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Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

Nice debate on complexity. I always thought about complexity as a
measure given by the number of parts and relations between them in a
system. We seem to be more complex than other life forms in our number
of different nervous responses, and under such consideration, also
would be other mammals with respect to non-mammals in general.
Although, nobody tries to measure it for the perceivable difficulty of
so doing. I am less sure about seeing some increase of complexity in
the anatomy of a mammal compared with that of other tetrapods, and
perhaps vertebrates.
On a functional level, there is other general definition from the
sciences of complexity, made popular by Chrichton in "The Lost World",
but also supported by my youth hero Stuart Kauffman: a system
functioning between chaotic and ordered behaviours (both
deterministic). This has nothing to do with counting parts and
relationships, and may not be strictly measurable. We are as complex
as a bacteria if both operate in the same deterministic regime.
Indeed, if there is some general dynamics or arrangement that confer
complexity, the way we want to functionally define it, it may be the
same at different organization levels (and these similar properties
are what theorists "of all" look for), and thus defining which one is
more complex, if a mammal or a bacteria, would be a futile exercise,
whatever the number of parts and accessory relationships present in
the former.
Regarding energy flow rates, we should remember ectothermic/
heterothermic insects perform a larger share of it than us
vertebrates. It is also related to absolute mass of the individual and
also abundance of the species. And, in the case of the humankind, on
the policies regarding consumerism.