Bare Bones Biology 269 – “Emergence”

Just think how much of your brain is involved with maintaining the system that is you!! Your physiology, your instincts and your world view. And with all that, the way you do stay alive is through your emergent properties – your behaviors – that are generated by your physiology, instincts and world view. Your behaviors are your emergent properties. Your emergent properties keep you alive by interacting with your environment. You do not jump off high buildings. The function of a system is to maintain its own emergent characteristics.

The emergent property of us is female human. The emergent property of Bitsy is female Canis familiaris, and that describes the system that she must maintain by her behaviors, which is different from ours . Every kind of living system fits into a unique niche in the web of Life, according to its emergent properties.

The emergent properties of the corposystem are growth by domination for money.

The emergent property of the Biosystem is Life, which is maintained by balancing all of its millions of subsystems – all the different species, all the organs within the species, all of the cells that make up the organs within the species. All of those are different, naturally evolved systems. Even the corposystem. All of those things are evolved systems that must mesh together to maintain the Web of Life.

150814-WP-asc_9299RSs copyThe Biosystem perpetuates its emergent property (Life) by getting rid of subsystems that cause harm to Life. That is survival of the fittest; survival of the fittest is not primarily some kind of competition. The harmful subsystems are controlled by “limiting factors” that I have discussed in previous blogs. If the subsystems cannot be controlled, then they basically eliminate themselves as the natural result of their harmful emergent behaviors. It’s a feedback loop. Not a competition.


The Biosystem requires cooperative behaviors. The Biosystem requires that its subunits behave in ways that help to maintain Life.   Another feedback loop.

For a more social example, the corposystem rewards domination-by-power type of thinking and behavior, and punishes other types of thinking. If you spend a lot of time thinking about how you can get what you want by domination – it’s likely that you will behave appropriately toward the corposystem and you will be rewarded by the corposystem. If you won’t behave like a corposystem – most likely (in our relatively benign culture) the corposystem will find a way to not listen to your beliefs, opinions and world view.

You cannot do two mutually exclusive kinds of behavior AT THE SAME TIME. If you try to nourish the welfare of both the corposystem, that requires competition, and the Biosystem, that requires cooperation, you end up confused and quite possibly eliminated.

Here’s another way to say almost   the same thing:

           “There were two faults in the way the women’s movement began. First, women aping men in power will just lead us to be wicked and coarse. That will just    double the world’s trouble! The other mistake is to see the feminine as irrational, and therefore encourage everyone to cultivate the irrational in themselves.    Rationality is always better than irrationality. So I propose neo-feminism, which   is again holistic, unified, synthetic, and cooperative, but includes analytic and  reflective methods. It brings a feeling of wholeness. The analytic masculine period takes everything apart to see how they work; the feminine period puts them   back together again. It’s synthetic; an organic approach.”

White Fire by Malka Drucker. 2003. Page 107, quote of Dr. Beatrice Bruteau.

We cannot serve the conflicting needs of our various systems, all at the same time. We cannot serve our own best interests, and the needs of the family as a system, and the needs of the corposystem, and the needs of the Biosystem, all at the same time. To find our greatest personal power, we need to understand how systems relate to each other, and choose our behaviors with great wisdom*.

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

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:…-269-emergence/


* The Dalai Lama has said that wisdom involves researching our problem until we find its root cause, and then fix the root cause.