Author of the Month

DNA: Evidence of Intelligent Design or Byproduct of Evolution? (cont.)
By Jim Elvidge

DNA as a Program?

My interest in this goes beyond this specific debate. I have a hobby of collecting evidence that our reality is programmed. My book “The Universe – Solved!”, is chock full of such evidence. Clearly, if DNA is data as Dr. Meyer suggests, that data may be either the result of, or the input to, a program. If so, it is at a very high level. By that I refer to the level of hierarchical programming.

When you build a house, you don’t start with raw materials, like trees, metal, and plastic. Instead, you have building blocks – windows, 2x4s, pieces of plywood, concrete, tiles, wallboard, shingles, nails, etc. So it is with programming. It is much easier to use, write, and understand a program that consists of building blocks than a “linear” program that has, for example, 42,000 sequential lines of code. In the building blocks for the house, some components, such as a sink, are themselves composed of other building blocks (bowl, plumbing, faucet). Similarly, software may consist of building blocks, which are composed of smaller building blocks. Such programming is called hierarchical programming. The basic rules are that the lower the layer (toward the bottom of the chart), the more fundamental the operation. The bottom layer of the chart would typically be “atomic” operations that any higher layer function can use. For convention, let’s refer to this lowest layer of functions as Level 1. The higher you go on the chart, the more “sophisticated” the operation is. Creating a set of virtual doors, for example, is a much more sophisticated and higher layer function than drawing a point, and might be a Level 5 function or so. Also, no function on any layer calls, or makes use of, another function on that layer; rather, they use lower layer functions to build up their capabilities. Outlining a good hierarchy would consist of ensuring that each function at a particular layer is roughly comparable in terms of sophistication. A function called AddTree should be at the same layer as AddCloud, for example, while AddForest and CreateSky would each be at the next layer up.

If our reality is, in any sense, programmed, then the lowest layers of the program must be below our current ability to observe. That is, the objects that are under programmatic control have to be smaller and more fundamental than subatomic particles. Currently, we can make physical observations of items as small as electron clouds around carbon atoms, which are on the order of 10E-10 meters. We can infer from high-energy experiments, such as those in progress at the Linear Hadron Collider at Cern, deeper details about the structure of the nucleus and subatomic particles. From those experiments, we can infer structures down to 10E-16 meters, at the level of quarks. At some point, in a programmed reality, all structure is simply information. It is interesting to speculate about where that might occur on the spatial scale.

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