On Jan 19, 4:29 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
Ah, so by information you mean 'not information at all'? I thought
that the whole point of information theory is to move beyond quality
into pure quantification. The reason that most would be of the opinion
that the quality has changed is the same reason that most would be of
the opinion that a person wearing no clothes is naked. Not to pick on
anyone, but tbh, the suggestion that information can be defined as not
having anything to do with the difference between order and the
absence of order is laughably preposterous in a way that would impress
both Orwell and Kafka at the same time. I think it is actually one of
the biggest falsehoods that I have ever heard.
> > 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.
Of course, but how does that jibe with the notion that information is
molecular entropy? How does A-T A-T A-T or G-T G-T G-T guarantee less
internal degrees of freedom within a DNA molecule then A-T G-C A-T?
What if you warm it up or cool it down. It doesn't make any sense that
there would be a physical difference which corresponds to the degree
to which a genetic sequence was non-random or non-monotonous. If I
have red legos and white legos, and I build two opposite monochrome
houses and one of mixed blocks, how in the world does that effect the
entropy of the plastic bricks in any way?
> > "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.
I see no reason to use the word information at all for this. It sounds
like you are just talking about entropy to me. The idea that a bucket
of water has more 'information' than DNA is meaningless. I'm not
drinking that Kool-Aid, sorry. If you know of any physicists who are
willing to by my new mega information storage water buckets for only
twice the price of conventional RAID arrays though, I will gladly pay
you a commission.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at