The Information Architecture of the Universe

The Information Architecture of the Universe

Andrew Targowski (Haworth College of Business, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-004-2.ch018
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Abstract

For years, the construction of the universe has occupied the best minds of theologians and scientists. The first modern breakthrough was made by Copernicus about 500 years ago. Later, in the 20th century, contributions were made with the bold theories developed by Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and others. Science continues to discover the great mystery of the universe and life. But the more we know about this subject, the worse our outlook may be on the fate of humankind. The magnitude of the universe and our own smallness are in such contrast that it seems we are in a hopeless situation, even if you take into account only life’s perspective on the earth. However, the study of the universe may bring some unexpected surprises and humankind may after all have a future, particularly if we decipher the mystery by whom and how the universe was developed. This study has assumed the position of considering intelligent design in the origin of the universe, but with the addition of proposing that any existence of intelligent design would suggest corollary problems that must be scientifically testable.
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Information Control In Life Origin

Since the late 1950s, advances in molecular biology and biochemistry have radically improved our understanding of the mechanisms of the biological cell. The cell, the basic building block of life, possesses the ability to store, process, and transmit information. Furthermore, it can use information to steer the most fundamental metabolic processes. Cells are in fact complex information processing systems that support activities.

Information (on what and how to produce proteins) transfer within a cell takes place from DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to a set of 20 different kinds of amino acid molecules to assemble into each given type of protein. Protein molecules may be thought of as the workhorses of life. Some proteins act as enzymes with such jobs as catalyzing digestion of the proteins we eat. Other proteins, such as hemoglobin in blood, help carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Still, others form connective and supportive tissue. Proteins constitute a large portion of the mass of every life form and are necessary in the diets of all animals. DNA is the chemical substance found in all living organisms which directs the production of proteins. DNA contains genetic information passed on to new cells and new organisms. DNA stores millions of specifically arranged chemicals called nucleotides or bases within the DNA’s structure. The sequence of nucleotides (represented by A - Adenine, C - Cytosine, G - Guanine, and T - Thymine, horizontally linked by hydrogen bonds) in the DNA molecule convey (through the sugar-phosphate backbone) precise biochemical information that direct protein synthesis within the cell1.

The chief function of all living cells is assembling protein molecules according to instructions (information) coded in DNA molecules. DNA is like the “operating system” of a cell, which contains coded (in different configurations of A, C, G, T) instructions of how to handle proteins. Different segments of DNA create (according to these coded instructions) genes that are organized in chromosomes, each of which has a specific function. (There are also epigenetics, individual genes, which can be turned on or off). All these components of a cell are information-driven. The nucleus of a cell, containing the chromosomes, is a “library” containing life’s instructions. The chromosomes would be the “bookshelves” inside the library; the DNA would be “individual books” on each shelf; genes would be the “chapters” in each book; and the nucleotide bases making the strands of DNA would be the “words” (A, C, G, T) on the pages of the individual books. The information-communication messenger of DNA is RNA, which transfers “DNA-heredity patterns” between a cell’s components (mostly proteins) in order to facilitate their replication and to maintain the organism.

The coded sequence of bases contains a unique pattern setting forth the chemical specifications for a living creature. These sequences of DNA pairs are, by definition, genes (special messages), which govern the chemistry of life and determine all inborn characteristics, from blood type to eye color. A human has 100,000 genes packed into 23 pairs of chromosomes (Brennan, 1992). Writing down the DNA sequence of one human genome demands approximately 3,000 volumes of data each the size of the Bible (containing 1 million letters, punctuation marks, and spaces as estimated by Ayala [1992]).

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