Digital Coding in DNA

One way of thinking about DNA is it’s information storage ability. DNA has an information storage capacity that is far beyond anything devised by humans for the amount of space that is used (information storage density). The information stored in DNA is essentially digital in nature. With computer technology, information is stored as a series of 0’s and 1’s. With DNA, the information is stored as a series of 4 different types of base molecules. All information needed for the construction of a biological organism is contained in DNA. But DNA does nothing on it’s own. Imagine taking your hard drive out of your computer. It’s useless. The same with DNA removed from a cell. There are many more functional components of a cell that are required to read the information, construct proteins from information contained in DNA, power generation, and so forth. Cells also contain error correction processes for reading DNA, just as computer technology contains processes for error correction.

Utterly, any analogy that we might try to utilize to explain the complexity of what happens in a living cell will fail. We have designed nothing of that comes close to the sophistication of a living cell. All of these functions on a cellular level are carried out with no intelligence actively guiding the process. However, all of these functions exhibit what I would call hallmarks of intelligent processes. In other words, intelligence is exhibited in the design and function of life. Life at any level of analysis exhibits something akin to intelligence. Their is an increasing trend in biology toward discovering ever increasing complexity at a cellular level. I happen to believe the miraculous is possible, but the miracle required for life to self-organize from non-living matter to living matter is beyond the level to which I can extend my faith.


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