From symbolism to information? – Decoding the Gene code

Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):333-349 (2007)

Abstract

‘Information’ and ‘code’ originated as technical terms within linguistics and information theory but are now widely used in genetics and developmental biology. Against this background, it is examined if coded information distinguishes genes from other information carriers, i.e., whether there are genetic words or sentences by virtue of the genetic code, and, if so, whether they have any semantic content. It is concluded that there is no genetic language with semantic content, but that the genetic code still enables unique language-like modes of transmission and interpretation of causal information.

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