Biological Information Processing Turns Matter Into Life

When a ribosome assembles 330 amino acids in four symmetric polypeptide chains (globins), each globin traps an iron atom in a heme group at the center to form the hemoglobin protein. This is downward causal control of the amino acids, the heme groups, and the iron atoms by the ribosome. The ribosome is an example of Erwin Schrödinger's emergent "order out of order," life "feeding on the negative entropy" of digested food.

The random motions of the molecules in the cytosol insure that there is no organized "bottom-up" causation directing the ribosome.

Notice the absurdity of the idea that the random motions of the transfer RNA molecules (green in the video at right), each holding a single amino acid (red), are carrying pre-determined information of where they belong in the protein.

When 200 million of the 25 trillion red blood cells in the human body die each second, 100 million new hemoglobins must be assembled in each of 200 million new blood cells . With the order of a few thousand bytes of information in each hemoglobin, this is 10 thousand x 100 million x 200 million = 2 x 1020 bits of information per second, a million times more information processing than today's fastest computer CPU.

The ribosome is an information-processing biological system that has emerged from the lower level of chemistry and physics to exert downward causation on the atomic and molecular components needed to manufacture hemoglobin.

Ion Channels at the Mind-Brain Boundary Contents Shannon's Communication Model

From Information to Semiosis | U C Berkeley, 19-21 June 2015 | Bob Doyle | The Information Philosopher