Re: Re: junk DNA

CurtAdams (
Tue, 3 Mar 1998 23:03:27 EST

Reilly Jones wrote:
> ... someone applied a series of tests to the complete set of
> DNA and found that it is virtually identical to human language when the
> same tests are applied to it, e.g., they both follow Zipf's Law, etc.
> These results *only* were valid when the full complement of junk DNA was
> included, and broke down when segments of junk DNA were excluded.
> With this in mind, there's a new book out by Jeremy Narby called "The
> Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origin of Knowledge" that sounds like it lends
> further scientific support to the DNA as language hypothesis.

This is a bit disingenuous. Current hypotheses of junk DNA origin hold
that it comes from meiotic recombination errors and transposons, and
possibly other similar things. Given that origin, it will tend to
have a complex fractal structure characteristic of many information-
containing processes. In a sense it *is* meaningful, because it
records DNA duplication "errors" and thus can be a tool for analyzing
evolution. But it's not communication, just a record
of a fractal process. Certainly "language" is a lousy metaphor for this