[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

[ba-unrev-talk] The Ecosystemic Life Hypothesis

http://ecosystemics.org/ecosyslife.htm    (01)

"The ecosystemic life hypothesis inverts the current working assumption 
that life originated and developed from the cell or organism in the general 
to the ecosystem in the specific. It also alters the assumption that 
ecological dynamics are strictly emergent properties arising - from the 
bottom-up - from interactions of many independent organisms or agents. 
Instead, organisms are seen as emergent properties of ecological dynamics 
of energy flow coupled to nutrient cycling. The irreducible or 
nonfractionable kernel of complexity is the interoperating 
composer-decomposer system of energy capture and materials cycling. Depew 
and Weber (1995) state this inversion as the position of a school of 
thought within systems ecology: "From their perspective, ecosystems are not 
perspicuously viewed as loosely integrated superorganisms... On the 
contrary, reformed systems ecologists tend to view organisms as very 
tightly integrated ecological systems." If this systems ecological approach 
turns out to be better than an organism-centric approach to understanding 
life, it could have great implications for how we conduct ecological and 
life science.    (02)

Whole-part integration - the focus on understanding the part-to-whole 
relationships in living systems - is a synthesis of reductionism and 
holism. This hybrid paradigm promises new concepts and new approaches to 
old problems that can enable meaningful development of the concept of 
ecological health, as well as other benefits perhaps imaginable. For 
example, could the ecosystemic life and part-to-whole approach enable 
design of human systems such that emergent properties, while not fully 
controllable or predictable, can be steered toward the beneficial? The 
ultimate benchmark for system health and quality, as well as the ultimate 
role model, mentor and design guide for human policy and development 
realms, may well be life itself."    (03)