DNA as a measure of brain complexity [WAS Re: ESSAY: Program length, Omega and Friendliness]

From: Richard Loosemore (rpwl@lightlink.com)
Date: Thu Feb 23 2006 - 06:22:44 MST

When Kennedy gave his famous speech at Rice University about going to
the Moon, the speech, as well as the other things he said to his
subordinates on the subject in the next few months, could probably have
been contained in some 30K bits. Maybe? Ballpark, anyhow.

But when this small packet of information was launched into the society
that was America, it triggered some massive shifts of resources that
eventually resulted in a series of Apollo spacecraft landing on the Moon.

It tells us almost nothing about the Apollo space programme to speculate
on how many bits were in JFK's utterances.

Ditto for the amount of information in the DNA that triggers the
development of a brain.

Richard Loosemore.

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
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genome) 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.

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