Bare Bones Biology 266F – Holons, Levels, Systems, Emergent Properties

It’s the words that push us apart. There are a lot more words than there are important ideas. Listen to the ideas.

 “Following Arthur Koestler and Ken Wilber, I use the term holon to refer to the nested nature of the universe. A holon is a whole that is also part of a larger whole and is itself composed of smaller wholes. Everything is part of something bigger and is made of smaller components nested within it. Each of those wholes/parts, or holons is creative. So the Universe is made of creative holons.”    Micheal Dowd, Thank God for Evolution.

I have talked about this very important idea more times, in my 266 blogs, than any other idea or fact. I have never used the term holon, because it is a new term coined to represent a reality that humans have known from nearly our beginning. It doesn’t matter what words we used, so long as we can understand each oher. The Reality is what it is, and anyone can understand it who cares to.

 

150626-canyon-ASC_7565RLSs copy The following is more like what I have been saying. A holon is a whole system that is part of a larger whole system and is itself composed of smaller whole systems. Every kind of holon is a unit that has unique “emergent properties,” that is, it creates its emergent “phenotype” or emergent properties by means of the laws of nature, or what I have referred to as the “Law of Life.” So, the universe is made of and generated by creative, naturally evolved systems in response to the most basic natural law that we know about. More basic, I believe, than the recently confirmed Higgs-Boson because what I have been referring to as the “Law of Life” is not imaginable as a THING, but is THE creative process, of which we are a part. So the universe is made of creative holons/evolved systems. No disagreement there, just different words.

On the other hand, if you think deeply about your own world view in relation to the above, you will probably find that the basic flaw in your world view (don’t fuss, everyone has basic flaws in their world views) is your imprinted belief that natural systems, processes and values are linear. This belief is as false as the older belief in a flat earth around which the sun orbits, and for similar reasons. It is homocentric and linear. The universe is not.

If we want to survive in this whole universe system that is composed of interconnected subsystems, we must change our own thinking to conform with the reality of the cosmos, because there is no way that we can continue to defeat or defy the power of the cosmos as we have been trying to do, for the last couple of millennia.

The universe is NOT a m150704-train-ASC_7962RLSsachine that we can control. It is a creative principle that we try to describe by defining the laws of nature.

 

Here’s another one.

What is a black hole? Astronomically? I do not know, and I hope the answer is not relevant to our survival, but I do know a different idea that is attached to that phrase that is relevant.

Many recognize the experience and Joseph Campbell reported it as part of a Native American growing-up ceremony for young men. Those of you who have stood on the edge of your own “black hole” will recognize it, and those who have not – you had to be there.   You have a choice, when you get to the black hole. You can let go and jump right into that black hole of fear. Fear of the reality of life that is not at all what you were taught; fear of the future that is not at all what you had planned. The other option is to turn back — to cling to the comfort and safety of the world view that was your birthrite.

The psychological black hole is the place of growing up within a new creation – a new and more realistic world view. Not that “aha” moment when everything comes together to make sense, but the eventual realization that we are not the everything that makes sense, nor can we control it. It is the time when we choose to let go our efforts to control that which is not really under our control and recognize that we are part of a whole – a holon with unique emergent properties that the living Earth can discard at any time these properties become a threat to its own holistic self. It’s a time of fear, but it could be the time when we reach out and touch the face of our Creator and begin to live within a true faith grounded in the wisdom of reality.

Homo sapiens teeters today at the brink of the black hole. The only control we have over the future is the choice that we make right now.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, TX.

A copy of the podcast can be obtained at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_266F_-_Holons.mp3

 

 

References

Michael Dowd. 2009. Thank God for Evolution. Plume

Bare Bones Biology 056 – Levels and Population I

Bare Bones Biology 057-Levels and Population II

Bare Bones Biology 070 – Levels of Organization Again

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