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The Domino Effect

What follows is a philosophical muse only. No numbers were crunched, no chemistry read etc. It's just a thought I thought might make a loose illustration of how DNA became what is arguably the most important sequence in the history of the universe(s) and, to do that, I'm going to use dominoes, or rather you are, if you want to. I recommend it, it'll probably be a lot easier if you print out the instructions and actually do it.
It might even be a bit of edutainment for older kids to see or do.
1. Take a set of dominoes and empty them into an opaque material bag (a hat would do); it's just so domino selection is random.

2. Take out 1 domino and place it down; the start of the first sequence.

3. Continue to take out one domino at a time.

4. If next domino is not a match with the one already placed down, start a new sequence with it. If the domino does match, at either end of the sequence, the matching domino numbers are attracted together. The higher the number the great the pull; if the numbers match, the piece must join at that point.

5. Keep taking dominoes out and placing them down, continuing the current sequence or starting a new one, until no dominoes remain.

6. When all the dominoes are placed, look at the sequences. Any sequence containing only one domino will be attracted to the nearest matching sequence end.

7. Any sequence with two or more dominoes we'll call a "success", based on the fact that something, a successful coupling, has happened and, by extension, the sequence with the highest number of dominoes is "most successful".

8. If any two sequences match, those sequences are attracted to each other and their union spawns a new sequence, which is not a perfect replica of its parents; one end of the sequence will always gain or lose one domino. If the last domino in the new sequence is connected to the next by a number which is less than half the domino set's maximum number the last domino is lost from the sequence, breaks off and becomes part of the pool, if more than half it gains. If 'gained' it gains it, where a parent has a matching end domino, from one of the parents. The new sequence then becomes part of the pool of sequences and is attracted to any other matching sequences(or loose dominoes if it was spawned of parents with unmatched 'gain' potential). Repeat this process until all attraction couplings are complete.

10. When all couplings are exhausted, Domino sequences with matching ends above half the value of the maximum domino will join together to form 'double-length' domino sequence. There is insufficient attraction and bonding strength to support longer sequences or to support the joining of sequences with and end value of less than half of maximum domino value.

11. When all 'coupling", 'spawning' and 'joining' has been accomplished get another set of dominoes or, if like me you've only got one set, keep a record of the sequences (graph paper works well for this) and repeat the whole process.

If you have the time or inclination, and can continue for 4.5 million years, at some point you'll very likely get a super-complicated sentient domino sequence that thinks it's magically acquired a supernaturally eternal personality.

So, for those who have not already surmised, to transpose the illustration into real world terms...
Replace the domino bag with a planet sized ocean rich with chemicals from exploded suns.
Replace dominoes with amino acids; that is, Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine and the coupling chains become DNA strands.
Repeat for 4.5 million years...
and you get an ape trying to explain meaning of life stuff in dominoes.

This is one of the Too Many Questions
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