3
$\begingroup$

This question already has an answer here:

Can somebody provide a definition of complexity in the context of biology?

Is it something of a personal opinion on the side of the user to decide precisely what s/he means by using the word complexity or is there something all biologists can agree upon? Is there any "standard" for the use of the term complexity or is such standard simply unattainable in our current level of knowledge and/or understanding of the living world?

To the moderator-I want to know What is complexity in biology? in GENERAL, not only in the specific example of measuring it for an individual. One can argue complexity can be used to compare and even to "cast a vote" about the superiority or inferiority of many objects of study in biology, not just individual organisms. What about the complexity of an ecosystem, of a particular organ, of the interactions of macromolecules and so on. Are they not legitimate instances when the term complexity can be used without inferring to its meaning? This is the purpose of my question, not to merely measure the complexity of an individual. This is why I don't think it's duplicate of the question you mentioned. How is my reply?

$\endgroup$

marked as duplicate by AliceD, another 'Homo sapien', Remi.b, mgkrebbs, Bryan Krause Mar 10 '17 at 21:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Biology is a broad subject. You probably need to be more specific for useful answers. What subjects of biology are you interested in? In loose terms, relative complexity is often used (something is more complex than something else), but clear definitions (where there are any) are likely to be sub-field dependent. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 10 '17 at 14:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RozennKeribin To me, this question seems broader, so I don't think it is a duplicate (it might be too broad though). $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 10 '17 at 15:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As I mentioned above, I think you need to narrow down the answer set. Otherwise the question is too broad/vague. Complexity is just a word, and it is used differently in different areas of biology. Therefore, there doesn't exist a single definition, and a question such as "What is complexity in biology?" is too broad to be covered in the SE-format. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 10 '17 at 15:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is known as complexity in biology. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Mar 10 '17 at 18:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this question is a duplicate, but the answer seems trivial: there isn't a single definition of complexity. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 10 '17 at 20:39