Information and Codes in Biochemistry

Biochemists traditionally accept the view that life is an extremely complex form of chemistry (the “Chemical paradigm”), a view which implies that genetic information and the genetic code are but metaphorical concepts because they cannot be described by physical quantities. Wächtershäuser, for example, claimed that: “On the level of nucleic acids it is quite convenient to use the information metaphor … and apply teleological notions such as ‘function’ or ‘information’… but in the course of the process of retrodiction the teleological notions, whence we started, fade away. And what remains is purely chemical mechanism”.

The goal of the present proposal is to show that this view is fundamentally flawed and that biological information and coding rules rightly belong to biochemistry because they are true observables that represent real natural entities and can be defined by operative definitions.

Project leader(s):
  • Marcello Barbieri (Ferrara)

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