He [Thomas McCabe] is taking a much more achievable approach [than attempting to compute the complexity of the cell]. At the risk of oversimplifying his idea, we will say that instead of looking at all the metabolic processes in the cell, he is looking at just one. Specifically, there is a process in living cells that decodes the genetic information in the DNA molecule and builds biological structures accordingly. Conceptually, this process is not much different from the software program in a CD player that reads a compact disk and converts the information into music. Since we can compute the complexity of a program that reads a CD, one should also be able to compute the complexity of the biological process that reads and processes genetic information.Sounds exciting.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
McCabe complexity of the polymerase machine
Most software engineers have probably heard of McCabe Complexity. I can't help but wonder how Thomas McCabe would evaluate the complexity of DNA/RNA decoding and transcription process: