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Origin of biological information

What are the current thoughts on the source of biological information. It is well established that DNA is an information system for building life. Complex cellular machines build proteins and replicate DNA. But those machines themselves are built from DNA. So it is classic chicken and egg. What came first, proteins or DNA. Gnomes of even simple cells are huge repositories of information. How do you spontaneously get information from random chemical processes, natural selection and random mutation?

  • Jun 24 2011: Biology is not too different from chemistry. We can argue that replication, passing on of information starts at a very base level, atomic or even lower. Each atom, has a preferred state and it tries to maintain that state by modifying its environment or itself. How does it know what to do to stabilize itself? when you mix two chemicals, how do they know they need to react or not? Take this theory to a more complex set of chemicals, namely RNAs & DNAs. It is all a matter of trying to achieve the most stable state possible. The more complex the chemicals, the more complex the mechanisms.
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    Jun 24 2011: I prefer design that is in constant active tweak mode and every now and then the designer steps in,i know,it's discounted automatically,too bad our oceans are on the tipping point when we have'nt catalogued all it's species yet.
  • Jun 23 2011: I am sorry I am not trying to answer your question but this seems like a good place to put forth another add on question.

    From the simplest to the most complex life forms are nothing but chemicals. What is that moment or condition or bechmark which if breached turns chemistry into biology? What is that spark(if there is a spark) that turns chemistry into biology?

    DNA is not required for all life forms there are some which have just RNA. Structures like DNA and RNA seems to be the nature's preferred way of working. I think at some point in evolution structures like DNA may have been used only during cell division when information needed to be passed in concise form. Later cells may have started keeping a cached copy of it instead of creating it everytime. I don't know just guessing.
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      Jun 23 2011: i think what you're saying is what my friend was going on about,an ancestor called PNA ,i like what you've just said except ,if i'm reading this right? is there or was there a condition or benchmark in the primal seas that allowed chemical processing to procceed to self assembly.

      Theres no way to replicate those conditions with the constant variations due to environmental coinditions in the lab without adding fudge's like telling everyone we've found dark matter with only three possible candidates for proof and then saying that some spiral galaxies don't give birth to quassars yet there is more evidence for that possibility than for dark matter,what i've found is it comes down to how much money is pushing something in the public eye.

      it's a little off topic but it proves something that i hope you guys pickup on.
      • Jun 23 2011: Dude I am drunk, so when I say I an absolutely stoned.

        Lemme ask you this. For someone or something to know that "it" is worth passing, that someone has to realise that "this is information worth passing". Do you think bacteria knows that DNA contains information which is worth passing to the next generation. I don't think so. in fact I am sure it does not know. But somehow something(lets call it concisousness) knew that this "IS" information and IT IS worth passing. My arguments may seem like someone who believes in creationist theory. That there is someone, higher conciousness, God who does all this. Maybe; maybe not. But lets not discard God, or possibility of God in scientific discussions. What or how does this came to be in its current form. I often times think, what is lowest level of conciousness? Do atoms dream of quarks,electrons etc. Theroy and mechanisms are two different things. Theory define possibilities and mechanisms are the path of least resistance to realisations of it. Loosely speaking of course. I would ask What is information, who decides it is information, and of course what are the mechanisms of propogation. DNA; maybe, RNA maybe; I am not yet concieved. Believe it or not. I do in all honesty seek the answers as I am sure you do.
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    Jun 22 2011: That's a big question and still in contention today,no one knows so they harp back to spontaneous assembly or as my friend puts it who's an ardent evolutionist,theres the possibility of an ancestor that put DNA together,i said to him in reply what put that together? The best two possibilities is design or meteorite seeding,i really can't see the DNA strand coming together and surviving it's first few minutes of creation in the primordial seas without cell wall protection.You've got to knockout the "Natural selection" it only works with cells not chemical interaction,i've got to watchout here i've been hit with the multiverse probability theorem when hitting evolution except that's based on pure theory and can't be put through solid laboratory testing but my friend did say that the multiverse system is a joke as to him it's just slight vibations of possibility that always lead back to the start point.We're still arguing what molecular machine put DNA together that just so happened to pop into existence.Life rose up on this planet pretty fast,one can't say that a multitude of DNA self assembled sponteously,what did my friend say,"PNA"

    I've been hit with virtual assemblage,that's even stranger.

    I would like to know aswel as the current belief is weak and too vague,what it comes down to is "We don't know"