Science and Mathematics Faculty Presentations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Baraminology Study Group Conference


Bryan College, Dayton, TN


Due to the complexity of biological systems it is not possible to capture the richness of their interactions by purely studying the individual parts. Only a subset of all possible interactions between individual parts results in functional behavior. This restriction of functional possibilities is sometimes described as an emergent property of the system and emphasizes a holistic approach to the study of biological systems.

By using concepts from systems theory a systemic approach to modeling biological systems is possible. This approach is currently used successfully in such areas as niche theory and organism biology. This presentation looks at a framework for modeling biological systems as Complex Functional Units (CFU’s). With this level of abstraction it is possible to model systems from intracellular processes to ecological environments.

Focusing on the number and quality of interactions between CFU’s it is possible to determine criteria for the interchangeability of CFU’s with similar functionality, but different implementation. Adaptability of CFU’s to changing conditions can also be studied to evaluate possible limits to variation.

In order to demonstrate the applicability of CFU’s to biology, several examples will be presented. The first is a comparison of C3 and C4 photosynthetic processes. Both perform similar functions, but have differences in their implementation. Modeled as CFU’s the degree of difference in implementation will be evaluated and applied to C3−C4 intermediates. The second example looks at immunology in light of CFU’s. This is a preliminary exploration with the goal of evaluating the benefit of a more detailed study in the future.


Creation, creation science, baraminology



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