• Possibility
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    Yes DNA is alive as part of a system. It is probably not the dominant brain of the system, it is capable of creating messenger RNA, and they, in their many guises, are seeming to be the epigenetics of the system. They can transcribe from DNA, but also reverse transcribe, to alter DNA.Pop

    A multi-cellular organism relies on a number of additional integrated system structures, within which DNA (as molecular-level information) is subject to variability in interpretation, expression, editing and transmission. Saying DNA is the dominant brain would be like saying the bible is the ‘dominant brain’ of Christianity, so to speak.

    I concentrate on the fundamentals of a system to try and unentangle the qualitative ( emotional ) and quantitative information. There are only tiny little straws on offer to do this with. Thus far microbes respond to painful stimuli, the selfish gene, the bias to be, and gradient tracking - all suggest emotions at the fundamental level. We know information, energy and matter are present at this level, we know there is life, but for consciousness we need emotion to be present at this level, and I think there is a strong case. I am convinced , at least.Pop

    There are only tiny little straws because you’re not really at the fundamentals of that system. You’ve consolidated molecular relations within a living system, and you’re arguing for the existence of relational information as proof that ‘consciousness’ exists at this level. Relational information at the level of biochemistry - as a variability in 3D structure (attention) and energy (effort) - pertains to the potential for ‘life’ in relation to a living organism, in the same way that affect - as a variability in valence (attention) and arousal (effort) - pertains to the potential for ‘consciousness’ in relation to a conscious organism.

    The way I see it, all of existence has a six-dimensional structure of relational possibility. In this way, we often relate to animals and even rocks as if they were conscious - attributing attention and effort as valence and arousal - but we have no reason to assume they are even vaguely aware of relations at that level of complexity. You can say that DNA is alive and emotional because it moves and responds to interaction in a way that supports the awareness and intentionality of the organism, but that’s because DNA is always subject to the awareness and intentionality of the organism through interpretation and epigenetics. You seem to be arguing that DNA has its own agenda within a living system, but there is no evidence of that.

    Relational aspects of life are well established. Once emotion at the fundamental level is established, then we start to get an understanding of how consolidation or a nucleus to relational self organization forms. That qualia cause self organization is a good bet. Dose qualia = emotion? If so, and this is my understanding, then it is consciousness that emerges as self organization, not life. Life is a concept that obscures this understanding, and I wish I could erase it from common usage, as it is redundant and makes my case difficult to explain. Consciousness arises as a system of self organization - this is what you are seeing in those cellular animations. An extremely sophisticated system of self organization. This system of self organization is common to all of life, and as we come to understand it better, we must attribute its spectacular complexity, to either god, or a consciousness.Pop

    At the fundamental level, even sub-atomic particles are contingent upon relation. It’s not a matter of establishing emotion at the level of DNA, but recognising that each ‘fundamental’ level of consolidation is dependent upon underlying relations, and so this relational information that we perceive as ‘emotion’ (from our conscious perspective) points to the potentiality of a higher level of ‘self’-organisation. But don’t confuse the potentiality of DNA with that of the living or conscious system that interprets the relation. The perceived potentiality of a rock is enhanced exponentially by my own capacity for awareness, connection and collaboration with its relational structure. I wouldn’t claim that capacity is inherent to the rock, though.

    Both emotion and qualia are relational information, but they relate to different consolidated structures, so they are not the same. It isn’t surprising that equating these two is difficult to explain. I understand your wish to remove consolidated structures such as ‘life’ from an explanation of relational information. If you are to take this seriously, though, you would need to remove ALL consolidated structures: DNA, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles - even consciousness. Because they, too, are constructed by relational information. This system of self-organisation is common to all of existence, but it goes further than attributing its complexity to ‘a consciousness’.

    Do you include your own consciousness within that consciousness, or in external relation to it? Be careful how you answer this question: the former suggests determinism, the latter suggests a god. Or is it your own consciousness that you’re referring to? In which case, you have many conscious subjects, each with their own potential structure of reality, within the possible existence of a more complex relational structure than consciousness. This is the sixth dimension, an aspect of meaning and possibility.

    Yes, DNA can only exist in a living system, and is biased to be. Fundamentally it is biased to be, as the universe is biased to be, so all of the component parts of the universe in turn are biased to be. So it would seem emotion is fundamental as well as information. This is how I understand Panpsychism.Pop

    You’re missing the point. The universe as a whole is not biased to be - what you’re able to interact with is structured to enable this interaction, but there is much more to the possible universe than this. Emotion IS information - there is no ‘as well as’ and we need to stop making this distinction. It isn’t helpful. The difference is only in how we perceive it: as consolidated or relational. When we consolidate, we also perceive a one-dimensional, surface relation between ourselves and the world, which we refer to as ‘emotion’ or bias. But the reality is that information is relational across multiple dimensions, affecting the system as one, two, three, four and five-dimensional relational structures within an integrated system. We always need to locate our perception in relation to the world, and be honest about attributing this relational information that you package as ‘emotion’.

    The truth is that this ‘emotion’ is both our relation to the system and its relation to ours. When we consider ourselves to be a wholly rational, consolidated structure, then we attribute all ‘emotion’ to the system - the object of our attention and effort. When we consider this object to be the wholly rational, consolidated structure (as materialists do), then we must attribute all ‘emotion’ to ourselves. When we consider all of existence - ourselves included - to be purely relational in its structure, then everything is information and everything is relational, and we can more honestly attribute attention and effort, beyond the limitations and bias of consolidated structures.
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