(iZone) Computer Science in Science PD: Introduction to Complex Adaptive Systems #4

The 7th grade unit on the human body reminds me of this topic. All organelles must work together to maintain homeostasis, as well as all of the organ systems working together to maintain homeostasis. If one body system is compromised the other body systems must work harder.

In teaching Weather systems, I like to identify properties of fronts and pressure systems before having students create news copy and mock weathercast.

This is in response to greg_sciame’s post of the TED talks video.
Great video! I have also seen some science articles describing how scientists are using nature as inspiration for advanced technology (studying how snakes move to create robots that can move over uneven terrain, using the physical structure of gecko feet to develop robots that can scale verticals) and am amazed by how efficiently the natural world works as well as our ability to figure out those innate rules and program that into non-living things.

I would say and agree with others that Body systems are adaptive systems. I was thinking that the behavior -for social and survival purposes- of some animals are also some examples. Animals such as elephants, ants and some kinds of butterflies.

Climate science is incredibly complex and adaptive. Not only does the system itself change constantly, how people react and how society develops around it is incredibly adaptive as well.

Two things tat I teach that are complex systems are the human body and the weather (cloud formation.)
They both have individual parts that act together to form whole systems. They are nonl-linear. They can also adapt to change.

So many things can fall under the definition of a complex system. In Earth Science, there is weather, climate, plate tectonics, the water cycle and so much more.

1- Populations within an ecosystem - say a lake.
2- A virus mutates and enters the human population from an animal vector.

Complex Adaptive Systems remind me of Ecology. The interactions between biotic and abiotic factors in the ecosystems foster balance. Any disturbance in the ecosystem can result in extinction of organisms that are not able to adapt. For example, change in weather patterns and climate (drought, floods, temperature change) , natural catastrophic events such as volcanoes, earthquake, etc. However, over time balance is usually restored in the ecosystems (ecological succession). Human activities today have become one of the main reasons for disturbances in our current ecosystems. Will balance return over time?

HI, i am Pauline.I am a middle school teacher of science, and have been for the last fourteen years. I serve the children of Bronx in New York. I would like to support your suggestion that how the body works is an excellent example of complex adaptive characteristics. I would further add the example of the behavior of hormones in binding to specific sites. Amanda also mentioned how the body sytems interact to maintain homeostasis.

Convection currents in the mantle is an example of a complex adaptive system. Heat will rise while cold will sink to balance out and consequentially forming a pattern.

Hi diamoroso2, I agree that Earth science contains many topics that explain complex adaptive systems. I went into more detail and mentioned convection currents in my reply.

This is what came to my mind, too, because all the organelles have specific jobs to do. They work together to make the cell, and organism, function.

Human body systems can be an example of complex adaptive system.

As a middle school technology teacher, I think of the vastness of the internet as a complex adaptive system. Finding relevant information and teaching students about digital literacy are topics that come to my mind.

The food chain as well as population growth are two subject areas we discuss in class that came to mind initially while watching this video.

Other examples of a complex adaptive system are:
The behavior of molecules in states of matter, during heat transfer, and during chemical reactions
The behavior of planets, stars, and other objects in space

I agree with you that populations within an ecosystem such as a lake is a good example of Complex Adaptive System. I would add that not only the population in that lake, are good examples but interactions between the abiotic factors such as the sun, water, oxygen, etc. and the biotic factors you mentioned (populations/communities) in the ecosystem.

I think plate tectonics can fit into this system since the motion of the plates is in response to internal patterns in Earth’s mantle.

The formation of a hurricane reminds of me of a complex adaptive system.