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Spontaneous Evolution - Learning From Our Cells

September 08, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

"You know, our cells just might be smarter than we are". Swami Beyondananda. "How can 50 trillion cells live in harmony and peace while a mere 7 billion people are on the verge of annihilating themselves?"

This is one of questions explored in the very interesting book I'm reading: 'Spontaneous Evolution' by Lipton and Bhaerman. They talk about the organizing principles responsible for the evolution of multi-cellular communities; their premise is that what works for the cell also works for the human, and what works for the human will also work for humanity.

The drive to higher efficiency and survivability led to the evolution of eukaryotic cells - communities of single prokaryotic cells. Over time, these evolved into close-knit cell colonies with individual cells performing essentially the same job.

As the population of these colonies exceeded a certain limit, it was no longer efficient for each cell to do the same job. Communal cells began to differentiate and specialize - delegating specific tasks to different cells.

Akin to craftsmen and their guilds, differentiated cells form tissues and organs whose products and services are required for the community's survival. For example, a cardiac muscle cell is a master of contraction - a process that is managed and driven by the many different organized guilds of cardiac cells that comprise the heart.

In exchange for their specialized cardio-vascular services, these cardiac cell guilds receive complementary services from other specialized cell guilds in the body - for example, nutrients from the digestive system, oxygen from the respiratory system, protection from the immune system, waste management through the excretory system and world news through the nervous system.

It's an important lesson: the success of these complex systems is a function of co-operation, not competition, among the cell guilds. The remarkable harmony displayed at the cellular level is the character that distinguishes successful cell communities from the current state of our human society. Each cell is an individual, yet they all behave and support one another.

A very interesting feature of the cell community is their equivalent of a monetary system. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) molecules are the currency of the cellular economy. Cells work to make ATP and expend ATP to do work.

Cells whose efforts are more vital get paid more ATP and may even be provided with cellular entourages that support their specialized functions. While cells are on different pay scales, every cell is provided with the basics of life: food, shelter, health care and protection.

Excess energy is stored in fact cells - the equivalent of regional and national banks. These reserves are available for the use of the entire community - at the behest of the body's government.

These reserves can be deployed anywhere within the system to build, upgrade, or repair the body's infrastructure. Cells, therefore, freely contribute to the efforts of the community without having to worry about where their next ATP paycheck will come from.

The human cellular organization has a R&D system that creates technology and manufactures biochemical equivalents of steel cables, plywood, circuitry and networks: an advanced environmental system for air and water purification; a superfast communication system right to the cell level; a criminal justice system that detains, rehabilitates and even assists in the suicide of destructive cells; full health care coverage and an immune system.

Will the Connected Age move towards true communities that collaborate will each other for the larger good? Will there be true interdependence as exemplified by our cellular communities? Do share your own thoughts and comments on this.

The New Constructs is an initiative to examine our beliefs and assumptions - about life and living - that we need to reinvent in order to create a more inclusive and sustainable world. It is an opportunity for each one of us to connect, collaborate and co-create the world that we will rebuild for posterity. Do post your own examples on the Wall.

Sudhakar Ram is Chairman and Co-Founder of IT solutions provider, Mastek. He believes that creating a sustainable world would require a shift in the "constructs" that drive our attitudes and actions.

Source: EzineArticles
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