Emergent Properties of Individual Organisms

Christopher J. Paradise and A. Malcolm Campbell

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This book begins by describing what an individual organism is, comparing preconceptions of the individual to non-standard ways of thinking about individuals. Variation in what individuals are is described, using giant fungi, clonal trees and honey bee hives as examples. Individuals are thus shown to be emergent properties. Other emergent properties of individuals are also described. Classic experiments that elucidated the source of emotions in humans and other mammals are described. Emotions arise from the actions of the nervous and endocrine system and often include a variety of signals given to other individuals of the same or different species. In particular, this book focuses on fear and anger, two emotions that are closely related and often confused, but that have been well studied. In one final example of emergent properties of individuals, cooperative behavior is analyzed. The behaviors displayed by individuals that facilitate cooperation among individuals and why those individuals may actually cooperate instead of compete when acquiring resources or defending against predators are discussed.

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Christopher J. Paradise

Christopher J. Paradise is professor of biology and environmental studies at Davidson College. He teaches introductory biology, ecology, entomology, and topical seminars on ecotoxicology and renewable natural resources. He also occasionally leads a study abroad program in India.  His research evaluates anthropogenic factors that influence insect biodiversity at a variety of scales.  His current research interests include effects of land use patterns on pollinator communities in parks.

A. Malcolm Campbell

A. Malcolm Campbell teaches biology at Davidson College, NC. He received national and international education awards: Genetics Society of America (2013); American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012); and American Society for Cell Biology (2006). He was the founding co-editor in chief of CBE Life Sciences Education; founding director of Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT); and member of the American Society for Cell Biology governing council (2012–2014).