Reconciliation #2: Initial Discussion on The Organic Sciences and Spiritual Christianity [1/3]   2 comments


This initial Reconciliation attempt will be broken up into 3 Parts. The First Part, will be addressing purely the Issue of Self-Organized Systems and other Network/System Science Principles in the Organic Sciences. The Second Part, will be addressing the Spiritual Parallels drawn from Part-3 of Reconciliation #1 but with more of a focus on the Organic Sciences as it relates to them. The Third Part of this Initial Reconciliation with the Organic Sciences however, would not be a true reconciliation unless we discuss the Principles behind The Theory of Evolution and Spiritual Christian Theology. It is my belief however that The Theory of Evolution is not really at odds with Spiritual Christian Theology, and that the problem really resides in the watering down of Tradition. Throughout this reconciliation their will be links and media presented to you and as with the First Reconciliation every part will have its own conclusions and cited sources at the end of each posted part.

Self-Organized Systems and Network/System Science in The Organic Sciences

To begin let us first examine the Organic Sciences as they pertain to the Principles of Self-Organized Systems and Network or Systems Science Principles. In the First Reconciliation according to the author of Simply Complexity we saw that Networks or Systems have the following characteristics:

1) The System Contains a Collection of Many Interacting Objects called “Agents”

Agents could be anything, whether it is particles, cells, animals, people, or [relatively speaking] inanimate objects like a car. Interactions could occur between these Agents because they are: (1) Physically Close to Each Other, (2) They are Members of the Same “Group,” or (3) They share some common information, whether public or private. The more they interact the more they are linked and in effect the more they are part of a Network. Systems Science is synonymous with Network Science.

2) These Objects’ Behavior is Affected by Memory or “Feedback”

This means two things, something from the past affects something in the present, or that something in one location affects what goes on in another location. The interesting observation that can be drawn from this is that, the net result of everyone/everything having such memory can be the the system as a whole would also remember. In a word, present actions can be global-ized throughout a community of agents for example.

3) Objects Can Adapt their Strategies According to Their History

This is simple enough, an agent can adapt its behavior by itself, in order to improve its performance.

4) The System is Typically “Open”

In a word, a System is really only a System if it is capable of being influenced by outside forces, in one respect the only closed system is the Universe itself, but even that I will address later. According to these Ingredients, Neil Johnson then states that, the Complex System shows the Following Behaviors:

1) The System Appears to be Alive

The Systems Evolves in a Highly Non-Trivial and often Complicated way, driven by an ecology of Agents who interact and adapt under the influence of feedback. We often personify such systems as well. In the case of say the stock market, we call call it “bearish or pessimistic” and “bullish and optimistic” giving the system qualities of it being alive.

2) The System exhibits Emergent Phenomena which are Generally Surprising, and Maybe Extreme

The System is far from equilibrium in that, anything could still happen there is still a level of uncertainty, and if you wait long enough something will happen. There is also emergent phenomena present in the world, emergence means that, based on our knowledge of any particular property that makes up a particular agent, we could not foresee how the whole would react/interact within its own system or other systems. According to Adelphi University professor Jeffrey Goldstein writing in the journal Emergence that emergent phenomena possess the following characteristics,

“(1) radical novelty (features not previously observed in systems); (2) coherence or correlation (meaning integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time); (3) A global or macro “level” (i.e. there is some property of “wholeness”); (4) it is the product of a dynamical process (it evolves); and (5) it is “ostensive” (it can be perceived). For good measure, Goldstein throws in supervenience — downward causation.”

3) The Emergent Phenomena Typically Arise in the Absence of Any sort of “Invisible Hand” or Central Controller

It is believed that Complex Systems evolve, “all by themselves” and that they are more then the sum of their parts. It is believed that this particular principle of the Complexity Theory would damage any notion of God as it relates to the Intelligent Designers. I will show though later on the second and third parts of this post that this may undermine the Intelligent Design theory but it certainly does not threaten the notion of God.

4) The System Shows a Complicated Mix of Ordered and Disordered Behavior

All complex systems are capable of moving between order and disorder, “on their own accord.”


More specifically now upon reading the book, Linked we note that Networks are everywhere especially in Biology. According to Albert-Laszlo Barabasi who is the author of Linked we can note the following influence or inherent-ness that Networks have with Biology and research fields pertaining to it:

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Science of Epidemiology, Linked provides us with two examples namely AIDS and Ebola. The notions of Critical Threshold/Critical Mass is used in every Diffusion Theory, and Epidemiologists use it in predicting when a new infection will turn into an epidemic. Critical Mass is used to describe the existence of sufficient momentum in a given system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth.

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Science of Microbiology then Linked provides us with the principle of Robustness, consider how cells can survive despite functioning under extreme conditions and frequent internal errors. Robustness is a principle of strength and longevity and it is deeply rooted in the interconnected complex networks, this principle is applied to other areas of endeavor but this is a particular interest in the Organic Sciences. In the case of the cell, it is Robust because of its intricate regulatory and metabolic network.

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Science of Biology then Linked provides us with many examples, but in this instance let us look at, simply the concept of Evolution itself, networks found within nature are no longer thought to be static but growing; no longer thought to be random but scale-free; and no longer based around structure but evolving themselves. Networks in Nature themselves are Scale-Free Networks and this means that they contain principles such as Preferential Attachment (the notion that the more one has the more one will receive), Power Laws (Also Known As the 80/20 Rule), and Fitness, or an inherent competitive factor that nodes may have, capable of affecting the network’s evolution.

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Scientific study of Insects then we need only look at the concept of Synchronization. There are certain Firefly species who in synch flash their abdomens to find mates while high up in the trees. Synchronization is a manifestation of Spontaneity and Self-Organization. In fact synchronization is what makes pacemaker cells in ones heart beat in rhythm and also for menstrual cycles of women who live together for long periods of time, so this principle is not merely limited to Insects but multiple fields in the Organic Sciences.

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Science of Ecology then we need only look at Ecological systems themselves which as I mentioned earlier carry the principle of Robustness, for their ability to maintain an existence even in spite of ecological devastation whether natural or man-made. The characteristics of Hubs are present in ecosystems as well, in fact it shows the sensitivity of ecosystems by examining which species are hubs and which are dependent upon those hubs.

If we look at how Network Science has influenced the Organic Science of Genetics, then Linked points to the Multiple Layers of Networks present within one entity, which is also called complexity as well. The Cell itself possess a metabolic network, a regulatory network, and a cellular network. Each network is responsible for the survival of the individual cell and its internal and external interactions that take place in relation to the cell, and each of these networks as well as the total network possessed a Scale-Free layout. We all know that Genes have a structural role, by passing on the information into future generations. However, now we are also learning that they possess a functional role as well, genes are not merely being held for future use but inform said cells of what it must do in the future as it encounters the multitude of interactions throughout its life.

As a final example, let us look at how Network Science has informed the Organic Science of Neuropsychology. According to Linked, one genetic defect or lack is not responsible for cancer or manic depression or other psychological disorders, rather it is the interaction with several genes and proteins.


We See here then that in Organic Sciences we see other principles present in creation and these principles we will discuss in the following section, they are the following:
(1) The Principle of Critical Mass
(2) The Principle of Robustness
(3) The Principle of Scale-Free Typography in Nature
(4) The Principle of Synchronization
(5) The Principle of Multiple Layers of Networks
(6) The Characteristics of Hubs

SOURCES: (1)Reconciliation #1: Inorganic Sciences and Christianity [1/3] (2) Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else And What It Means For Business, Science, and Everything Else


Posted September 18, 2011 by jimbo9889 in The Objectives

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2 responses to “Reconciliation #2: Initial Discussion on The Organic Sciences and Spiritual Christianity [1/3]

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  1. Pingback: Reconciliation #2: Initial Discussion on The Organic Sciences and Spiritual Christianity [3/3] « Reality and Illusions

  2. Pingback: Reconciliation #2: Initial Discussion on The Organic Sciences and Spiritual Christianity [2/3] « Reality and Illusions

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