Saturday, May 19, 2007

Confusing a Symbol with the Real Thing

Eric, a commenter at Telic Thoughts, has proven to be most resourceful at distinguishing between genuine and apparent supporting evidence. The following is taken from one of his comments and refers to the matter of self-replicating RNA.

"To illustrate, codons within DNA are free to encode for any sequence of amino acids because there are no chemical restrictions on the order of the base pairs in DNA. Do you intend to claim that the internal structure of RNA is similary free to be rearranged in any fashion (and still retain peer-replication ability)?

In any case, replication is inherently inadequate.

If the goal is to get to the moon, a hot air balloon cannot take you there.
If the goal is to traverse an ocean, a car cannot take you there.
If the goal is driving cross country, riding the Replication merry-go-round cannot take you there, no matter how long you ride.

The word "mountain" is not a mountain, and
a codon sequence in DNA is not an amino acid sequence for a functional protein, but
a replicated RNA molecule still gives you an RNA molecule.

RNA does not represent RNA. RNA is RNA.

A coded sequence of symbols represents something other than itself. If you want to travel cross country, you have to find a way off of the Replication merry-go-round."