In many ways much of the progress in science has involved taking something complicated — a cell, a machine, an organization — and breaking it down to understand its basic building blocks and how they work together. But what if an understanding of the parts (neurons in the brain, for example) does not lead to an understanding of the whole (human consciousness)? What if knowledge of an object didn’t come from an understanding of its parts but from an understanding of the connections among its parts? What if the object at hand is not just complicated but complex?
McCormick is published by the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, for its alumni and friends.
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