Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today's Word: Anastomosis

I have been busy with work - both the employment kind and the real kind - that is, stories and also Subsidiarity... and I know you are anxiously awaiting more about this topic. I'll give you a sample, just to keep you informed of my progress.

Here is a word - anastomosis - which comes out of the wonderful branch of biology called anatomy, but it is so much more important! Indeed, it is very high tech. We even use it at work to describe our intricate multi-path mechanisms for keeping watch over our machinery as it provides our services to our customers. And if you think about it a little, you will have a hint about where it applies to Subsidiarity.

(This is a draft of my "Glossary" entry from my forthcoming book on Subsidiarity.)
Anastomosis is the union or intercommunication of any system or network; in biology, it is such a union between hollow vessels such as blood vessels; also called inosculation. "This communication is very free between the large as well as the smaller branches. The anastomosis between trunks of equal size is found where great activity of the circulation is requisite, as in the brain and the abdomen. In the limbs the anastomoses are most numerous and of largest size around the joints, the branches of an artery above inosculating with branches from the vessels below; these anastomoses are of considerable interest to the surgeon, as it is by their enlargement that a collateral circulation [italics in original] is established after the application of a ligature for the cure of aneurism. The smaller branches of arteries anastomose more frequently than the larger, and between the smallest twigs these inosculations become so numerous as to constitute a close network [my italics] that pervades nearly every tissue of the body.
[See Gray's Anatomy, 474]
Perhaps it may seem funny for a guy with a doctorate in computer science to be reading anatomy texts. If I had my way, human anatomy, including the developmental aspects, would be required for degrees in computer science. After all, except for the Universe, what system is more complex than the human body? And Whose design is more beautiful, practical, efficient, clever, than God's? Why not learn the tricks of the best Designer of all?

(You look at it and say to yourself, how the heck does He get all that code in just 3 gigs of DNA? Highly parallel, too: some 100 tera-cells (1e14), or so I am told. It's mighty impressive.)


Post a Comment

<< Home