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The concept of a hierarchy of biological organization.Biological organization is characteristically hierarchical and there is a constant inter play between events at different levels. This

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c The concept of a hierarchy of biological organization. Biological organization is characteristically hierarchical and there is a constant inter play between events at different levels. This interplay extends from the events that happen very slowly at the scale of the ecosystems down to the most rapid events operating at the scale of cells and macromolecules. I will try to explain each organizational level starting from the smallest unit. It is easy for one to understand that the cell is the smallest and ultimate unit of living matter, bounded by membrane. However before getting to the cell, there are the sub-atomic particles. These include Electrons, Protons and Neutrons. Protons and neutrons are in the atomic nucleus. Protons have a positive electrical charge, neutrons have no charge. Electrons occur in only certain energy levels or shells and only so many electrons can occupy each energy level. It is important to note that electrons can carry and release energy. Another example of another subatomic particle is the photon. The next level is the Atom. Atoms are the smallest unit of matter that has the chemical properties of a particular element. In other words, they have the same atomic number. Atoms of an element have the same number of protons and electrons but two atoms of the same element may differ in terms of the number of neutrons. ...read more.


However, the author was writing about emergence. He defined the concept of emergence as "much coming from little". I understood from that book that emergent phenomena can be seen as the result of small elements working together to produce a unified whole. The nucleotides in DNA are such elements. Each is very simple, yet when combined, they can create something which is truly more than the sum of its parts. The cell, which is the smallest organizational unit that has the ability to survive and reproduce on its own can only do so if given DNA instructions, building blocks, energy inputs, and suitable conditions. The behavior of living organism as an integrated whole cannot be understood from the study of its parts alone. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. The essential properties of an organism, or living system, are properties of the whole, which none of the parts have. They arise from the interactions and relationships among the parts. These properties are destroyed when the system is dissected, either physically ore theoretically into isolated elements. Although we can discern individual parts in a system, these parts are not isolated, and the nature of the whole is always different from the mere sum of its The differences between living and nonliving things. ...read more.


Biologically, it would mean having organic life. Orgasmic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, reproduction and adaptation to environment. Fire does not have a cellular structure, although it has many characteristics of living organism. As living organisms need food, water and oxygen to survive, fire also need food (fuel source) and oxygen. Instead of water, it needs heat. There also has to be a chemical reaction which causes combustion. It can grow from small fire to large fire depending on the environment. In the state of Arizona, the dry grasses in the desert can be considered a good environment for small fire to adapt and survive for a long period of time. However this is not enough to conclude that fire is alive. Knowing the definition of alive, and some of the characteristics fire have, it is no wonder our parents used to tell us not to play with fire. They used to tell us that fire has a personality. It can take on a life of its own. They are sneaky and quite dangerous. A fire will run from you, sometimes it will try to arc over your head and get between you and the exit; it will draw back from you and then charge towards you. I know I have always took the advice, but little did I know all the characteristics at the time. ...read more.

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