Re: ESSAY: Program length, Omega and Friendliness

From: Joel Pitt (
Date: Thu Feb 23 2006 - 14:59:37 MST

On 2/23/06, Brian Atkins <> wrote:
> I've tried pondering this issue before (it would help if I actually knew a
> great
> deal about biology, etc., but I don't), and I come to the conclusion that
> it
> must be inaccurate to try and relate computer bits to base pair data. The
> reason
> is because I think you have to take into account the tremendous amount of
> "data
> compression" involved in the base pair information.

Note that this assumption of data compression in DNA flies in the face of
the idea that the DNA is extremely redundant (even within the introns of
genes). Each amino acid is generally coded for by multiple codons, and
tracks of DNA just sit around acting as a drawing board for evolution
without immediate expressable use.

As Robin said, computers also have the surrounding infrastructure that can
make the code look succint. However there is the difference the the DNA
contains the instructions for making the infrastructure as well.

On the other hand, genes and proteins don't all have singular fixed roles.
Enzymes morph based temperature, pH and other environmental factors which
may impair their main function but also induce another. Genes themselves are
transcribed and then edited and spliced in different ways before being
translated to protein.


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