Emergent Properties

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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in this video, we're going to introduce emergent properties and so, emergent properties as their name implies, our properties that emerge or arise upon combining smaller parts together. However, the individual, smaller parts when they are separate do not display the emergent property. It's only when those individual smaller parts are combined, that the emergent property arises. Now, emergent properties are incredibly relevant to life's organizational hierarchy that we covered in our previous lesson videos. And this is because at each new level of the hierarchy, there is going to be an emergent property that arises. And so the whole is going to be greater then the sum of its parts. And really this is another way to explain emergent properties, combining smaller parts together allows for a new emergent property to arise in the hole. And so the whole will be greater than the individual sum of the parts. And so, to get a better understanding of emergent properties, let's take a look at our image down below. And what you'll notice is the top half of the image here is showing you uh an example of an emergent property. And so notice over here on the left hand side, we're showing you these bicycle parts where you have a tire and uh pedals and a chain and the bars that go along with a bicycle and notice that all of these parts are separate from one another. So these are individual, separate bike parts. Now, these individual separate bike parts do not allow for transportation, there's no way that you could uh go very far with these separate individual bike parts. However, when you combine those separate individual bike parts together in a very specific and proper way, then you can create a bicycle that allows for transportation efficiently. And so transportation was not available with these individual separate bike parts. However, transportation is available when you combine these individual parts together and sew transportation here, for that reason is an example of an emergent property in that example. Now, in a very similar way, if we look at the bottom half, you can see how these emergent properties also apply to life's organizational hierarchy. And so notice on the left hand side, uh we have an example, we have these separate individual organelles or organs of cells, such as for example, the Golgi apparatus and the mitochondria. And so these separate individual organelles are not alive. There's no life here because these separate individual organelles do not display all of the characteristics of life. However, when you combine all of the organelles that are necessary in a very specific way, uh similar to how we combined all of the bike parts in a very specific way, uh an emergent property arises of life. And so here, what we're showing you is a cell that contains all of the necessary organelles uh that allow for life. And so life here in this example is an emergent property that arose again, uh moving forward in life's organizational hierarchy to a larger scale. And so again, emergent properties arise at every single level of the scale as you increase uh in that hierarchy. And so this here concludes our brief lesson on emergent properties, and we'll be able to get some practice applying these concepts as we move forward. So I'll see you all in our next video.