Programmed Aging Theory Information Digital Genetics and Evolutionary Mechanics

 

The biological inheritance mechanism is essentially an inter-generational digital data communications system. Organisms communicate information describing their designs to their descendents by means of nucleotide sequences on DNA molecules. Consequently, inheritance mechanisms share characteristics and constraints that are common to all digital data systems. This has implications for evolutionary mechanics theory, which in turn largely determines theories of biological aging, which in turn affect our approach to finding ways to treat age-related diseases and conditions.

 

Darwin specified that "natural variation" was essential to the evolution process. Local variation between individuals in a population creates differences that can then be selected by natural selection. Evolution would not be possible in a population in which all the members were genetically identical. Darwin lived in an analog world and had no reason to believe that biological inheritance was not an analog process. In particular, since variation is an inherent property of an analog system, Darwin had no reason to suspect that variation was not a fundamental "natural" property of living organisms that applied equally to all species. The first hints that this was not the case did not surface until later publication of Mendel's work on inheritance. We now know that organism design is specified by digital data carried by the sequence in which A, C, G, and T nucleotides are positioned on DNA molecules and that inheritance mechanisms must therefore follow rules that are common to any digital data construct.

Properties of digital information

All digital information including genetic information possesses common properties that distinguish it from analog communications methods:

Digital Variation

 

In an analog system, "mutations" to information specifying the design of something would be expected to cause minor variations. Progressively less frequently, larger changes could be expected. If inheritance was analog we could expect descendents to average the characteristics of their parents. We would expect to see variation that followed a bell-shaped curve. Actual observations of living organisms grossly approximate the analog expectations.

 

However, as described above, variation is not a natural property of digital information such as that conveyed by genetic codes. The natural state when copying digital information is exact duplicates. Instead, we now know that variation in complex (sexually reproducing) organisms is largely created by a series of very complex and obviously evolved mechanisms that act to handle and process digital genetic data in order to produce variation that is similar to that produced by an analog system. These mechanisms include paired chromosomes, random selection of chromosomes during meiosis, and unequal crossover of random segments of digital data within chromosomes in addition to other mechanisms associated with sexual reproduction. These mechanisms are much more complex and capable than the simpler inheritance mechanisms found in earlier organisms such as bacteria. Although mutations are the ultimate source of variation, observed variation between sexually reproducing individuals is almost entirely the result of inheritance mechanisms recombining digital data to result in different data sets and consequent different organism designs. Example: a single pair of individuals containing four genetic data sets can produce immediate descendents having a very wide range of design characteristics. These individuals represent particular combinations of design characteristics that never previously existed and can include specimens that are faster, slower, smarter, less smart, taller, shorter and that otherwise exceed the range of design parameters expressed by their parents.

 

The observation that evolved mechanisms produce a quality (local variation) that is essential to the evolution process directly supports the idea that organisms can evolve design characteristics that aid the process of evolution (the major premise of evolvability theory). This in turn has major implications for evolutionary mechanics theory and dependent theories such as theories of biological aging.

 

See Evolvability Theories and more discussion on Genetics Discoveries that Conflict with Classical Evolution Theory

 

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