Bare Bones Biology 167 – Survival of the Systems

No it is not survival of the fittest, that’s a convenient human description of something we don’t very well understand, but the bottom line is that Life on earth is a system. The Biosystem. My definition of a system is a group of intricately interacting processes (not people) that functions – the whole group of processes functions to maintain the system. Most systems consist of subsystems that have the same definition as the system.

Systems evolve to be bigger and more complicated whenever the system is more efficient than no system. Sometimes processes that work together are more efficient than separately. Evolution will favor efficiency. That is rare, perhaps a so-called singularity, but when an efficient system occurs, evolution will favor it. If it later becomes inefficient, natural selection will reject it. Every system has a function. A function is a job that it does more or less efficiently (efficient means using the least amount of energy for the best result of that particular function).

130902-SimpleLife-ASC_5820RLSRLSs copyThe function of the whole earth Biosystem is to maintain Life on earth. On FactFictionFancy, I wrote a long and difficult (for me) outline of how evolution really works to do this. Evolution is not survival of the strongest, prettiest, etc., although these things happen. Overall, evolution is survival of the subsystems (species, organisms, organs, cells) that integrate themselves into the SYSTEM so effectively and efficiently that the Biosystem could not perform its function (of maintaining Life) as well without them as it can with them.

The Biosystem is a collection of systems that function together to maintain the whole system of life on earth.
bare-bones-bio…-community-iii/ To do this, the Biosystem generates and/or recycles everything that Life requires, using photosynthesis as the primary energy source and maintaining a viable balance among all the processes (of all the ecosystems and organisms) that cycle the earth, air, water and energy required by living things. Viable means suitable for Life.

The Corposystem is the corporate-political system that includes mostly humans and the things that humans use. The function of the Corposystem, is to make money by growing itself (notice, not balancing itself in a way that benefits either itself or the Biosystem, but by growing itself.) The most efficient way for the corposystem to do its function of making money is to steal resources that are made by the Biosystem – without recycling them for the next generation to use again. This is not viable over time.

The products of the Biosystem are used as resources for growth of the corposystem.
The corposystem sells these products to make money ( Money is not a resource or even a product that can be recycled to benefit the Biosystem. The corposystem is now so powerful that it is unbalancing the processes of Life by siphoning off the products of the earth and using them to make human growth and using the growth to make money.

That is why the climate is changing, as the Biosystem tries to find a new kind of balance that is more efficient in the circumstances. The Biosystem is not here to preserve us; we are all here to make the Biosystem efficient enough so that we can be here.

There is only one way that we humans can continue to survive in the Biosystem, and that is to help make the Biosystem more efficient, not less efficient. It is not possible to compete with the Biosystem and win, because we are part of the Biosystem. We are almost at the end of our choices, but three possibilities remain useful:

Some technologies are helpful, at least temporarily: Solar power might be helpful if combined with birth control. Otherwise, we are tinkering with a nearly perfect system that we do not understand.

Recycling is always good, that includes the many good gardening initiatives. But the mickey mouse way we are now doing is not enough. We must truly balance what we take, or even give back more.

The only sustainable way for humans to survive on this earth is to balance our population; that means reduce it. Unless we humans help to make the whole system more efficient for all sentient beings, the Biosystem will simply evolve itself into a more efficient system, and the result will be VERY MUCH more violent and undesirable than it would be if we were to address the problem ourselves, now, with realistic, wise compassion.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS FM, 89.1, Bryan, Texas. A podcast of this broadcast can be obtained at: