system: combination of components can form a more complex organization, that can be termed a system. E.g. of biological systems: cells > organism > ecosystem. To understand how biological systems work, it is not enough to have a complete “parts” list.
emergent properties of systems: with each upward step in the hierarchy of biological order, novel proerties emerge that are not present in the level just below. They are due to the arrangement and interaction of parts as complexity increases. E.g. thoughts, memories are emergent properties of a complex network of nerve cells.
reducing complex systems to simpler components that are manageable to study (horseapples: I say) The dillema of understanding biological breaks down thusly:
1. We cannot fully explain a higher level of order by breaking it down into its parts
2. Something as complex as organisms and /or cells cannot be analyzed without observing them take their own selves apart.