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Genetic CODE: DNA/RNA is a system of gene transcription and protein synthesis, but is it really a code?


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Initial post: Jul 22, 2012 7:15:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2012 11:46:42 AM PDT
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Posted on Jul 22, 2012 7:56:11 AM PDT
DNA is not a code: http://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/dna-is-not-a-code/

DNA: When is a code not a code? : http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/dna_when_code_not_code

Posted on Jul 22, 2012 12:03:57 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 12:16:29 PM PDT
Your definition of science as "anything that describes the real world in terms of real causes" is neither accurate nor useful.

Science is a process of postulating hypotheses about how the natural world works, and then testing their predictions. So a scientific hypothesis needs to be able to make falsifiable predictions. It also deals solely with natural phenomena, so supernatural phenomena are excluded.

ID describes the natural world of biology in terms of supernatural interventions (design). It makes no falsifiable predictions, since any statement whatsoever about the natural world of biology could be justified as "that's how it was designed".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 12:44:08 PM PDT
<<Anything that describes the real world in terms of real causes is science.>>

Practically nobody would describe their claims as referring to a fake world or to fake causes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 1:03:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2012 1:07:19 PM PDT
RR says:
"DNA/RNA isn't just analogous to code: DNA/RNA posses ALL of the cardinal attributes of code. "

This is as stupid as insisting that because natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds are chemically identical and can serve the same purpose, all diamonds are man-made.

When did the designer do it? What did he do? Where did he do it? Where is the detritus of his presence? What changes is it effecting now? What tests do you propose to test these claims? You've got nothing but sophistry.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 1:25:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2012 1:41:05 PM PDT
noman says:
RE: CD says "...Anything that describes the real world in terms of real causes is science...."

**Only partially correct. What you are "describing" is stamp collecting (or rocks or butterflies or...). It becomes *science* when you have a *theory* that ties everything together. Atomic theory, theory of combustion, germ theory and etc. It's Darwin's theory of evolution that tied all the previously separate collections or descriptions of biology (insects, plants, animals) into a single coherent whole just as Boltzmann's atomic theory provides a basis for modern chemistry (and physics and biology).

You are asserting that tens of thousands of scientists (world wide) for the past 150+ years in all disciplines have (despite industrial output in medicine, agriculture and computing for example) are either appalingly ignorant or engaged in a world wide conspiracy *only* in evolutionary biology and have therefore missed a major flaw in the theory that underlies all of biology...BUT ID/creationist "scientists" without a single publication in a *recognized* peer review journal nor any laboratory or field research have located this flaw.(peer review does not mean in house journals or self published or popular books. research means work that is actually used by other scientists in the field. quote mining and out of context quotes do not count)

SUMMARY: Science is all about finding out how the universe works. Mechanisms, not sophistry. Dan Shechtman got the Nobel Prize by bucking conventional wisdom and demonstrating the existence of quasi crystals. He did this by actually doing the lab work and providing evidence.
The resources are out there. Quit wasting your time on Amazon forums or quote mining other peoples work. Stop whining about how the mean ol' 'Darwinists' won't let you play with them and do the research yourself. Or fund someone else to do the research.

An Istitution for the Do-It-Yourself Biologist
http://diybio.org/

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 1:31:33 PM PDT
Re OP: Since a code is a mapping from one set of symbols to another set, DNA is in fact a code. And it does indeed carry information -- which was derived from its evolutionary history. None of this implies a design, a designer, or any sort of deity: it is simply a result of chemistry.

Since the theory of evolution is provably correct [1], this discussion is simply a waste of Amazon's disk space.

1. I have posted the proof elsewhere in these forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 3:06:24 AM PDT
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Posted on Jul 23, 2012 5:38:27 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
"Code" is a human concept, a term that is applied to any complex structure that is construed to carry 'information' (another manmade concept). Arguing about what is and isn't a "real code" is a pointless and circular enterprise typical of what creationists indulge in when they don't want to confront legitimate science directly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 6:05:40 AM PDT
<< "Code" is a human concept [....] Arguing about what is and isn't a "real code" is a pointless and circular enterprise >>

To whit, the two essays that MA provides use different definitions of "code", even though both take ID to task. I think you're right that the carrying of information is what's relevant. Information is actually reasonably clearly defined if you look into the right fields of study, but of course one thing a person notices upon doing so is that people who routinely deal with information science do not routinely resort to supernatural intervention in their hypotheses.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 6:26:44 AM PDT
It seems to me that both essays miss the point.

The science20 entry draws an interesting distinction, in that (e.g.) Morse code or Enigma code are "codes" because they take one symbolic expression and put it into another symbolic expression; that's the very reason codes can hide secrets. But, honestly, that's not the crux of the ID debate, so drawing this distinction seems superfluous, even if people are using words too loosely. And anyway, one could always argue that DNA is a second-order set of symbols encoding RNA.

The livinglifewithout essay operates from the unjustified premise that if an interaction can be described mechanistically then it must not involve symbols. The problem here is that this premise would actually remove everything, not just DNA, from the category of symbols. Physical interactions can be found underlying all symbolic recognition, whether you're talking about computer code, humans reading text, or whatever.

My take is that the informational behavior of matter is not black-and-white -- a spectrum can be found, and there are large gray areas where it can be useful to treat study systems as either informational or mechanical, depending on priorities. For example, if a lock gets jammed, one may need to check the springs for elasticity and lubrication, but if one wants to re-key a lock, one may want to generate a string of values representing tooth depths along the length of a key and work from there.

If a wide variety of circumstances are recognized to behave both mechanistically and informationally, it becomes less odd and thus less demanding of special explanation that biological parts are also obviously informational, in the strict scientific sense (per Shannon, for example). The potential for physical systems to acquire informational properties is pretty neat, but I don't think it rises to the level of implying Godly intervention. It has happened many times over the course of evolution, not just in the development of genetic information storage, but in the development of many jillions of cell-cell and organism-organism signalling systems.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 7:15:01 AM PDT
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Posted on Jul 23, 2012 9:47:14 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
Yes, the intelligent strawman was indeed supernatural. So are magical ruby slippers, another characteristic of the only realm where creationism could be taken seriously.

The Wizard of Oz (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 3:27:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2012 3:27:16 PM PDT
If by "intelligent designer" you are talking about a corporeal entity, CD, I invite you to comment on the following considerations:

You don't make a car by designing it. You make a car by designing and manufacturing it. The ID movement never discusses manufacture, thus implying that the designer to which they refer is exempt from the routes by which corporeal entities have to bring their designs into built form.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 4:00:24 PM PDT
RR says:
"The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that."

Creationism in a nutshell. You can't admit the truth.

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 6:33:32 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 7:31:16 PM PDT
Take a high school course in organic chemistry, then get back to the scientists.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 8:04:48 PM PDT
noman says:
RE: CD rants: "... It's a code. If it isn't a code, what on earth do you call it!???"
****

J Theor Biol. 1997 Jan 7;184(1):25-9.
Is DNA a language?
Tsonis AA, Elsner JB, Tsonis PA.
Source

Department of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53201-413, USA.
Abstract

DNA sequences usually involve local construction rules that affect different scales. As such their "dictionary" may not follow Zipf's law (a power law) which is followed in every natural language. Indeed, analysis of many DNA sequences suggests that no linguistics connections to DNA exist and that even though it has structure DNA is not a language. Computer simulations and a biological approach to this problem further support these results.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 3:10:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012 3:27:58 AM PDT
RR says:
CD,
"Rob, you can't even admit that DNA/RNA is a code."

Wrong, I said there is tons of evidence that the code is not of intelligent design and lots of evidence that it isn't. I said that human design code is symbolic and DNA is biochemical, which make them two very different things.

Your entire argument rests on the same illogical argument that is analogous to claiming that because humans make diamonds, all diamonds are made by humans. You've still failed to produce any evidence that shows a designer was ever on the planet doing anything.

You claim that any rebuttal that the designer is supernatural is a strawman, but you cannot show any of the detritus of an extraterrestrial on the planet at the time you say these events occurred or where you claim these events occured. You cannot show any pattern of migration from the creation point.

All you've got a theological doctrine and a bad one at that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 3:30:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012 3:51:37 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 3:59:40 AM PDT
<<You can't be much more vague can you?>>

Well, it is the abstract you quote. Presumably there are specifics in the paper.

As for specifics, how about that manufacture issue?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 4:23:53 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 4:26:13 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 4:32:29 PM PDT
Please provide the evidence on which you base your implied assertion that a code requires an intelligent being to come into existence, or stop trying to equate "DNA is a code" with "there must be an intelligent designer".
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  35
Total posts:  898
Initial post:  Jul 22, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 1, 2014

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