It’s almost impossible to imagine biology without individuals — individual organisms, individual cells, and individual genes, for example. But what about a worker ant that never reproduces, and could never survive apart from the colony? Are the trillions of microorganisms in our microbiomes, which vastly outnumber our human cells, part of our individuality?
The authors of a work published in the journal Theory in Biosciences suggest that one way to solve the puzzle comes from information theory. Instead of focusing on anatomical traits, David Krakauer, Nils Bertschinger, Eckehard Olbrich, Jessica Flack, and Nihat Ay suggest that the individual must be seen as a verb: what processes produce distinct identity? The authors’ information theory of individuality (or ITI) indicate that individuality relates to a blend of self-regulation and environmental influence. (1)
We are all about processing.
And yet at the end, we end up being processed.
And this is what defines us.
That we are part of everything.
And we know it.
And we accept it.
And even though we may process information.
We choose not to.
And even though we could be apart from God.
We chose to return to Him…
And be able to process everything.
To know it all.
To control our self.
To live. To die.
To be human once more…