SEARCHING FOR THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

Chapter 7

CODED INFORMATION

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Question from Chapter 6

For living cells to function they store and use vast amounts of coded information on DNA molecules.  Could DNA code have generated itself from nothing, and then progressively added more information by natural processes? 

What is Information?

This page contains information in the form of English words.  Words are made from letters.  Letters are arrangements of straight and curved lines, but the lines have no meaning separately. 

For example:  The lines / - \ have no meaning on their own, but they can be put together to make a letter A.

What does A mean?

When combined with another word, e.g. a horse, it means "one".  "A" is not used when there is more than one horse, e.g. "a horses" does not make sense.  Therefore, A communicates the information for the number "one". 

Adding Information

If you add other letters to the A you will get new and different information.

If you combine A and N you make AN, which still has the meaning of "one", e.g. an apple.  AN is used with words like apple, which start with a vowel.  Because if we say "a apple," it sounds like "a yapple" when spoken by most English speakers and nobody knows what a yapple is.  But since an apple is only one apple, the N has not really added much more information.  AN actually has the same meaning as A.  AN communicates the Information "one" the same as A does, but also indicates the word it is combined with starts with a vowel.

If we add a D to AN, then the meaning changes to AND, which we used to say a horse and an apple.  The meaning has now changed to "plus" and indicate we have at least two things.

Now add an R and you can make the word AND into RAND. 

What is a Rand?

A Rand is a gold coin from Africa.  Adding an R has completely changed the information conveyed by the group of letters AND.

But, where did such information come from?  The word "Rand" does not look like a gold coin, so why does it have this meaning?  To understand the change we need to look into the history of the word which, if our sources are correct, seems to have been as follows.

Centuries ago in Ancient Europe, Rand meant a leather strip.  Later it came to mean a strip of land along the edge of a field.  Then it came to mean the edge of a river, and later still a ridge on the edge of a river.  In South Africa gold is often found in ridges and coins are made from gold.  A link was made in the human mind, and a gold coin from Africa came to be called a RandWhatever the story of its origin, the word Rand, and the information conveyed by it, was invented by, is stored in, and transmitted by the human mind.

Words and Minds

Human word codes like A, AN, AND and RAND have been created by man.  They contain only the meaning or information we give them.  People gave the word RAND its meaning, and it is not derived from the R, the A, the N and the D.  The meaning or Information in a word is not a Natural Property of the parts, i.e. letters that make it up.  This is the reason words can change meaning with time and in different places e.g. a "jumper" in the USA means a person who jumps; "jumper" in Australia is an item of clothing, a knitted sweater.  It's also the reason people put different interpretations the same sequence of sounds.  The farmer hears "lettuce spray", the clergyman hears "let us pray". 

How are Symbols and Meaning Related?

Look at the letter symbol:

Now rotate it 90 degrees anti-clockwise.  It becomes:

Now rotate it another 90 degrees anticlockwise, it becomes:

Put them together and you read:

We did not use 3 different code symbols.  It was the one code shape to which our mind gave 3 different meanings when we rotated it.  You are more used to seeing these code symbols as M + E + W so let's put the letters together to make the word MEW, then ask, what animal comes to mind when you see the word MEW? 

Did you say "cat"?  Why cat?  MEW does not look like a cat, or resemble the word "cat".  Cats do not spell MEW when they make a sound, and the more literal English spelling of a cat's sound is MEOW.  How do we get from MEW to cat?  Your brain accepts the code letters M, E, W and is stimulated by the leading question about an animal to eventually find the closest approximation - MEOW which brings with it the memory of cats.  It is the mind which accepts, contains and processes any Information communicated by the code word MEW.

Where is the Information in a code?

Can you translate this code?  ·  ·  ·  ▬ ▬ ▬  ·  ·  ·     Most people know it is Morse Code for SOS.

Morse Code was made of groups of dots and dashes invented by a man named Morse, who applied Outside Information, Energy and Time to the Matter (dots and dashes) in order to create the code.  To apply our formula:

Matter (dots + dashes ) + Energy + Time  OI®  Morse code

The importance of Morse's Outside Information shows when we ask - "Why does  ·  ·  ·  mean S?" Why not  ·  ·  ▬    or    ▬  ·   ▬   or   ▬  ·  ·

The answer is that Morse decided it would be that way - like it or lump it!  Morse created the code and gave meaning to the symbols.  It's been passed down ever since.  A row of three dots in a line actually has no inherent natural meaning at all.  This becomes more obvious when you rotate them.

·

·

·

Three vertical dots are the same symbol sideways - but they do not communicate a sideways S.

The information transmitted by the three horizontal dots has come from the outsideS is not a Natural Property of the three dots.  The meaning S has been put on to the symbols by Morse.

The above information about Morse code can be summarised as a formula:

Information in code parts ( ·  and  ▬ ) is less than information in the Product (Morse code)

This can be expressed in symbols as:

Iparts < IProduct         or        IProduct > Iparts

In all observed codes throughout history Outside Information has always been needed to produce them, and the transition from no code to coded information has involved an Outside Intelligence

The process of passing on coded information also involves the pre-existing intelligent understanding and knowledge of both the one passing on the code and the one receiving it.  If you didn't already know SOS meant "Help!" then the dots and dashes of Morse code are meaningless to you.

Question

How is coded information passed on, and what happens to it when it is subjected to natural processes?

To answer this we will look at more characteristics of codes, and how codes are used, in Chapter 8.

SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 7

Living cells store and use coded information in order to make DNA, RNA and proteins.

The transition from non-life to life had to involve the transition from no coded information to vast amounts of coded information.  Any theory involving the evolution of new and different life forms has to involve a naturalistic means of generating, changing and adding to the coded information.

All known codes (which are far less sophisticated than DNA code) that human beings use to convey information, such as words, were generated by intelligent minds outside the code symbols, not by the symbols themselves.  Furthermore, codes are only useful if their meaning can be communicated and understood by another mind. 

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© Creation Research, 2007