A complex adaptive system acquires information about its environment and its own interaction with that environment, identifying regularities in that information, condensing those regularities into a kind of "schema", or model, and acting in the real world on the basis of that schema.
"Because of the variables and the complexity of their interaction, the data assembled by descriptive musicology yield relatively few observable regularities."leonard b. meyer
[S]cientists are not robotic inducing machines that infer structures of explanation only from regularities observed in natural phenomena (assuming, as I doubt, that such a style of reasoning could ever achieve success in principle). Scientists are human beings, immersed in culture, and struggling with all the curious tools of inference that mind permits […]. Culture can potentiate as well as constrain as Darwin's translation of Adam Smith's laissez-faire economic models into biology as the theory of natural selection. In any case, objective minds do not exist outside culture, so we must make the best of our ineluctable embedding.stephen jay gould
All life on earth - everything from bacteria to mushrooms to hippos - shares an astonishing range of detailed biochemical similarities, including the structure of heredity in DNA and RNA , and the universal use of ATP as an energy-storing compound. Two possible scenarios, with markedly different implications for the nature of life, might explain these regularities: either all earthly life shares these features because no other chemistry can work, or these similarities only record the common descent of all organisms on earth from a single origin that happened to feature this chemistry as one possibility among many.stephen jay gould
[Critical social science attempts] to determine when theoretical statements grasp invariant regularities of social action as such and when they express ideologically frozen relations of dependence that can in principle be transformed.jürgen habermas
'System' is the concept that refers both to a complex of interdependencies between parts, components, and processes, that involves discernible regularities of relationships, and to a similar type of interdependency between such a complex and its surrounding environment.
For when man comes to front the everlasting God, and look the splendor of His judgments in the face, personal integrity, the dream of spotlessness and innocence, vanishes into thin air; your decencies and your church-goings and your regularities and your attachment to a correct school and party, your gospel formulas of sound doctrine what is all that, in front of the blaze of the wrath to come?
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