Thursday, January 19, 2017

Even Kofrim Are A Chizuk For Ma'aminim

After Watson and Crick, we know that genes themselves, within their minute internal structure, are long strings of pure digital information. What is more, they are truly digital, in the full and strong sense of computers and compact disks, not in the weak sense of the nervous system. The genetic code is not a binary code as in computers, nor an eight-level code as in some telephone systems, but a quaternary code, with four symbols. The machine code of the genes is uncannily computerlike. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular-biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer-engineering journal. . . .

Our genetic system, which is the universal system of all life on the planet, is digital to the core. With word-for-word accuracy, you could encode the whole of [many books] in those parts of the human genome that are at present filled with “junk” DNA – that is, DNA not used, at least in the ordinary way, by the body. Every cell in your body contains the equivalent of forty-six immense data tapes, reeling off digital characters via numerous reading heads working simultaneously. In every cell, these tapes – the chromosomes – contain the same information, but the reading heads in different kinds of cells seek out different parts of the database for their own specialist purposes. . . .

Genes are pure information – information that can be encoded, recoded and decoded, without any degradation or change of meaning. Pure information can be copied and, since it is digital information, the fidelity of the copying can be immense. DNA characters are copied with an accuracy that rivals anything modern engineers can do.

The conclusion of course is מה רבו מעשיך השם כולם בחכמה עשית!! Or as the Rav ztz"l put it - מה קטנו מעשיך השם - How we see Your handiwork in the most minute details of creation.

What is more fascinating is that this passage was written by nothing other than Dick Dawkins - the most militant atheist ... dead, in his book River Out Of Eden p. 16-19.