View Single Post
Old 21st April 2008, 07:32 AM   #111
Penultimate Amazing
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,629
Originally Posted by wogoga View Post
So your credo is:
It is known that the active genetic information of less than 0.1 Gigabyte is essentially enough to determine many thousand enzyme species, differentiation into more than two hundred cell types, the highly complex anatomy of the human body at all levels, the complex brain architecture at birth, human learning capacity, instinctive behaviour and even talents.
That is unfortunately a complete misrepresentation of the process of embryological development. The idea that DNA contains "all" the information necessary to build a living creature is at best outdated and at worst active deception.

Creatures are built as a result of an interaction between the DNA and the chemical and physical environment in which that is expressed. As a simple example of this --- sex development in mammals seems to be almost purely genetically determined. For reptiles, however, it is a complex combination of genes and environment (mostly temperature) Alligators are good examples. An egg incubated above about 90 degrees will always be male. Below 86 degrees, it will always be female. Between 86 and 90 degrees, it is genetically determined. What's "really" going on is that the expression of DNA is a complex chemical process and the speed and outcome of almost any chemical process is temperature dependent (try seeing how much salt you can dissolve in hot vs. cold water for a simple example).

But from an information-theoretic perspective, this means that sex (in alligators) is not a function of genetics, but of genetics PLUS the environment. The environment contains information that is crucial to the proper development of the organism.

Mammals don't have this issue, of course, because mammals are incubated at roughly uniform temperature. But in this case, again, the proper temperature (and environment otherwise) is crucial to the proper development of the organism; the mother's womb as well as the DNA provides "information."

You are trying to use "psychons" to fill in the information-theoretic holes. Why not use something that actually exists, like a mother?
drkitten is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top