In other words, for a system or structure to maintain its integrity as it becomes more complex, it must become more unified — each part of the system must work together with a large number of other parts, and together with the system as a whole.

But it is, perhaps, predictable that scientists have tried to characterize the advance of evolution as simply an increase in complexity because their primary tool is analysis. Science goes about understanding the complex world by breaking it down into its parts, by analyzing a system through its components. Science is good at recognizing and analyzing complexity, so it naturally sees complexity as “the fundamental principle of the development of pattern.” But science is not as good at recognizing unity as it is at recognizing complexity. And this is because recognizing unity is primarily the job of art, and not the job of science.

This passage comes from this essay on Natural Theology by Steve McIntosh. The flower photograph above come from Nick Knight’s Instagram feed.

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