Emergence...

I was reading Wikipedia today and was enjoying re-reading some of the definition-material on "emergence," and how it relates to all of these conversations about God, church and culture. Really fascinating, the way almost everything we talk about and write about falls under the umbrella of Organic Evolution, natural organisms developing based on the environmental factors around them. Whatever "Emergent" looks like now, it doesn't have to look like that everywhere. And certainly not for any prescribed period of time. Not even a generation. The only errors we can make in the process of ecclesiological evolution are (a) not praying and listening for the Holy Spirit, and (b) refusing to continue evolving...

In philosophy, systems theory and the sciences, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions...

...Merely having a large number of interactions is not enough by itself to guarantee emergent behaviour; many of the interactions may be negligible or irrelevant, or may cancel each other out. In some cases, a large number of interactions can in fact work against the emergence of interesting behaviour, by creating a lot of "noise" to drown out any emerging "signal"; the emergent behaviour may need to be temporarily isolated from other interactions before it reaches enough critical mass to be self-supporting. Thus it is not just the sheer number of connections between components which encourages emergence; it is also how these connections are organized. A hierarchical organization is one example that can generate emergent behaviour (a bureaucracy may behave in a way quite different from that of the individual humans in that bureaucracy); but perhaps more interestingly, emergent behaviour can also arise from more decentralized organisational structures, such as a marketplace. In some cases, the system has to reach a combined threshold of diversity, organization, and connectivity before emergent behaviour appears.
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Systems with emergent properties or emergent structures may appear to defy entropic principles and the second law of thermodynamics, because they form and increase order despite the lack of command and central control. This is possible because open systems can extract information and order out of the environment.

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