On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

"This suggests to me that a molecule of DNA belonging to a kangaroo could
> have no more information than the same molecule with the primary sequence
> scrambled into randomness

That is correct, it would have the same quantity of information, but most
would be of the opinion that the quality has changed.

> or 'blanked out' with a single repeating A-T base pair.

No, if its repeating then it would have less information, that is to say it
would take less information to describe the result.

> "That would seem to make this definition of information the exact opposite
> of the colloquial meaning of the term."

That can sometimes happen because mathematics can only deal in the quantity
of information not it's quality. Quality is a value judgement and changes
from person to person and mathematics does not make value judgements, but
the quantity of something is objective and universal so mathematics can
talk about that. So yes, there is much more information in a bucket of
water than in our DNA , but most human beings are more interested in our
genes than the astronomical number of micro-states in a bucket of water.
That is my opinion too but a bucket of water may look at it differently and
there is no disputing matters of taste. But both the bucket and I would
agree on the amount of information in the DNA and in the bucket even if we
disagree on which is more important.

  John K Clark

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