O sinal "Wow" do código genético terrestre: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

quinta-feira, março 14, 2013

Available online 6 March 2013

The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code

  • a Department of Mathematics, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, al-Farabi Avenue 71, 050038 Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

  • b Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute, Observatory 23, 050020 Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

It has been repeatedly proposed to expand the scope for SETI, and one of the suggested alternatives to radio is the biological media. Genomic DNA is already used on Earth to store non-biological information. Though smaller in capacity, but stronger in noise immunity is the genetic code. The code is a flexible mapping between codons and amino acids, and this flexibility allows modifying the code artificially. But once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it is the most durable construct known. Therefore it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature, if that conforms to biological and thermodynamic requirements. As the actual scenario for the origin of terrestrial life is far from being settled, the proposal that it might have been seeded intentionally cannot be ruled out. A statistically strong intelligent-like “signal” in the genetic code is then a testable consequence of such scenario. Here we show that the terrestrial code displays a thorough precision-type orderliness matching the criteria to be considered an informational signal. Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of the same symbolic language. Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing rather than of stochastic processes (the null hypothesis that they are due to chance coupled with presumable evolutionary pathways is rejected with P-value < 10–13). The patterns display readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero, the privileged decimal syntax and semantical symmetries. Besides, extraction of the signal involves logically straightforward but abstract operations, making the patterns essentially irreducible to natural origin. Plausible ways of embedding the signal into the code and possible interpretation of its content are discussed. Overall, while the code is nearly optimized biologically, its limited capacity is used extremely efficiently to pass non-biological information.


► The SETI hypothesis of an intelligent signal in the genetic code is tested. ► The code is shown to possess an ensemble of same-style precision-type patterns. ► The patterns are shown to match the criteria of an intelligent signal.


  • Astrobiology
  • Search for Extraterrestrial Life
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    Qual é a probabilidade de o código do DNA ter surgido via evolução darwinista? 0.0000000000001

    Com esta probabilidade seria a origem do código genético - mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente???