My Latest Musings – 30 September 2016

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

In this set of musings I will emphasize self-organizing systems in Nature and superorganisms. Here is a definition for you:

Selforganization is a process where some form of overall order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between smaller component parts of an initially disordered system. The process of selforganization can be spontaneous, is not necessarily controlled by any agent outside of the system, and is leaderless.

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Self Organization In Biology

Self-organized structures rely on a continuous input of energy to be maintained.  Biological systems challenge us because they consume energy, and are therefore far from thermal equilibrium. Thus classical thermodynamics, which has been so successful in developing an atomic understanding of physical and chemical properties such as temperature and pressure, does not apply to these systems. Instead of self-assembling into a lowest energy state, such as a crystal, these energy-dissipating components self-organize into highly dynamic structures, through which there us a constant flux of energy and material.

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 The wikipedia definition of superorganism

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A detailed explanation of how many life systems are organized and maintained without a leader

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Bird flocks, zebra stripes, honeybee swarms: Self-organization in biological systems. A brief slide show that summarizes the famous book by Scott Camazine

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A video Complexity Science: Self-Organization

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Lecture notes on self organization that offer great clarity

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Richard Golden; Characteristics of Self-Organizing Systems. A resource for teachers .

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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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