Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Refereed paper in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences uses “irreducible complexity” in same sense as ID theorist Behe?


The paywalled paper is “Integration of syntactic and semantic properties of the DNA code reveals chromosomes as thermodynamic machines converting energy into information” by Georgi Muskhelishvili and Andrew Travers. Scott Minnich at U Idaho notes in the Christian Scientific Society’s online newsletter that the paper

… makes several very interesting points. First, the digital information of individual genes (semantics) is dependent on the the intergenic regions (as we know) which is like analog information (syntax). Both types of information are co-dependent and self-referential but you can’t get syntax from semantics. As the authors state, “thus the holistic approach assumes self-referentiality (completeness of the contained information and full consistency of the the different codes) as an irreducible organizational complexity of the genetic regulation system of any cell”. In short, the linear DNA sequence contains both types of information. Second, More.

Pitt U Physicist David Snoke comments,

Three comments: 1) the authors are “serious” scientists, not fringe people. 2) They are using “irreducible complexity” in the same sense as Behe. This is not a case of accidental use of the same phrase to mean something different. Their term “holistic” is another way of saying the same thing, that the system requires all of its parts to work. 3) This “holistic” approach is one that is becoming common in systems biology. I have a paper coming out on that, in the works.

Thoughts? Can all these people be suppressed at once with no noise?

Abstract Understanding genetic regulation is a problem of fundamental importance. Recent studies have made it increasingly evident that, whereas the cellular genetic regulation system embodies multiple disparate elements engaged in numerous interactions, the central issue is the genuine function of the DNA molecule as information carrier. Compelling evidence suggests that the DNA, in addition to the digital information of the linear genetic code (the semantics), encodes equally important continuous, or analog, information that specifies the structural dynamics and configuration (the syntax) of the polymer. These two DNA information types are intrinsically coupled in the primary sequence organisation, and this coupling is directly relevant to regulation of the genetic function. In this review, we emphasise the critical need of holistic integration of the DNA information as a prerequisite for understanding the organisational complexity of the genetic regulation system.

Hat tip: Daniel Quinones

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Human brain development is a symphony in three movements - Dec. 2013 Excerpt: The human brain develops with an exquisitely timed choreography marked by distinct patterns of gene activity at different stages from the womb to adulthood, Yale researchers report in the Dec. 26 issue of the journal Neuron.,,, Intriguingly, say the researchers, some of the same patterns of genetic activity that define this human “hour glass” sketch were not observed in developing monkeys, indicating that they may play a role in shaping the features specific to human brain development. http://news.yale.edu/2013/12/26/human-brain-development-symphony-three-movements bornagain77
OT: podcast - "Human Brain Development as a Symphony" ,,a recent study from scientists at Yale that found that "human brain development is a symphony in three movements." The human brain develops through distinct patterns in gene activity,,, http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-08T16_36_24-08_00 bornagain77
The ID position, besides syntax and semantics being irreducibly complex (like in a book),,,
A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature - Wiker and Witt Excerpt: They focus instead on what "Methinks it is like a weasel" really means. In isolation, in fact, it means almost nothing. Who said it? Why? What does the "it" refer to? What does it reveal about the characters? How does it advance the plot? In the context of the entire play, and of Elizabethan culture, this brief line takes on significance of surprising depth. The whole is required to give meaning to the part. (and yet the part is required to convey that meaning) http://www.thinkingchristian.net/C228303755/E20060821202417/
,,,is that syntax (i.e. structural dynamics and configuration) is primary over the semantics (i.e. the digital information of the linear genetic code). i.e. It is impossible for a part to stand in isolation to a prior whole. CS Lewis, with his unusually crisp clarity, puts the syntax/semantics problem for materialistic atheists this way
"Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning." CS Lewis – Mere Christianity
Pastor Joe Boot puts the insurmountable problem for reductive materialism this way:
"If you have no God, then you have no design plan for the universe. You have no prexisting structure to the universe.,, As the ancient Greeks held, like Democritus and others, the universe is flux. It's just matter in motion. Now on that basis all you are confronted with is innumerable brute facts that are unrelated pieces of data. They have no meaningful connection to each other because there is no overall structure. There's no design plan. It's like my kids do 'join the dots' puzzles. It's just dots, but when you join the dots there is a structure, and a picture emerges. Well, the atheists is without that (final picture). There is no preestablished pattern (to connect the facts given atheism)." Pastor Joe Boot - Defending the Christian Faith – 13:20 minute mark of video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqE5_ZOAnKo
Talbot puts the syntax/semantics problem for neo-Darwinism this way:
HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE - Stephen L. Talbott - May 2012 Excerpt: The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary. Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way: "The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)",,, And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,, http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2
i.e. it is impossible for parts to give rise to a meaningful whole without a prior meaningful whole giving definition and direction to the parts in the first place! Verse and Music;
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Steven Curtis Chapman - Dive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXqXIicm8uU
More heads above the parapet: 'I'm Spartacus!' Axel

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