Birdsongs are neurotransmitters, in that they are the signal that periodically emanates from the bird to indicate that birds' particular state of mind and body. The signals from each bird inform several birds in the surrounding area of the presence of each, of its physical location, and, they inform about its relative state of health, whether it is weak and tired, or strong and healthy.

This information, received by each member of the community, helps each adjust their own position in relation to the others. The individuals will tend to spread and arrange themselves in their environment in a way that produces the highest efficiency in utilization of resources. In a given enviornment, there will not be many examples of overexploited resources in one area while another area remains under-utilized. That is inefficient. (Inefficient at transforming some of the environment into more examples of that kind of animal. For a give number of animals, the costs to the environment would be greater in an innefficient distribution. "Costs" here referes to the fact that greater numbers and greater varieties of kinds of living things would be stressed in an inefficient distribution.)

Information sharing among members of the community creates effectively one entity, so that it can be seen as a population of birds, of some particular kind of life, which, as a whole, interacts with its environment to perpetuate its own existance.

You could say that each molecule, each atom, is itself a neuron, in dynamic relationship with the others in its vicinity. Each affecting and being affected by the other. No matter what scale we choose to examine, we see the same thing, interacting entities which give rise (through their interaction) to meta-entities, which are themselves the basic entities in a still higher level of organization. Atoms interact to form molecules, which in turn interact to form living cells, which in turn organize and cooperate with one another and produce 'higher life forms', multi-celled organisms, which themselves can organize and cooperate to produce populations and societies.

John Champagne

© 1996

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