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If You Found E=mc2 in DNA, Would You Believe in ID?


You can’t make this stuff up. Here’s what some Japanese scientists have done with bacteria. I think we’ve officially reached the “information age” of evolutionary biology.

What a fascinating exchange. It's great that my article is generating such an intriguing conversation. It's also a learning experience for a reporter. Thanks. http://yuri-kageyama.blogspot.com ykageyama
bork: Well, in theory evolution doesn’t have bounds (to my knowledge). So, I think messages in DNA unexpectantly are possible.
Evolution does have bounds -- provided we are talking seriously about scientific evolution and not an ideology/faith evolution. The rate at which a genetic variation could occur has limits, whatever those may be. The manner of variation has limits -- some variations are lethal. Most significantly, natural selection has two huge limits a) It never creates anything at all; it can only select among what exists due to variation. b) It can only use present effective differences. It cannot select for future benefit or future utility. If evolution is treated as serious science, then these limitations may in fact imply limitations in what it can achieve. Scientific evolution would be "risky" as a position in that it would be possible for the evidence to go against saying evolution can do X. Reasoning forward from how evolution works, it might be, for example, as Dr. Stephen Meyer argued in his paper that evolution cannot account for the explosion of new phyla and new genetic information in the Cambrian Explosion. There is risk for the theory. [Another example: I would submit that creation of molecular machinery essential to having symbolic meaning (e.g. coding for proteins) is just the sort of construction that cannot be accomplished without reference to future benefits.] OTOH, if evolution is treated as a faith system, then the fact that X happened in the history of life leads one to reason backward to the conclusion that evolution must be able to produce X (even if we have no idea how that could be, given the limitations of how evolution works). The faith-based evolution is indeed unbounded. The limits of evolution cannot limit evolution in that case, whatever one might find. For the health and legitimacy of evolution, it is vital for proponents to be able to say that the evolution they propose means something that has recognizable limits that reality may or may not agree with. Otherwise, it becomes just an ad hoc, wildcard belief system. ericB
We should be looking for non-coding signatures in DNA. Maybe the alledged designer(s) left some immediately obvious signatures. mike1962
"Is the equation in romaji or kanji?"
Katakana no ho ga ii, desho? "E=MC2" ga eigo dakara. dacook
TRoutMac "these scientists are NOT fans of ID. If they are..." heh heh heh... That e=mc2 is kind of trojan horse. Maybe Tomita is a ID trojan horse. hee hee hee ... That's the way to get published in "peer reviewed" if they are not your "peers" (meaning: buddies). MatthewTan
This statement from the article is particularly amazing: "…intrigued by the notion that an extraterrestrial might come across it in the distant future - and naturally possess the superior intelligence to quickly solve the code." Incredibly, the ID-bashers would have us believe that the presence of information in DNA need not be taken as an indicator of intelligent authorship. But read that quote again… Tomita is looking ahead to some point where some E.T. might visit Earth, I guess, and discover the bacteria and then discover what? THAT THERE'S INFORMATION IN THE DNA!! And just what is it that E.T. is supposed to think about the source of that information? THAT IT'S SOURCE HAD INTELLIGENCE!! That Tomita has this rather ridiculous expectation (my opinion) that he's leaving a message for E.T. just demonstrates, PROVES really, that the presence of information should always be viewed as a reliable indicator of an intelligent cause--even in DNA--and that Tomita knows it!! Now, I'm assuming that these scientists are NOT fans of ID. If they are, the article doesn't mention it. TRoutMac
I'm not a believer in the current state of I.D. However, I once stated that in a thousand years from now, ID will be real science. Scientists will find human engineered (GM) life forms and will be able to spot the design. But they can only do that by comparing non human designed species against human designed species, and that's why it would be real functioninng science. Fross
E=mc2, whether in romaji or kanji or Latin or Arabic... For Darwinists millions of years from now - if they are still not dead - will be called "junk" code. Blind people blinded by blind forces are too blind to see gems. MatthewTan
"Genetic coding is so massive that information - say, a Shakespeare play - can be stashed away somewhere in the gene without affecting an organism's overall appearance and other traits." That is a really good way of generating new plots. We insert Macbeth have the bacteria multiply a few hundred thousand times with all those beneficial mutations, then decode a brand new play. Easy! idnet.com.au
Well, in theory evolution doesn't have bounds (to my knowledge). So, I think messages in DNA unexpectantly are possible. However, they seem very unlikely and would probably make a lot of honest people question their beliefs, and lack thereof... bork
You need ID to justify the belief that Einstein designed the paper. Forget about bacteria. crandaddy
Is the equation in romaji or kanji? jerry
I would be more impressed if they could get the bacteria to solve an equation rather than just inputting the whole eqation into the DNA. In fact if they could do something like that it would prove another level of complexity and add to the growing evidence for purpose in the so called "junk" dna portions of the genome bornagain77
I'm sure guys like PZ Meyers, Peter Ward and all the rest will waste no time using this to argue AGAINST Intelligent Design… Peter Ward tried this in that televised debate with Stephen Meyer when he dropped Steve Benner's name and explained how Benner had invented new ways of encoding genetic information in DNA. And this was supposed to be an argument AGAINST ID. Apparently he thinks Steve Benner is as dumb as a bag of hammers. Perhaps Ward and all the rest think these Japanese scientists are just as stupid as he apparently thinks Benner is, and that these guys were able to encode Einstein's equation into DNA only proves that information really can be generated in the absence of intelligence. I guess that'd have to be their reaction, anyway, as silly as it sounds. Seems like the only way out. How pathetic. TRoutMac
Unguided evolution doesn't seem to have been mentioned in this article at all. Wouldn't it be totally out of tone? Information and "creative chance and necessity" seem to be out of sync with the empirical evidence. Information is the enemy of Darwinism Mats
With all the Darwinists around, why fear mutation damaging stored information? You might just get better information from the mutations!
Maybe E=MC2 will evolve into the unified field theory physicists have been looking for. Just analyze the bacteria's descendants! dacook
This is good, because if we move to bio-storage mechanisms, there will be no avoiding the obvious implcations of Information Theory for genetic information. I've heard Darwinists say IT doesn't apply to biological information (!), which is ridiculous, since it is a mathematical abstraction; it can be applied to ANYTHING that acts as an information channel. Anyway, the article brings up the point of information being possibly damaged by mutation. Yes! Empirical studies on the ACTUAL (not imaginary) effects of a mutating process on ordered information. With all the Darwinists around, why fear mutation damaging stored information? You might just get better information from the mutations! ;) Atom
That's very cool and interesting. If earth humans can code information into DNA, why couldn't someone do it "long ago, in a galaxy far far away?" Distinguished Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson thinks that panspermia is a tenable idea, BTW. I've sent the link to Brig Klyce. dacook
"...But Tomita is the kind of freethinking scientist intrigued by the notion that an extraterrestrial might come across it in the distant future - and naturally possess the superior intelligence to quickly solve the code." Yes, but then the guy who "solves the code" will be labeled a creationist, fired from his job, and labeled a fraud. That's because nature is quite capable of encoding "E=MC2" and "1905" if given enough time. russ

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