Number of Bits for a Set of Encyclopedias are Minuscule Compared to Bits for Biology in DNA

I have estimaged how many letters there are in a the Enclyclopaedia, and I have assumed that each of my 24 million books is as big as an Encyclopaedia volume, and have calculated, then, how many bits of information there are (10^15). For each bit I allow 100 atoms. And it turns out that all of the information that man has carefully accumulated in all the books in the world can be written in this form in a cube of material one two-hundredths of an inch wide--which is the barest piece of dust that canbe made out by the human eye. So there is plenty of room at the bottom! Don't tell me about microfilm!

This fact--that enormous amounts of information can be carried in an exceedingly small space--is, of course, well known to the biologists, and resolves the mystery which existed before we understood all this clearly, of how it could be that, in the tiniest cell, all of the information for the organization of a complex creature such as ourselves can be stored. All this information--whether we have brown eyes, or whether we think at all, or that in the embryo the jawbone should first develop with a little hole in the side so that later a nerve can grow through it--all this information is contained in a very tiny fraction of the cell in the form of a long-chain DNA molecules in which approximately 50 atoms are used for one bit of information about the cell


Feynman estimates the number of atoms neccessary for storing a set of encyclopedias, and then compares that to the amount of data included in a DNA string.

Folksonomies: computing biology information science

/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.506347)
/technology and computing/hardware/computer peripherals/printers, copiers and fax/scanners (0.499286)
/technology and computing/internet technology/chat (0.391649)

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one bit:Quantity (0.010000 (neutral:0.000000))

DNA (0.983598): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Eye (0.871970): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Eye color (0.819184): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Human eye (0.586271): dbpedia | freebase
Cell (0.564363): dbpedia | freebase
Molecule (0.562323): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Carbon (0.467547): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Bit (0.436968): dbpedia | freebase

 There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (Dec 29, 1959), There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, Engineering and Science Magazine, California Institute of Technology, Retrieved on 2010-11-13