The process of self-destruction of the cells in the living organism.
Apoptosis is a very general process, active even at the embryological level, where it seems to be important for the progressive construction of the definitive form of the living being.
Every biological element or individual appears to include some timer device. The ways of apoptosis are becoming better known, but its deeper cause or causes remain obscure.
Its relation to autopoiesis as well as to ageing should also be researched more thoroughly.
This biological process discovered quite recently seems to imply a more general systemic meaning. It could mean that the need for the system to self-reproduce at its level of complexity corresponds necessarily to a longer life time dimension which is out of reach of its elements. This would be more generally an expanding time dimension of complexity
Human societies, for example, considerably supersede the living limits of their individual components, whose ageing seems to be commanded by some biological clock, i.e. a timer.
(For more on biological apoptosis, see "Science", Special issue, 281, nr.5381, 1998).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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