DNA and information
Information is neither matter nor energy. It is metaphysical by nature. It is not sugars and enzymes. Information is something other than the matter that contains it. As such, ”Complex Coded Information” (CCI) is something the standard macro-evolutionary theory cannot explain. Where does the information come from?
We call it the genetic code. The very word ”code” implies an symbolic convention created for a specific purpose. The genetic code is such. It has semantics, syntax, pragmatics and is constrained to those rules. It also has exception trapping mechanisms built in.
As a written language is a set of symbols to which meaning has been assigned by some intelligence, and as a spoken language is a set of symbolic sounds to which meaning has been assigned by intelligent originiators, so DNA, as a Complex Coded Information System (CCIS), must necessarily have been originated by some intelligence.
Nature, by default, has no intelligence and so cannot itself be the origin of the genetic code. Therefore, some other intelligence must be responsible for it’s existence. Coded information systems, such as language, do not arise in nature by itself. There is in fact no such thing as a language coming into existence without some intelligent entities ‘inventing’ it.
That it is very brief view of how the Intelligent Design theory looks at the information problem for neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
DNA is a complex coded information system (CCIS)
Dr. Gitt’s laws of information – Gitt, Werner, 1997. In the Beginning was Information, Christliche Literature-Verbreitung e.V., Bielefeld, Germany. Director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, the Head of the Department of Information Technology
I know that Gitt’s work, while extensive and in fact rather exhaustive, is not yet complete and no doubt contains some errors or unknowns as nearly all scientific theories do. Yet it “holds water”.
Coded information obeys fundamental laws of nature which, in summarized form, can be expressed as follows:
- It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.
- It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.
- It is impossible to have information without a sender.
- It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.
- It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.
- It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics [the purpose for which the information is intended, from the Greek apobeinon = result, success, conclusion].
- It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.
Careful analysis shows again and again that the process: sender codes a message – receiver decodes and uses the intended information, does not arise without the active involvement of a living intelligence at some point.- Dr. Royal Truman
Yes I know some attempts have been made to refute Truman’s paper on Information as well as Dr. Gitt’s research – talkorigins of course – who else? They basically rant on his differences with Shannon’s information theory and then wander off on poorly reasoned “rebuttals” with very little real content. Gitt’s work is extensive and cannot be shrugged off so easily as that.
From what I’ve read thus far, all opponents of Gitt’s ideas avoid the basic problem. Information does not exist in sugars and enzymes per se. Intelligence always ends up being assumed somewhere in the argument.
Given the above information, it is easy to see why neo-Darwinism fails from the start.
The source of the information contained in DNA, with it’s data transfer protocols, coding protocols and error-control protocols cannot be natural. It requires intelligently designed protocols embedded into the very framework itself.
Communications protocols do not arise from nothing. The very term protocol implies communication conventions between two communicating entities. This intelligence is involved. Amongst humans at this time, TCP/IP (the communications protocol used for Internet and computer comm) is the most widely used, without which no such blogs or web sites would work.
The information travels the physical lines using TCP to insure correct data transfer from source to destination. Checksum algorithms are applied to insure error free messages.
Information in DNA also has transmission and error checking protocols used as well as the translation mechanisms of RNA. These, by default, cannot be acquired in mere matter. They must be designed. Error can never be detected without an obligatorily preceeding knowledge or convention on what is correct.
In computers we use binary coded information to make them work. 0′s and 1′s do a good job for use so far, but they are still limited. DNA does not use binary code. And so in that sense, standard information theory is insufficient for such systems.
DNA uses a 4 letter code ATGC. (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). RNA is (A,C,G,Uracil) This code base is far more effecient than binary for the transfer and use of biological information. This code base provides for frame shifts as well, such as the right-left shifts applicable to say, bytes or word sequences, in binary code.
There are three major types of RNA: 1) mRNA, messenger-RNA, which transfer the information about the aminoacid sequence from the DNA to the protein synthesis. 2) rRNA, ribosomal-RNA, which builds up the ribosome together with proteins. 3) tRNA, transfer-RNA, which transfers aminoacids to the ribosome for protein synthesis….
The translation process is the synthesis of proteins directed by a mRNA template. The information contained in the nucleotide sequence of the mRNA is read as three letter words (triplets), called codons. Each word stands for one amino acid.
see : http://nobelprize.org/chemistry/educational/dna/index.html
The complexity involed in all of this is mindboggling. Or as one molecular biologist put it, “genius beyond genius”.
Dr. Royal Truman (Ph.D., specializing in organic chemistry), basing some of his analysis on Gitt, adds the following :
1. Information is more than the physical coding used to represent it. The sender and receiver must agree in advance on conventions to represent whatever is to be communicated in the future.
2. Information exchange requires that the frame of reference or context be agreed to in advance.
3. Random processes cannot generate coded information; rather, they only reflect the underlying mechanistic and probabilistic properties of the components which created that physical arrangement.
4. Information efficiency may be denser than implied by Shannon’s log2(n) equation, since a common basis of understanding exists between sender and receiver, often allowing implications with various degrees of certainty to be assumed by both parties, in addition to the raw data of the message.
5. In addition to the data encoded in the physical message the intention of the original sender must be considered. An encoding system can be devised to ensure transmission accuracy or to avoid understanding by an unwanted party.
6. A message allows information to survive over time. Assuming that the physical medium is not destroyed, there is some flexibility as to when the receiver can interpret the information.
7. The underlying meaning of coded information is external to the mere nature and properties of the sender.
8. The physical medium upon which a message is encoded is subject to physical laws such as a natural trend towards increased entropy in the long run (and thereby loss of ncoded information which is dependent on a physical medium).
9. Information content of messages is more easily quantified in a comparative than absolute sense.
One simply cannot avoid the inherent necessity of intelligence in this. An intelligent Designer is absolutely required. It cannot be accomplished by blind, unguided, unpurposing, mindless, speechless nature by mere random mutations + “selection pressures” + millions of years.
Indeed, no one has yet shown anything near like a stepped sequence of mutations that could have built such a CCIS. So what do Darweenies say about this fact? Basically, “It’s ongoing research”. Of course it is. And after 100 years or so, it’s not gotten very far has it. Indeed, the more we discover, the more complex it gets. And the more complex it gets the less Darwinism suffices.
See : http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp for a far more complete analysis of the information problem – by Dr. Royal Truman