Categories
Philosophy

DNA: Structure is not Meaning

Identifying pattern or structure without meaning or purpose.

Context: The Human Genome Is—Finally!—Complete

This is interesting, of course, but access to the catalogue of the Library of Congress is not the same thing as understanding its contents. (Enter: John Searle’s Chinese Room, stage left.)

Of note here is that a record of information is as a function of observable difference in or as relational complexity not substantive “meaning” or inferred purpose. Granted, science is whittling away and deriving useful meanings but observe how our cognitive bias here (as much as the ordered linguistic or symbolic systems in and through which it becomes an emergent, reflexive inevitability) is towards closure when these complex information-processing and storage systems are only what they are because they remain open, logically self-contained and indefinitely-extensible in ways that strict teleologies can never be.

It is wonderful science but something is (always) missing. Nature may abhor a vacuum but, for what it’s worth, the ontological void and presence of absence is the complexity bootstrap that keeps this whole show on the road.

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