types of organization

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Sat Feb 6 15:39:59 CST 1999

Dov Por wrote

At 05:28 PM 2/6/00 +0200, you wrote:
>Don, Of course you can continue to play the reductionist way and say that
>the cell is a  complex of mitochondria, peroxisomes,spirochetes and
>whatever. And all these bacteria are in turn...., etc.etc.. The problem is
>one of hierarchy, of more complex organisation of the parts. By reducing
>complexity to its atoms  you do not explain it., you only create flat
>mechanistic models.

By recongizing "higher" organisms are single cell colonies one is not limited
to treating the organism in a reductionist manner. Of course there are
differences, but it is the nature of these differences that may be viewed
differently. As single cells recombined in different ways they became
else, but it is a philosophical question as to whether they may be
treated as no longer anything of what they were. The concept of "types of
organization" recognizes both the difference and the continuity of life in
terms of how life is organized.

You loose the qualitative aspect which is supremely
>important, especially when you speak of the bag of protozoans called  Homo.
>A cell in an organism does not compare to a   free-living cell, even when
>you keep it artificially and feed it  as an embryonic stem cell., for your
>devious human needs.

These are differences certainly, but they do not mitigate against the
possbility that as a type of organization we are not in some way
still single cells, just very different kinds of single cells from our
ancestors just as we are also a strange kind of fish, amphibian, reptile,
and perhaps not so strange kind of mammal.

John Grehan

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