Re: IC (Challenge)

Kevin O'Brien (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 16:42:20 -0700

>>Nothing could be simpler. Want to try it yourself?
>Cooooool. Yes, I want to play with toys like that.

All you need is a college degree in molecular biology. A BS would be enough
to get you in the door as a research technician, but if you got a PhD you
could do your own work as a principle investigator.

>Wow, the things you
>could do! The process you described includes the ability to reproduce a
>specific new protein that had been created. So, if you get a really
>interesting one, you can produce enough to really study its function. (Uhm,
>provided you have the funding, etc) Cooool. I also see applications for
>use in the medical field in searching for new treatments.

They are already working on it, using a modified version in which they take
a dozen genes for the same protein but from different organisms. This
allows them to take advantage of any new domains that have evolved while the
ancestral gene was diversifying. A number of labs have already gotten some
good results.

>I am still thinking about these proteins in relation to IC. Something
>doesn't quite fit with what I understand the definition of IC is. I'll get
>back to you in a couple of days when it has stewed enough.

If you don't mind a final comment, I believe the reason is because IC is
based on a bad analogy. IC assumes that proteins are like mousetraps in
that they are artifacts that must be specifically designed and built by
intelligence. I have no doubt that a mousetrap is IC, but a mousetrap could
not evolve on its own (no dynamic information system). If in fact proteins
are not artifacts, but are simply smaller versions of whole organisms, then
they too could have evolved piecemeal over time, even though the current
result "appears" to be IC.

>Thank you very much for a fascenating description,

You are most welcome.

Kevin L. O'Brien