So far we have covered a lot of territory, wandering as it were, following our trail of information. Our vehicle has been our consciousness, each of us behind the wheel of our own machine, but sharing the road. This project started out as a book, a linear journey meant to be traversed from beginning to end. I have watched it morph into something altogether different. There are still branches in the road, but they lead thru wormholes that can put you anywhere. We are no longer just travelling down a single road, but are part of a wave that is engulfing all roads. Instead of following a single path, we can jump from one to another, observing, comparing and sharing what we have found.
In the blogsphere, the information is scattered and linked in a nonlinear structure. All of our daily outpourings are indexed and cross referenced by the system. It becomes more than a book or a library of books; it becomes a live process. It is a micro model of a holographic network. The details are stored in the material objects where they originate, and the overview stored as relationships between objects; both bound together by the holographic web. Information in intelligent ferment on a global level.
In this process we have jumped between micro to macro, solid and wavelike, looking at components and their attributes in some detail. In this section, we are going to hook some of these components together and compare the functionality of biological systems and computer networks. In some ways this is a summary of how we got to this point in our journey.
When we think of computer systems, we divide the components into two categories: hardware and software. Well, the biocomputer is all wetware that embodies the functionality of both. However, all this wetware does sit atop a hardware platform, known as the material universe. The wetware can do nothing, but that which is doable by the underlying system of natural laws; physical, electromagnetic and quantum. The potential for everything we do exists within the material platform.
Information Processing Basics
At the basic level of functionality, an information processing system requires a memory, a processor and information, all functioning in the same “language”. Our platform is matter and the informational structure(laws) that hold it together. Matter is also the memory, processor and language, that makes our system go. How could it be otherwise?
The physical universe is both the platform for our information processing system, and object of our processing. What we human beings do is observe and manipulate the physical universe in specific ways. We do this by processing information coming from the environment. Every other mobile creature on the planet does the same thing; they all observe and manipulate their environment.
Defined as a system of symbols and rules used to convey abstract information. Is DNA a language? There seems to be some controversy. Where are the symbols? Some folks are unwilling to grant DNA language status. Some object to the idea that DNA consists of abstract information. Other arguments seemed to be saying that DNA can’t be a language because language is a communication between intelligent parties. Since neodarwinism has already decided that there is no intelligence involved in nature, DNA must be something else, like the result of random events.
Changing the label around, calling DNA, “instructions” or “lists”, doesn’t get past the fact that information is stored, accessed and executed. These are all very intelligent actions. Of course, in the LifeOS model everything is information and the language is matter itself.
In the same vein, consciousness exists because environmental information is collected from the senses, encoded into nerve impulses and combined into a comprehensive “virtual reality” presented to the conscious mind, as an external projection. This is certainly more like sophisticated system design, than a random collection of survival solutions.
This line of thinking leads to a dilemma: if we admit that thought is a translation or encoding from environmental reality into some abstract mental language, then we just about have to admit to an intelligent designer. Translation, encoding, language are all based on the ability of some part of the process to understand abstract concepts.
There is no doubt that computer language is an abstract creation, and the product of intelligent designers. Being able to deal with abstract concepts, such as language and computer code, is what sets human beings apart from “lower” animals, right? To look at DNA as an abstract language, may raise some difficult questions, but intelligence is the only thing we know that can manipulate abstract concepts.
The language used for memory throughout biological systems is likewise, either a coded language or not. DNA, consciousness and the subconscious must either be an abstract representation of reality, or a direct one. If an abstraction, it is going to require an intelligent component to do, or at least engineer, the encoding.
Another branch of science tells us that our consciousness cannot be a direct view and certainly is encoded. Either way, meaning is somehow attached to objects in the environment. Either that meaning is assigned by an intelligence, or intrinsic to the object.
If DNA is not a language, then the organizing factor, the natural laws which cause the double helix to form into three bit codons, must be intrinsic to non-living matter, part of the atomic structure. In this context, the “shape” of the double helix would have to be a product of the internal structure of the atom. The alternative is that the organizing component is external to matter.
If DNA is a language, then there exists an intelligent component that manipulates abstract concepts. This component could also be intrinsic to all matter, rather than external. Wherever the organizing element is located, its results are all around us.