In a comment to a previous post, Jaceli123 writes:
Now I have a question for you guys is DNA simply just chemical reactions between DNA and RNA, does it really contain information or is it just the result of a chemical potential? From this video: [link]
Curious, I followed the link and found this video that was posted on Youtube by someone who calls himself “bdw5000” on July 24, 2013. Someone put a lot of time and effort into this video and its animations, and it makes some, shall we say, interesting claims. Some excerpts:
The ancestral molecule to RNA just behaved in a certain way for chemical reasons.
It is the molecular structure that mattered. Specifically, what mattered the most was the ability of the ancestral molecule to make copies of itself.
1:25 This is the core of the claims made:
Life is not an information phenomenon, but a bio-chemical one. DNA in living things does not store information but bio-chemical potential subject to the laws of chemistry and physics and not the laws of information.
Well. I don’t know who bdw5000 is, but the claims he makes in his video do not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. What is more, we don’t have to rely on ID proponents to debunk his nonsense. His claims fly in the face of statements made by leading Darwinists. Let’s see.
All of life depends on the accurate transmission of information.
Miroslav Radman and Robert Wagner, “The High Fidelity of DNA Duplication,” Scientific American 259 (August 1988): 42, 40-46.
[The information in a DNA cell] if written out would fill a thousand 600-page books.
Rick Gore, “The Awesome Worlds Within a Cell,” National Geographic (September 1976): 360, 354-95
And at this point, strangely enough, the discovery of DNA, which is so widely thought to prove that life is mere chemistry, provides the missing link for proving the contrary. That the formation of a DNA molecule is embodied in the morphology of the corresponding offspring, assures us of the fact that this morphology is not the product of a chemical equilibration, but is designed by other than chemical forces.
Michael Polanyi, “Life Transcending Physics and Chemistry,” Chemical and Engineering News 45 (August 1967): 66, 55-66
Information theory can be applied to any situation involving messages. It follows therefore that the language of life, the genetic code written along the lengths of DNA molecules, in groups of three coding for the various twenty-two amino acids of proteins, can also be expressed in terms of a given amount of information.
Edmund Jack Ambrose, The Nature and Origin of the Biological World (New York: Halsted Press, 1982), 125.
However, the origin of life—or, to be more precise, the origin of the first replicator systems and the origin of translation-remains a huge enigma, and progress in solving these problems has been very modest — in the case of translation, nearly negligible. Some potentially fruitful observations and ideas exist, such as the discovery of plausible hatcheries for life, the networks of inorganic compartments at hydrothermal vents, and the chemical versatility of ribozymes that fuels the RNA World hypothesis. However, these advances remain only preliminaries, even if important ones, because they do not even come close to a coherent scenario for prebiological evolution, from the first organic molecules to the first replicator systems, and from these to bona fide biological entities in which information storage and function are partitioned between distinct classes of molecules (nucleic acids and proteins, respectively).
Koonin, Eugene V. (2012). The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution, Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as FT Press Science, New Jersey, page 417.
Even the United States Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue.
Genes form the basis for hereditary traits in living organisms. See generally Association for Molecular Pathology v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, 702 F. Supp. 2d 181, 192-211 (SDNY 2010). The human genome consists of approximately 22,000 genes packed into 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each gene is encoded as DNA, which takes the shape of the familiar “double helix” that Doctors James Watson and Francis Crick first described in 1953. Each “cross-bar” in the DNA helix consists of two chemically joined nucleotides. The possible nucleotides are adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G), each of which binds naturally with another nucleotide: A pairs with T; C pairs with G. The nucleotide cross-bars are chemically connected to a sugar-phosphate backbone that forms the outside framework of the DNA helix. Sequences of DNA nucleotides contain the information necessary to create strings of amino acids, which in turn are used in the body to build proteins. Only some DNA nucleotides, however, code for amino acids; these nucleotides are known as “exons.” Nucleotides that do not code for amino acids, in contrast, are known as “introns.”
Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2107, 2111 (2013)
Summary, saying that the information in DNA is merely an byproduct of the chemistry of the cell is like saying the information this sentence is merely a byproduct of the physics of the computer on which you are reading it.