Re: ESSAY: Program length, Omega and Friendliness

From: Mikko Särelä (
Date: Wed Feb 22 2006 - 21:39:26 MST

On Wed, 22 Feb 2006, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Mikko Särelä wrote:
> > On Wed, 22 Feb 2006, Keith Henson wrote:
> >
> > > If you consider natural intelligence, it can't be all that
> > > complicated. Genes particularly involved with the brain are some
> > > fraction of the 30k or so known. Between genes and fMRI, research is
> > > moving right along.
> >
> > I wish to remind that the 30k (20k-25k according to Wikipedia
> > is the number of genes that
> > encode proteins. In addition there are portions in the DNA that code
> > RNA and some portions that may have additional functionality not yet
> > understood.
> >
> > "Comparative genomics studies of mammalian genomes suggest that
> > approximately 5% of the human genome has been conserved by evolution since
> > the divergence of those species approximately 200 million years ago,
> > containing the vast majority of genes and regulatory sequences.
> > Intriguingly, since genes and known regulatory sequences probably comprise
> > less than 2% of the genome, this suggests that there may be more unknown
> > functional sequence than known functional sequence. A smaller, but large,
> > fraction of human genes seem to be shared among most known vertebrates."
> Still a far cry from exhausting the RAM of a modern PC.

Certainly, though we should probably not consider a gene to be one bit,
but more like a software component. Still we get an upper limit on the
complexity by considerint that the human genome has 3 billion DNA base
pairs. Since there are four different possible base pairs that means 2
bits of information giving us a maximum of 6 Gigabits ~ 700-800 Megabytes.

And that is very much overestimated by assuming that each base pair
actually codes useful information about brain structure. Overestimated for
the reason that no one should be able to claim that the complexity is
_higher_ than that. It is most certainly lower than that, probably on the
order of at least two decades (which would place it at 7-8MB) [reason
being at least 90% seems to be junk, not all genes code for brain
structure, and we know that a base pair does not code for 2 bits of
information (similarly claiming that a gene codes for only 1 bit of
information, if two different alleles exists is false idea).

Anything wrong with my analysis?

Mikko Särelä
    "Happiness is not a destination, but a way of travelling." Aristotle 

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