At the less complex levels of the hierarchy, each unit develops and maintains its own integrity while participating in the generation of a higher level of function or behavior. The lower levels of hierarchy forfeit some of their autonomy to the next higher level which then has the responsibility of coordinating the activities of the lower level.3
A vast inorganic hierarchy also is apparent and is comprised of structures of increasing complexity, including quarks, electrons, atoms and molecules, each generating the next higher order and each coordinating the activities of the lower. These inorganic molecules somewhere along the way apparently transmuted into organic ones, which then led to the formation of macromolecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems and higher life forms. Each of us inhabits a body that is hierarchically constructed.4
The upward evolution of hierarchy seems to have been instituted from the top down, rather than from the bottom up, requiring a more complex source of information guiding the drive upward to higher and higher states of complexity.5
A great deal of scientific research is being compiled which illustrates how intelligence permeates all levels of complexity within lifeforms, and has led to the synthesis of General Systems Theory as well as the principle of hierarchization. An immense amount of communication is continuously taking place within all living organisms on a molecular level. The ability to communicate in any form implies the presence of intelligence. Presented below are examples of communication that occur between the central nervous system (CNS), the immune system, endocrine system and autonomic nervous system, all of which is accomplished via neuropeptide molecules. The limbic system within the CNS also has been found to generate feelings, which are transmitted by the same neuropeptide messenger molecules.
The elaborate connection between the CNS and the immune system has been studied by many and is gradually becoming increasingly understood.
Candace Pert has acknowledged the link between the nervous and immune systems. It has been found that the immune system is engaged in communications and a form of cognition. Neuropeptides originating in the CNS appear to direct the movement of components of the immune system such as the monocytes, which are directly involved in tissue repair. Monocytes manufacture collagen, recognize and eliminate foreign bodies and communicate with B- and T-cells within the immune system. It has also been found that the monocytes which are manufactured in bone marrow can become glial cells in the brain. So far, well over fifty neuropeptides have been discovered that act as communicating molecules between the CNS and the immune system in a bi-directional information network.6
The immune system also is beginning to appear to be a liquid sensory-motor organ under control of the CNS. It seems to be influenced by both positive and negative emotions. Positive feelings tend to facilitate the actions of the immune system and negative feelings suppress it. Norepinephrine is released during the experiencing of negative emotions and has been shown to suppress immune function. Men whose wives are dying of cancer have decreased levels of lymphocytes, which are those cells critical to the immune system's ability to fight off disease. Both nerve cells and lymphocytes have been found to possess identical receptor sites for certain chemicals, thus providing a communications link between the CNS and immune system.7
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