What is Life?

Is there a universal genomic information mechanism? The esteemed Venter (A Life Decoded) is of the view that life is in the DNA or in particular the genes (DNA includes non-gene coding). Genes are what code the proteins that are essential not only for life, but for living.

The difference? Unlike humans who are alive, viruses are, at some rudimentary level, essentially biochemical mechanisms. Therefore, in a previous article “Abortion?” I had proposed that life exists at four levels or states, biomechanical (virus), cellular (single celled organisms), multicellular aggregation (plants and animals) and entity (humans). Using the 7 rules of Emergence I had proposed that a stimulus is required for the next level of life to emerge from the previous level and it is different from the sum of previous levels. As Venter puts it, “We’re clearly much, much more than the sum total of our genes,”

One of the thoughts that I took away from Venter’s Life at the Speed of Light, is that even though genomics has made unbelievably incredible advances, it is still at a chemical understanding of the DNA. Now what if emergence transformed the DNA from a chemical double helix (CDH) to a biological computing system (BCS)? And proteins are biological subroutines, programs or “apps” as they are known today.

Why do I suggest this?

Many years ago I was the architect of Texas Instruments‘ Daily Factory Starts (DFS) factory planning system, a worldwide top ranked IT project to reduce work-in-progress (wip) in a 6,000/month SKU factories. We used mathematical programming techniques, push & pull scheduling and factory layouts to reduce wip by 30%. All this was implemented using C, SQL and a new language (DSW or DFS Sql Writer) we designed from scratch to solve problem structuring.

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