Development Sequence
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From a system view, dependent human cells and organisms both follow the same creation-development sequence. The biggest difference between them is that while both are genetically-driven based on fixed genes, organism development also includes external environment-driven learning based on variable memes.


Timing of Development
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From an evolutionary view, living system improvement is continually taking place at the species level, through natural selection. Within that framework, each living system instance contributes to species improvement, based on its unique design variations and developmental responses to environmental conditions.
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 Living Systems are Always Under Development. 
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Development of a living system instance may take on different forms at different stages of a its life-cycle. Initial physical growth may take place after creation but before birth, in the protective environment of an egg or womb. In higher-level organisms, important governance mechanism development takes place after birth, during physical growth, and societal development continues as they mature and age.
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Basic Human Development Sequence
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A dependent human cell has a relatively simple development sequence. Work specialization takes place as a new cell migrates to a particular organ of its higher-level organism. During this process, specific genes are selectively switched on or off to create the specialized capabilities required for its functional integration into that organ. Once it begins operation, the individual cell's basic structure is fixed for the remainder of its life-span, although synaptic changes may occur in nerve cells.
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A dependent human organism has a more flexible and complex development sequence. Initial work specialization usually takes place through formal education and on-the-job training. During this process a person's specific skills and knowledge bases are developed within his physical structure and the governance mechanism that allows him to participate in a particular kind of work. Some people continue to apply these original skills throughout their working life, while others undergo additional development, with transition to new kinds of work in different organizations. In any case, development must always precede operational use of an ability, but units of development-usage may occur incrementally during a human's life-span.
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The following table compares the general development sequences for dependent human cells and organisms:
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Development Sequence
Dependent Cell
Dependent Organism
Initiation
DNA replication
fertilization of oocyte
Initial Physical Construction
physical replication within cell
gestation in egg or womb
Birth
cytokinesis
expulsion
Childhood
n/a
growth & meme-imprinting
Work Specialization
gene-switching on/off
meme-programming
Operation
work & self-maintenance
work & self-maintenance
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Note: Genes and memes are discussed later in Genes, Memes and Culture.
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Externally-Controlled Development
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While the development of a dependent cell proceeds in a linear sequence of steps, an organism's life after birth is often more complicated. For a complex organism such as a human, this may involve both social and occupational changes. A person may move from a small rural town to a large city, or emigrate to a new country, requiring quick adoption of a different culture and training for a new job market. Within a nation, the best job market opportunities may have moved in a new direction, requiring substantial re-education for a new career. Either through desire for self-advancement or job market forces, most people undergo some kinds of additional development throughout their adult life.
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These adult organism-level changes can be viewed as responses either to changes in a living system's internal condition (ailments, injury, aging, etc.) or to changes in the environment that is provided within its superorganism. In either case, development actions of the adult organism are either constrained by or driven by conditions in its own external world.
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As the provider for most of the conditions in its component organisms' external world, a superorganism regulates the state of its own internal structure to maintain homeostasis as it grows and as its own external environment changes. The superorganism responds both to take advantage of opportunities for improvement of its condition, and to mobilize against threats of any kind. Although its overall time scale is longer and its reaction time far slower than that those of its component organisms, such higher-level actions will periodically impact the internal environment within which they live and the work they perform.
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To survive its own external environmental changes, the superorganism must maintain its internal environment within certain limits. Those internal conditions must allow its component organisms to collectively continue working to produce its higher-level life functions, while performing the self-maintenance necessary for their own survival. But sometimes actions by the superorganism may require individual sacrifices at the organism level for the "good of the whole."
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In time of war, many component organisms may become casualties for the sake of the nation. In times of national disaster, where the superorganism is wounded, it may not be possible to protect or care for every affected component organism while attending to its other homeostatic demands. In times of national financial crisis, the superorganism may not be able to protect all of its individual organization units and the jobs they provide for its component organisms.


The next section Superorganism Development takes a closer look at markets, and their affect on the lives of their members.


©1995-2012 Ackley Associates   Last revised: 7/20/11
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