Re: Evolutionary rate

From: Iain Strachan (iain.strachan.asa@ntlworld.com)
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 18:21:22 EDT

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    Gary:

    > I have found this thread very interesting but unfortunately I have not had
    > enough time to participate. However, I would like to ask a couple of
    > questions.
    >
    I'll have a go.

    >
    > The first is to do with computing. Maybe Iain would know the answer to
    > this one. Does Turing's restriction still apply in the case of quantum
    > computing / quantum processes?
    >

    I don't know much about this, but I think the case may be different for
    Quantum computing. The last chapter of Simon Singh's book "The Code Book"
    anticipates quantum computing & suggests that such devices might be able to
    crack existing public key/private key encryption devices. To do so one has
    to find two very large prime factors of an enormous composite number. I
    believe the implication was that the factorization might be doable as all
    divisors could be tested simultaneously in a superposition of quantum
    states. But I don't know whether this is just a SciFi type fantasy at the
    moment or whether it actually is a practical possibility. I don't think
    anyone's seriously suggested biological evolution as being a large scale
    quantum interference effect, though. How's that for a crazy idea?

    > The second is to do with ID and irreducible complexity. From what I
    gather,
    > irreducible means that no component can be removed without the system
    > as a whole failing. But what about components being added? Is it possible
    > that what we see now as an irreducible system in fact became the way it
    > is by loss of components from what was previously not an irreducible
    > system?
    >

    I guess so; I suppose you could make the analogy between such systems (ID +
    added components) and pure ID as being analogous to composite numbers and
    prime numbers?

    I'll leave the biochemists to answer your other question.

    Iain



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