It’s complicated, speaking as a physician for the last 45 years and a field biologist for 55.
Essentially body structure is that based upon our worm ancestors, which are ancestral to most all animals, but a few primitive ones. This structure is repeating segments of structures starting with the head and then spreading downwards. We have spinal bones and nerve roots coming off each, just like worms, fish, amphibs, reptiles etc. Repeating segments is a VERY efficient way of building up a body, and this least energy rule is deeply embedded in our embryology as well. Even the gill slits our embryos have are repeating units. Cells are repeating units ultimately, but are greatly differentiated.
This differentiation is the basis of embryology and how our bodies develop. Even our ribs are segmented. The sensory nerves and blood vessels and muscles are all segmented, too, just stretched out.
Why and how? It’s a least energy series of configurations, largely. So, we’re highly efficient in the way we are organized. Evolution is least energy driven, largely, which is the basis of why animals look like they do. Efficiency creates stability and longevity as well.
So, that’s largely why each creature and plant look like what they do, a series of least energy solutions to environmental stressors and conditions. Very complex, but with LE we can easily navigate thru the complexities of most all of it, tho there is STILL a very great deal to learn.
Least Energy Rules. SOA biology, very likely. Others are still trying to catch up.
Hierarchical systems are found also throughout our bodies, as THOSE are least energy, too. The arteries, veins and nerves are created in neurovascular bundles, starting out large, centrally and then branching out, Hierarchies, the further out they go. And our bodies are hierachically arranged, as well.
The body of trunk, arms, and legs are hierarchies. The trachea, then divides into two main bronchi, then into the bronchioles, also are hierarchically arranged down to the alveoli, and there the large pulmonary veins come in split up branching, then absorb the O2, lose some H20 and CO2, and then become the pulmonary arteries to the left ventricle of the heart. All branching hierarchies you see? Even our understanding is an organization of our knowledge via the hierarchies.
The key to this deep, universal structure can be seen as least energy as well (roads, electric power lines, gas lines, sewer and water systems, etc.) & in the way water runs downhill, reaching lower and lower gravitation energies as it flows. least energy again. Springs become rivulets, those become creeks, then streams, the small rivers, and then the large river systems. All branching, all least energy forms, down to the meandering low land rivers, which meandering is least energy turbulent flow to the sea. There the deltas break up into the various channels (branches) as in the MS delta and the Nile Delta, once again, the roots are seen as the various deltoid branches of the great rivers.
It’s all least energy driven, you see?
That’s the Grand Design of our bodies, reflected in the natural hierarchies, and the vast hierarchies of our understandings, the dictionaries, telephone and city directories, the periodic table of elements, etc., etc., etc. All least energy forms, Just like our bodies!!
The Grand Designs of Least Energy rules.
Actually, field biology is a lot like medicine. observations in both are primary data collection performance.
My Mom wanted me to be a doctor and so she pushed me into biology, which of course, medicine primarily is, too. Was doing field trips for years before college, and organized the Coleoptera (beetles) and Lepidoptera collections in high school, plus doing well in biology/chem in university. Being a natural polymath comes in handy when we want to understand understanding of nearly everything. My systems are doing that. Took me 50 years to get it going, but it’s going now. Why I went into medicine, psychology and neuroscience. We have the major answers coming now. We CAN create unified models of what’s going on inside of us and outside of us, describing and modeling better events within and without.
This is the “Grand Design” of Stephen Hawkins, which on the first pages stated physics could not unify TD, relativity and QM. But add complex systems, Least energy, structure/function investigations of our nervous systems, & comparison processing, plus all of the methods which can be created with those, and we have unified models of most everything which become possible.
Thus, the Complex system of the Second Law. A basic outline of converting physics to complex system methods. And it works, too. When we have universal processors, we can create a unified model of most everything. that’s what’s going on now in complex systems work, which my work markedly advances.
These methods are so effective they can generate maths and most all languages, showing how each of those are least energy forms, as well. They grow naturally because LE creates a profit, an energy and materials surplus which when fed back into the system creates growth. PLUS stability, efficiencies, and repeatedly so. It’s often compound interest. The more an efficient system is used, the more it saves, and profits. Thus avalanches are least energy driven S-curves of growth. This math model comes RIGHT out of Whitehead’s Process thinking. & thus most all least energy systems show S-curve growths. That very method shows how descriptions can be converted to math, thus creating experimental mathematics, the veriest roots of creativity. My systems show the wellsprings of creativity, as well.
& these methods are applicable to most every field, including the arts, sciences, sports, and virtually everything else, but not quite everything. There are unlikely to be complete methods, because incompleteness of our models of description would require perfect thermodynamics efficiencies, and those are NOT possible. But we can always get closer…. grin.
Mendeleev’s Periodic Chart, a Newer Understanding of its Creation
Glenn Seaborg ran the show there in Berkeley to synthesize new elements above Plutonium. Later the Russkis got into the act and found quite a few more at Serpukhov.
But the REAL omission was the fact that Mendeleev, a fine, 19th C. Russian scientist, found that there were patterns among the elements, the alkali metals series, the halogens, and then the beryllium series and so forth.
It was the recognition which led to the finding of the bonding characteristics which led direction to modern chemistry. An alkali metal atom most always combines with a single halogen atom, and so forth. Then came the beryllium series, and the finding that 2 H combined with 1 oxygen, H2O, and that 2 O’s combined with 1 C, for CO2.
These observed regularities are important mostly because they show HOW and why our nervous systems use similarities and relationships from same to understand what’s going on.
That’s the very much deeper insight into how the Periodic Chart was found and its huge influence on the development of chemistry via bonding. Also, the finding of other similarities, as in the ferrous metals, the Ni, Pd, Pt catalyzing group and so forth. Not to ignore the Noble gasses. It allows us to see inside the brain/mind of our creative persons, and what’s happening there which creates creativity. It’s a deeper insight into creativity and how it arises.
But, the point is also that the method showed there were gaps in our knowledge of all of those elements, and as each was found, it added to our knowledge. It Predicted, and thus was a fruitful model of the atoms & elements, as well. And it efficiently showed how the atoms were related to each other.
Thus it’s a model, too, of how our brains/minds work. And that is a very interesting set of findings in and of itself. How we understand understanding is at least as important as the models we create, because if we can do that, then we will better understand what goes on in brain to understand most everything. Which again can be fruitful, lead to better models of the universe, and generally, benefit us with much greater understanding.
Mount Whitney & It’s Relationship to Death Valley
Let’s not be picuyune, There is a VERY important reason why in California Mt. Whitney and Death Valley, the highest and lowest sites in the Lower 48 are there.
Whitney rose up because of block faulting, where the valleys on the eastern side of the Sierra are lower, because Mt. Whitney rose up.
Over in Death Valley, the Panamint Mts. rose up, and Death Valley dropped. Same is true of Mt. Jacinto (12K feet high) West of Palm Springs, which is BELOW sea level for the same, fault/block, slip reason. See how the repeating, observed, geological events keep being seen? & both places are hot because they are lower.
It’s a kind of relationship in the topic, unconsciously, but interestingly pointed out to us. A lovely topic, in fact. Deliciously fertile and elegant.
Plate tectonics, in Action!!! A complex system model of interacting plates, Worldwide, which is descriptive only as complex systems are VERY hard to predict outcomes (earthquake, or volcanic eruption predictions), OR describe/model using math. But we CAN cartoon them as process thinking and imaging. Process thinking of Whitehead to be specific. AKA visual thinking, or visualizing. Very hard for AI to duplicate, but which we humans perform with marvelous facilities and ease.
As Ulam stated, Math must advance greatly before it can well describe complex systems. Stated during his work on such systems, with Fermi and Pasta 50 years ago.
Everything is related, we see, to all else in our universe. and our brains know this, because it’s built in to us to see those relationships. And from relationships, in a relativistic, Einsteinian sort of epistemological way, we can create our vast understandings of how events in our universe work.
Simple, elegant, and highly fruitful and creative. All this from Mt. Whitney and Death Valley, you see? Jas. Burke, “Connections”, another fine example of most all of this.