DNA is NOT language

June 19, 2015, 5:46 am

Agree24 Disagree11


The debate "DNA is NOT language" was started by Sosocratese on June 19, 2015, 5:46 am. 24 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 11 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Sosocratese posted 3 arguments, PsychDave posted 2 arguments, I_Voyager posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.
Upbeatethan posted 3 arguments to the disagreers part.

Sosocratese, PsychDave, invincible_01, toughgamerjerry, amanofprogress, I_Voyager, raz, Argumention, keyboardwarrior, SinanKassim, musa17, PhoenixF1re, kaka, Georgi_ZKL24, musejay1, president and 8 visitors agree.
Upbeatethan, Bxat9, danielle, kay_joey1101, MEATMISSILE01, Ashna, JanLapatha, AngryBlogger and 3 visitors disagree.

Nowhere did I base my arguments on our understanding. A tree's rings can tell us a great deal of information about every year it has been growing, that doesn't mean that they are language. Layers of sediment also tell us a great deal, but they are not trying to communicate knowledge of history, we are interpreting the evidence that is there. The same could be said of any medical test. Blood tests reveal illnesses, white cell and red cell counts. That doesn't mean that your blood is trying to communicate, we are simply interpreting the information it contains.

5 years, 1 month ago

DNA is not the only thing that can edit and make amino acid chains (proteins). Rqc2 is a protein which can edit and create amino acid chains. While it can't create amino acid chains as complex as RNA, it still functions in the same way. It's not language, it's a catalyst. A substrate used to facilitate a reaction.

DNA only means something to us because of how we think about it working. Saying DNA is a language and it gets translated is a great way to explain how DNA works in a broad sense, but if you dive down deep into it, you can see that it's not really how it works at all.

DNA doesn't convey any information. It simply facilitates specific chemical reactions.

5 years, 1 month ago
replied to...

This doesn't seem to capture the arguments made. Our understanding of it is not relevant. What it does is.

A language communicates. DNA is not communicating, therefore DNA is not language. Not all information is language. And to be clear, we have a strong understanding of what different genes mean. We've sequenced the human genome and can manipulate genetics expertly. We can grow human ears on mice and program pigs to glow before they're born.

5 years, 1 month ago
replied to...


5 years, 1 month ago

Nucleotides are strung together in segments of three a DNA reader thing than reads the nucleotide and makes a protein based on it just because it isn't sentient doesn't mean that DNA isn't a language

5 years, 1 month ago

Just because we can't understand it doesn't mean it isn't a language 'oh no I don't know of how to read lantin so it isn't a language'

5 years, 1 month ago

I like your argument Dave. I think I'll try and use it, or a version of it.

Here is my main objection to the thought that DNA is language:

the components that transcribe and utilize DNA have no way of actually interpreting or comprehending what DNA or RNA code for. If they had the ability to analyze DNA and RNA, we wouldn't have cancer. They are slaves to chemistry in a sense. The nucleus is also not sentient or capable of decision making. Chromosomes are uncoiled for transcription or duplication based on biochemical feedback mechanisms not conscious thought. So there is no communication occurring in any traditional sense of the word between the nucleus and other parts of the cell. Dna also doesn't communicate between cells.

In fact DNA and RNA act more like a biological catalyst rather than a language. It simply facilitates chemical reactions. Namely the creation of proteins and enzymes.

5 years, 1 month ago

DNA can code life it communicates to all living cells In the body (exept for cancer because cancer is cray cray) it is the soul reason I am able to write this. it communicates with thousands of cells and ribosomes and tells them to duplicate or build a chain of proteins. Therefor DNA is a language that of which the nucleus uses to communicate with the rest of a cell

5 years, 1 month ago

I would approach it as follows

For something to be a language, it must be used to communicate. DNA certainly contains information, but it is not used for communication, therefore not a language. DNA can reveal information about an individual, but that does not make it communication. From a fallen leaf you can determine the species of tree it fell from, as well as information about the tree's health, that does not mean the tree is communicating by dropping its leaves.

Not all codes are produced by intelligent designers unless you contend that all things were, at which point you have created a circular, self-serving argument. Light contains a spectrum that reveals what elements are burnin/fusing. This code let's us know what a fire is made of as well as suns, but this is not because there is someone encoding the information, it is simply the nature of the information itself.

The earth is made up of layers corresponding to periods in time. Shifts in the earth, changes to the weather, changes to vegetation, pollution and many other things can be seen in these layers. This information is neither a language, nor intelligently placed. It develops over time and is stored.

Likewise the Rings on a tree store information about the conditions of that year (growing season, rainfall, pollution, etc) but this does not make it a language. Our interpreting the information does not mean that it was placed there to communicate.
I am not good at formal debating as I do not tend to couch my language well for such arenas, but that is the route I would take to counter the assertions. As I indicated, the problem you will likely encounter is that anyone who supports intelligent design will likely claim that any stored information was done intelligently, making disproving the circular argument difficult.

5 years, 1 month ago

OK, so I've seen this argument a lot on debate.org, and I figured I'd see what some of the responses would be here. I've been stumped on providing a really good counter argument since it seems like the argument is based on multiple fallacies and pointing them out isn't enough to totally defeat this argument it seems.

The argument goes as follows:
P1: DNA is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism

P2: All codes are produced by conscious minds. There are no natural processes which create coded information

C: therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

Now, I get this kind of rehashes the boring old God is real/not real argument, however, I'd like to keep the focus on looking at DNA/RNA. I have no desire to turn this into a God is real or not debate, and I think we can forego those arguments and let the implications of our discussions of this topic speak to God's existence so we don't have to.

5 years, 1 month ago
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