Biological communications, the information exchanged in messages between biological entities, is far more important than the particular physical and chemical entities themselves. These material entities are used up and replaced many times in the life cycle of a whole organism, while the messaging has remained constant, not just over the individual life cycle, but that of the whole species.
In fact most messages, and the specific molecules, e.g., DNA, that embody and encode those messages, have been only slowly varying for billions of years.
As a result, the sentences (or statements or “propositions”) in biological languages may have a very limited vocabulary compared to human languages. Although the number of words added to human languages in a typical human lifetime is remarkably small.
Biological information is far more important than matter and energy for another reason. Beyond biological information as “ways of talking” in a language, we will show that the messages do much more than send signals, they encode the architectural plans for biological machines that have exquisite control over individual molecules, atoms, and their constituent electrons and nuclei. In digital computer terms, these are biological algorithms or code.
Far from the materialist idea that fundamental physical elements have “causal control” over living things, we find that biological information processing systems are machines. They are intelligent robotic machines. They assemble themselves and build their own replacements when they fail. And they use the flow of free energy and material with negative entropy to run the “programs” that manipulate their finest parts at astonishingly high speeds.
The data rates are well beyond the largest and fastest digital computers and the programs they are running have evolved through Darwinian evolution. These are programs without a programmer.