what does Biological Semiosis tell us about life? Biological Semiosis indicates inteligence

What is Life?

Where did it come from?


What is life and where did it come from?


One of the most fundamentally significant scientific discoveries of recent years is the very nature of what life is.
Science has come to realise that every biological system  has  2 basic fundamental  components, on the one hand there is lifeless chemicals and on the other we have the information contained in our genomes that organise those chemicals into the mind-blowingly sophisticated  structures we call life. It is the importance of this information that is built into life that has profound implications as to our understanding of what life is and where it came from.
It is this information that turns chemistry into biology.
A world leading scientist by the name of Craig Ventor, the head of the team that first sequenced the human genome, as well as the team that produced the world’s first synthetic life form, has described life as a software driven process and our genome as our operating system.

Link 1
 
     
Scientists, like Ventor, can now manipulate a cells genome with a computer, load that genome back into a cell and fundamentally change the very nature of the cell.  Our genomes are in a very literal sense a executable computational algorithm that controls life.  Our cells are continually reading and executing parts of that algorithm in every moment of our lives.

Link 2   

     

That is a very bold statement.  But to understand why that is the case we need to take a closer look at the very nature of information itself and in particular the type of information found in life, that is Specified  Functional information , sometimes referred to as  Prescriptive information ( it prescribes for something)

Link 3
   


This discovery sheds a great deal of light on the question of the origins of life, why?   Because any algorithm, or functional information, of the type we have discovered in life, has only one known source,  that is prior intelligence.

That is a very bold statement.  But to understand why that is the case we need to take a closer look at the very nature of information itself and in particular the type of information found in life, that is Specified  Functional information , sometimes referred to as  Prescriptive information ( it prescribes for something)

  Link 3
   
And not just us, every living thing on this planet, from Bacteria to butterflies from plants to polar bears, runs a
variation of the same software program. This planet with its absolute abundance of life, fair hums, as  countless
numbers of biological computers  process information of such vast quantities that that by comparison the internet pales into insignificance in terms of the volume of the information processed. It is not just the quantity of information that is impressive it is also the quality and sophistication of those programs.
Some years ago Bill Gates described the information in life as being like a computer program but far more advanced than any software we have created.

This discovery sheds a great deal of light on the question of the origins of life, why?   Because any algorithm, or functional information, of the type we have discovered in life, has only one known source,  that is prior intelligence.


Mankind has always been good at asking big questions. Our enquiring mind has driven our understanding forward and caused our horizons to expand.  New technology has always played a central role in the development of our understanding.

The invention of the telescope changed our view of the earth from being the centre of the universe around which all else revolved, to one where we are but a tiny part of a vast and expanding universe.

The invention of the microscope has changed our understanding of our world in the opposite scale. This has in turn has revolutionised medicine and brought incalculable benefits to all of us.

The development of gene sequencing technology has transformed our understanding of life at the most fundamental level. The level of biological information. The benefits from this new source of discovery are beginning to again transform our world and just like these previous discoveries, making us rethink previously held viewpoints.

If you are interested in exploring the effect our new understanding of biology has on our ability to ask the biggest question,

Please read on !


What is life and where did it come from?

One of the most fundamentally significant scientific discoveries of recent years is the very nature of what life is.

Science has come to realise that every biological system  has two basic fundamental  components, on the one hand there is lifeless chemicals and on the other we have the information contained in our genomes that organise those chemicals into the mind-blowingly sophisticated  structures we call life. It is the importance of this information that is built into life that has profound implications as to our understanding of what life is and where it came from.

It is this information that turns chemistry into biology.

A world leading scientist by the name of Craig Ventor, the head of the team that first sequenced the human genome, as well as the team that produced the world’s first synthetic life form, has described life as a software driven process and our genome as our operating system.

Link 1     
  
Scientists, like Ventor, can now manipulate a cells genome with a computer, load that genome back into a cell and fundamentally change the very nature of the cell.  Our genomes are in a very literal sense a executable computational algorithm that controls life.  Our cells are continually reading and executing parts of that algorithm in every moment of our lives.

Link 2     
  
And not just us, every living thing on this planet, from bacteria to butterflies from plants to polar bears, runs a variation of the same software program. This planet with its absolute abundance of life, fair hums, as countless
numbers of biological computers  process information of such vast quantities that that by comparison the internet pales into insignificance in terms of the volume of the information processed. It is not just the quantity of information that is impressive it is also the quality and sophistication of those programs.

Some years ago Bill Gates described the information in life as being like a computer program but far more advanced than any software we have created.

This discovery sheds a great deal of light on the question of the origins of life, why?  Because any algorithm, or functional information, of the type we have discovered in life, has only one known source,  that is prior intelligence.

That is a very bold statement.  But to understand why that is the case we need to take a closer look at the very nature of information itself and in particular the type of information found in life, that is Specified Functional information, sometimes referred to as  Prescriptive Information

  Link 3     

So what is information?

Information is not a tangible entity, it has no energy and no mass, it is not physical,  it is conceptual.

To understand this we need to first zero in and recognise the difference between information and the information storage medium.

The pencil markings on a page that is used to form letters of text  are not information itself, they are a devise to record and store that information. It is a symbolic representation of an idea, a concept.  It turn out the same is true in life. The information in life is stored in the sequential arrangement of the chemical bases, the rungs on the DNA ladder.  The physical structure of DNA, just like the written letters on a page, is an information storage medium, it is not information itself.

Semiosis

What we have just described here is what is called a Semiotic system.   Semiosis describes any system used to convey meaning via the use of symbols, for example, written text, Hieroglyphics and pictorial signs are semiotic.  Speech is a semiotic system that uses sound, braille is a tactile semiotic system, computers use a binary electronic semiotic system, a cd disk uses a system of peeks and pits to store information in a plastic disk.

All of these are examples of semiosis.
The sequential arrangement of the DNA bases in the rungs of the DNA ladder stores information, just like the sequential arrangement of letters in an English language text. Both of these are clear examples of a semiotic system.

Link 4       
                  
In fact, functional information can only exist in one of two forms.  It can exist in either a conceptual form in someone’s mind or a Semiotic form.  (I will come back to this idea shortly)

Protocols required

All Semiotic systems have one very important and unique feature that differentiates them and enables them to function.  Semiotic information can only be of any value if you understand the necessary protocols required to read  or translate it.

For example, unless you have been taught to read Arabic, the information contained in Arabic text is not accessible and is useless to you. The same is also true regarding the construction of a semiotic message. You need to first  understand the necessary protocols, or language to be used, in order to convey functional information in a semiotic  system. The protocols need to be understood by both the sender and the receiver. If the protocols did not previously exist, you would need to construct the necessary protocols before you can construct a semiotic message.

To illustrate, imagine you have been given the task of assisting a remote tribe, whose language does not have a written form, to construct a system of writing. You would first have to construct all the basic protocols of the system. The form and shape of the letters to be used, the spelling, the grammar and also the syntax to make the message comprehensible.  You would also need to teach the intended users of this devised system all of these protocols before it could be put to its intended use.