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Does the Genetic Code Bear A Signature of Intelligence?

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In the planetary science journal, Icarus, two scientists argue that the genetic code bears the hallmarks of an intelligent cause. Reports the abstract,

It has been repeatedly proposed to expand the scope for SETI, and one of the suggested alternatives to radio is the biological media. Genomic DNA is already used on Earth to store non-biological information. Though smaller in capacity, but stronger in noise immunity is the genetic code. The code is a flexible mapping between codons and amino acids, and this flexibility allows modifying the code artificially. But once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it is the most durable construct known. Therefore it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature, if that conforms to biological and thermodynamic requirements. As the actual scenario for the origin of terrestrial life is far from being settled, the proposal that it might have been seeded intentionally cannot be ruled out. A statistically strong intelligent-like “signal” in the genetic code is then a testable consequence of such scenario. Here we show that the terrestrial code displays a thorough precision-type orderliness matching the criteria to be considered an informational signal. Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of the same symbolic language. Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing rather than of stochastic processes (the null hypothesis that they are due to chance coupled with presumable evolutionary pathways is rejected with P-value < 10–13). The patterns display readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero, the privileged decimal syntax and semantical symmetries. Besides, extraction of the signal involves logically straightforward but abstract operations, making the patterns essentially irreducible to natural origin. Plausible ways of embedding the signal into the code and possible interpretation of its content are discussed. Overall, while the code is nearly optimized biologically, its limited capacity is used extremely efficiently to pass non-biological information.

Download the full paper for yourself here!

15 Replies to “Does the Genetic Code Bear A Signature of Intelligence?

  1. 1
    Andre says:

    The code is exactly what it is, designed 6there is not a single natural process that can account for this and people can stick their fingers in their ears and lalalalalalalala all they like, this fact remains.

  2. 2

    But, but, but . . . what do they mean by “code” and “symbolic language” and, most dreaded of all, the concept of “artificiality”?

    And, and, and . . . only those evil ID folks would use those kinds of terms . . . the ID folks just made them up and they have no currency anywhere else in science, and we can’t understand what they mean by those words . . .

    /sarc

    I love it!

  3. 3
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    Why should one be so enamored of codes and informational symmetries in biological constructs, when the purposeless forces which produce those constructs are the same forces which produce beings capable of apprehending them? There’s nothing so remarkable about that. It’s all rather to be expected I should think, and easily subsumed by evolutionary theory. It’ll even soon be a prediction, I suspect.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    “It’s all rather to be expected I would think and EASILY subsumed by evolutionary theory. It’ll even soon be a prediction, I suspect!”

    Wow! “to be expected”! And “easily subsumed”!!

    Anyone NOT amazed at how easy it is for evolutionists to believe in miracles as long as they don’t involve an intelligent cause?

    Seriously! It seems like they will believe in ANYTHING, no matter how irrational or improbable, simply to avoid God. As their worldview forces them to ratchet up their faith, they rise to the challenge and then go beyond the call of duty by making bold ludicrous claims like this:

    “It’ll even soon be a prediction, I suspect.”

    You gotta be kidding! Evolution predicts codes, information, intelligence, and consciousness?

    Here, ladies & gentlemen, is a good example of the power of a paradigm!

    I guess if evolutionists can really convince themselves this is true, it helps them sleep better at night.

    Please forgive the rant!

    I really am amazed by this!

  5. 5
    melvinvines says:

    The DNA Code and its Codons / Morse code / Binary code…

    http://evillusion.wordpress.co.....ts-codons/

  6. 6
    William J Murray says:

    Therefore it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature Intelligent Signature ….

    Fixed.

    They’re from the Republic of Kazakhstan, so they’re not real scientists. And everyone knows that area of the world is full of creationists.

    /sarcasm

    (tjguy: you’ll have to excuse us. Some of us have gotten so tired of the same inane dismissals, denials and diversions anti-ID advocates employ that we’ve taken to having a little fun with them!)

  7. 7
    niwrad says:

    “two scientists argue that the genetic code bears the hallmarks of an intelligent cause”

    [sarcasm]

    Ah, so, according to these scientists, the immense functional hierarchies of organisms do NOT “bear the hallmarks of an intelligent cause”? Only the genetic code does?
    [/sarcasm]

  8. 8
    Box says:

    Thorton, who is posting on Darwin’s God, may very well be the kind of atheist we have been waiting for. His insightful commentary on the OP:

    Thorton: ShCherbak is a well known crank who has been pushing this “arithmetic proves DNA code was designed” woo for at least 10 years.

    One of his nuttier ideas is a fixation on the prime number 37 and its “magical” properties

    “The place-value decimal system represented through digital symmetry of the numbers divisible by prime number (PN) 037. This arithmetical syntactic feature is an innate attribute of the genetic code. The PN 037 notation with a leading zero emphasizes zero’s equal participation in the digital symmetry. Numbers written by identical digits are devised by PN 037 x 3 = 111 and 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and appear regularly [from the figure: 037 x 6 = 222 and 2 + 2 + 2 = 6, 037 x 9 = 333 and 3 + 3 + 3 = 9, 037 x 12 = 444 and 4 + 4 + 4 = 12, 037 x 15 = 555 and 5 + 5 + 5 = 15, 037 x 18 = 666 and 6 + 6 + 6 = 18, 037 x 21 = 777 and 7 + 7 + 7 = 21, 037 x 24 = 888 and 8 + 8 + 8 = 24, 037 x 27 = 999 and 9 + 9 + 9 = 27].”

    ““There is a complete set of information symbols utilizing the decimal syntax 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, 999 in the genetic code. Each of these symbols consists uniformly of a carrier (balanced nucleons) and a meaning (the decimal syntax).”

    source

    Of course in any billions-long sequence of numbers you’re going to get lots of sets of 3-digit repeats. The string 666666666 appears in pi around the 45 million digit mark. Must be work of Da Debbil! The whole thing looks to be another Dembski ‘Bible Code’ debacle.

    The only real question is how this got published in Icarus, which while not well known is a legitimate scientific journal. Icarus specializes in the planetary sciences, and it seems this article is way out of place. Looks like the authors dressed up the woo with an introductory statement about SETI which may have led an unwary editor to let it in without proper review. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

  9. 9

    Chance, might be time to lighten on the sarcasm a bit. Not everyone realizes you are being sarcastic. Or perhaps it is too early in the morning in some of our locations.

    Give us a “/sarc” tag occasionally, just to make sure folks don’t have a heart attack over your “Darwinist” talking point. 🙂

  10. 10
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    Eric, instead of a sarc tag I think I’ll just opt for restraint. I got quite carried away on the other thread, and here I was too subtle; or perhaps too accurate. 😉

  11. 11
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    tjguy well knows that no evidence is too challenging for Darwinists, and to them nothing can really count as evidence for design. I think his reaction was understandable. Satire of Darwinists is becoming less distinguishable from their actual claims. 🙂

  12. 12
    Robert Byers says:

    If people are just organized dust then from a evolutionist view its a option they could miss the creators touch!
    If we are not all that then why are anyone’s conclusions all that.
    The bible says complexity is the evidence of God.
    Mankind has said this and is the origin of all faiths except that faith that was revealed by the creator.

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    ‘Genomic DNA is already used on Earth to store non-biological information.’

    Has Monsanto taken out a patent on it yet?

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    Satire of Darwinists is becoming less distinguishable from their actual claims.

    lol!

  15. 15
    Genomicus says:

    Does anyone know where I can get the full manuscript?

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