Joined: May 2002
|Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 01 2003,01:59)|
Ah, that's it. Lots of good material there.
Briefly, here is an important argument rarely made:
1) Number of combinatorially possible codes:
Lots and lots and lots
2) Number of "optimal" codes:
A lot less, but probably still lots
If #2 is true, then the argument for the monophyly of extant life based simply on the canonical code (leaving aside all of the other evidence for the monophyly of life) remains strong, because there would be no reason for independent origination events to land on one or the other of the equally optimal codes.
E.g., if n = # of equally optimal codes = 10, then the random probability of (say) the three domains of life landing on the same code is p = 1*1/10*1/10, or 1/100. This is already quite a coincidence on the independent origins hypothesis. The probability of (say) 20-odd animal phyla landing choosing the same code out of a range of 10 equally optimal codes would be 1/10^20, already quite astronomical.
And of course if there were more like 1000 or 1 million equally optimal codes, then the random probability of independent origins hitting on the same code goes up exponentially factor.
Note that these results hold even if the canonical code is literally "one in a million", since there are many more combinatorially possible codes than a mere million.
The only way for the independent design hypothesis to produce nonrelated organisms with the same code is to postulate some motive for the IDer to design things this way on purpose -- but postulating motives is something that IDists refuse to do, at least officially.