998). They perform the same function as the long frame bar at the end of the postal bar code message (Bertram, 2001). Remember that non-sense does not mean nonsense or foolishness. Code letters are called non-sense because they have been given no sense or meaning assignment in the receiving alphabet.”

    (From Hubert Yockey , Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    Here is a specific definition of Genetic code from several of the online medical dictionarys:

    Medterms.com
    Definition of Genetic code
    Genetic code: The instructions in a gene that tell the cell how to make a specific protein. A, T, G, and C are the “letters” of the DNA code. They stand for the chemicals adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, respectively, that make up the nucleotide bases of DNA. Each gene’s code combines the four chemicals in various ways to spell out 3-letter “words” that specify which amino acid is needed at every step in making a protein.
    The discovery of the genetic code clearly ranks as one of the premiere events in what has been called the Golden Age of Biology and Medicine.
    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/…rticlekey=3574

    Biology-Online.org
    Answers to all your Biology Questions
    Definition of Genetic code:
    (Science: molecular biology) relationship between the sequence of bases in nucleic acid and the order of amino acids in the polypeptide synthesised from it. A sequence of three nucleic acid bases (a triplet) acts as a codeword (codon) for one amino acid.
    http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Genetic_code

    Definition of Genetic code:
    “The information carried by DNA” that determines the specific amino acids and their sequence in each protein synthesized by an organism…..
    http://medical-dictionary.thefreedic…l+Genetic+Code

    • mitcheldaniel
      March 20, 2010 at 6:08 am

      Either you’ve missed my point, or I haven’t made it clearly enough. The terminology “genetic code” is very widely used because it is an effective expression for describing and illustrating the way that DNA works and functions in the cell. As I previously described, DNA functions much like a code or language does. Consequently, it is convenient to use the expressions like “genetic code” as part of the vernacular of biology. However, this is not equivalent to saying “DNA is a literal code.” There are very few scientists or otherwise educated people who would make this claim. The fact that you’ve provided a substantial list of cases of scientists using the expression “genetic code” does not mean they are advocating of view of DNA as a literal code, much less a literal code created by an intelligent designer.

      Indeed, the only scientist you listed who is really advocating that point is Yockey, in a book that is certainly not without considerable challenge and criticism. The fact that you found a single scientist arguing in favour of your point in no way wins you the argument.

      Moreover, you’ve not addressed the problems regarding your second and third premises. Even if I were to accept that DNA is a literal code as you consider it, this would still not be a successful proof that it was intelligently designed.

  5. PG
    March 20, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Very simply, if DNA was not a code then why create an entire field of science around it called Bioinformatics and use communication and information theory in its methodology?

    Answer: DNA is a literal code!

    Bioinformatics
    .Bioinformatics is the application of information technology and computer science to the field of molecular biology. The term bioinformatics was coined by Paulien Hogeweg in 1979 for the study of informatic processes in biotic systems. Its primary use since at least the late 1980s has been in genomics and genetics, particularly in those areas of genomics involving large-scale DNA sequencing. Bioinformatics now entails the creation and advancement of databases, algorithms, computational and statistical techniques, and theory to solve formal and practical problems arising from the management and analysis of biological data. Over the past few decades rapid developments in genomic and other molecular research technologies and developments in information technologies have combined to produce a tremendous amount of information related to molecular biology. It is the name given to these mathematical and computing approaches used to glean understanding of biological processes. Common activities in bioinformatics include mapping and analyzing DNA and protein sequences, aligning different DNA and protein sequences to compare them and creating and viewing 3-D models of protein structures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics

    • mitcheldaniel
      March 20, 2010 at 6:38 am

      Why create a field called bioinformatics and use communication and information theory in its methodology to study DNA if it’s not a code?

      Answer: because it can be understood like a code, due to the fact that if functions like a code. This is what I have been saying. This is why DNA is so often referred to as the genetic code. We have come to understand by of thinking of it, metaphorically, as a code. But when we do so, we are not calling it a literal code.

  6. PG
    March 20, 2010 at 5:38 am

    1) DNA is a literal code (According to Dawkins, Yockey, Crick, Et Al.)

    2) All known codes are designed! (A Repeatable observation!)
    a) Science knows that 100% of all known codes are designed!
    b) Science also knows that there are 0% of known naturally occuring codes!

    3) DNA is proof of design unless science can find a naturally occuring code!

    I will close with Dr Hoyle, An Atheist (Former) evolutionary Biologist:
    “Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics, on which life depends, are in every respect DELIBERATE… It is therefore, almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect higher intelligences.. even to the limit of God.”
    Dr. Fredrick Hoyle; Atheist

    .

  7. mitcheldaniel
    March 20, 2010 at 6:49 am

    1) If you are going to cite Dawkins and Crick as having argued that DNA is a literal code, please do more than just put their names. Give me a word for word quotation or a link to one to show that your citation is valid. Not, however, that it is not sufficient to quote them using the term “code” or a “genetic code” or some similar expression that is just part of the vernacular of the field.
    2 and 3) You’ve simply restated arguments that I have already addressed above. If you have nothing new and relevant to contribute to this discussion, please don’t bother to post it.

    In response to your closing quote:
    Life as we know it did not originate at random. Evolution is a non-random process that completely accounts for the complex and elegantly adapted living things we see around us. There is nothing implausible or even improbable about the complexity of life if you understand how evolution works. We need not to look towards a God to understand how the word has come to be when we have the comprehensible explanations right in front of us.

  8. PG
    March 21, 2010 at 6:42 am

    mitcheldaniel :Either you’ve missed my point, or I haven’t made it clearly enough. The terminology “genetic code” is very widely used because it is an effective expression for describing and illustrating the way that DNA works and functions in the cell. As I previously described, DNA functions much like a code or language does. Consequently, it is convenient to use the expressions like “genetic code” as part of the vernacular of biology. However, this is not equivalent to saying “DNA is a literal code.” There are very few scientists or otherwise educated people who would make this claim. The fact that you’ve provided a substantial list of cases of scientists using the expression “genetic code” does not mean they are advocating of view of DNA as a literal code, much less a literal code created by an intelligent designer.
    Indeed, the only scientist you listed who is really advocating that point is Yockey, in a book that is certainly not without considerable challenge and criticism. The fact that you found a single scientist arguing in favour of your point in no way wins you the argument.
    Moreover, you’ve not addressed the problems regarding your second and third premises. Even if I were to accept that DNA is a literal code as you consider it, this would still not be a successful proof that it was intelligently designed.

    Lets first just focus on my premise #1) DNA is a Literal code!

    You have yet to offer any Peer reviewed scientific publication that supports your contention that DNA is just a metaphor or vernacular of the field as you suggest.

    Here is research done by Rutgers University that totally supports my position and clearly disproves your entire thought process!

    The Linguistics of DNA

    Read paragraph #3 and the research conclusions. DNA is a literal code and not simply a metaphor. Unless you can refute the Rutgers University research findings with a Peer reviewed Scientific publication, then you will need to concede the fact that DNA is a Literal code.

    BTW,
    Francis Crick concluded that DNA was far too complex to have evolved and proposed Panspermia and exogenesis from an intelligent designer!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Crick

    Again, Here is what Richard Dawkins’ states in his book The Blind Watchmaker:

    “Every single one of more than a trillion cells in the body contains about a thousand times as much precisely-coded digital information as my entire computer.”
    More “precise code” then Microsoft?
    Thousand times as much DIGITAL CODE INFORMATION then his computer?

    Yep, DNA is a literal code!

    .

    • mitcheldaniel
      March 21, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Either you’ve failed to understand my refutations up to this point, or you are choosing to ignore them, because I’ve addressed all these points already. Scientists like Richard Dawkins using the term “code” when referring to the information contained within the genome is NOT the same as them advocating that DNA is a literal code in the sense that would validate you argument.

      As for what you said about Francis Crick, you are out right lying. According the wikipedia page you provided, Crick made speculations about the origins of life as having likely begun with amino acids that developed into a self-replicating system. He never makes any suggestion that and intelligent designer was behind the origins of life. What’s more, he was also an avid critic of religion, and had “a strong inclination towards atheism.” He was also opposed to teaching creationism in schools. It would be absolutely absurd for you to imply that he supports your argument.

      I fear you’ve misunderstood the intentions of the Linguistics of DNA article you’ve cited. They are arguing the DNA is not just metaphorically like a code, but is analogous to a code because it behaves within the cell so very much like a language or code does. This is why, in the final sentence of the third paragraph they state that the purpose of their paper is to “characterize the structure and function of DNA based on linguistic principles.” Just as I have been saying all along, DNA very closely resembles a language or code, which is why scientists use this as an analogy to understand how the genome works.

      You are simply re-hashing your old arguments, and I have already addressed them. If you do not have anything new to add to this post, this will be my last reply.

  9. PG
    March 22, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I see that again and again you simply Deflect, then ignore the scientific research, and form your own conclusions. Thats not going to work. In addition, You still havent provided any Peer reviewed scientific publication that supports your contention that DNA is just a metaphor or vernacular of the field as you suggest.

    The research done by Rutgers University totally supports my position and clearly disproves your entire thought process! You failed to accept the research in Paragraph #3 where the scientists clearly state that DNA is NOT a metaphor and that the conclusions that DNA uses a language called “cell language” or “cellese” and that it meets 10 of 13 language components of humanese. The research continues on to provide the empirical eviidence of DNA being a language, and that language is a code, and isomorphism exists between cell and human language. The conclusions are clearly stated, DNA is a language, a literal code.

    The Linguistics of DNA

    At this point, the Rutgers Research along with hundreds of other research that confirm these findings, and stands as sciences declaration that DNA is a language, a literal code, and a refutation of your beliefs!

    Again, Yockey is the considered the foremost bioinformatic scientist in the world confirms the Rutgers research:

    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    Your article should be completely retracted!

    .

  10. PG
    April 1, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Now There is a court ruling that supports my position that DNA is a literal code and not simply chemical reactions!

    “The information encoded in DNA is not information about its own molecular structure incidental to its biological function, as is the case with adrenaline or other chemicals found in the body. Rather, the information encoded by DNA reflects its primary biological function: directing the synthesis of other molecules in the body – namely, proteins, “biological molecules of enormous importance” which “catalyze biochemical reactions” and constitute the “major structural materials of the animal body.”

    and

    “Consequently, the use of simple analogies comparing DNA with chemical compounds previously the subject of patents cannot replace consideration of the distinctive characteristics of DNA.”

    31 March 2010
    Judge Rules DNA is Unique Because it Carries Functional Information
    Association for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, __ F.Supp.2d __ (S.D.N.Y. 2010):

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/judge-rules-dna-is-unique-because-it-carries-information/

  11. January 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I read this article completely about the difference of hottest and earlier technologies, it’s remarkable
    article.

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