Metafizyka w ekologii? Ekosystem jako Złożony System Adaptacyjny
Keywordsevolution, origins of life, Newtonian laws, natural selection, indeterminism, biosphere, biodiversity, process ecology
Metaphysics in ecology? Ecosystem as a Complex Adaptive System
The metaphysical exploration regarding the origin and evolution of life is also present in ecology, however, does not refer to individual organisms, but entire ecological systems, such as ecosystems and the biosphere. Ecosystem (the biosphere) can be considered as a Complex Adaptive System, consisted of numerous, diverse, and autonomous entities, connected by a dense network of interactions. The essential feature of complex systems is the ability to learn and to self-organization, which is a result of adaptation to changes in the environment. Understanding the ecosystem structure and functioning as well as pathways of its evolution is one of the greatest challenges of modern ecology. Ecological studies are often dominated by the reductionist approach, whereby all aspects of life can be explained by physical, chemical, or molecular processes. However, studies on complex systems has shown that the rules describing these systems can not be derived from the basic principles; their behavior defies the basic laws of physics, and in fact is very difficult to predict. Moreover, some aspects of ecology related to the dynamics of living systems violate all the postulates of Newton. Interactions between particular components of a complex ecological systems are asymmetrical, casual, indeterminate, and non-linear. The evolution of the ecosystem can be explained by process ecology that reflects the natural tendency to self-organization of the complex system. The unpredictability of the behavior of complex systems and the inability to provide all the complex ecological processes within the framework of Newtonian dynamics has created a new space in the world that has so far appeared as closed, atomistic and determined. The space in which the reunion between science and faith is becoming increasingly possible.
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