We generally think of a whole animal (human included) in terms of its size, shape, covering (skin, fur, scales), and behavior. (Ignore a variable amount of fat for the sake of simplification.)These are basically determined by bone (skeletal structure), muscle mass, skin covering, and nervous system (brain, nerves, etc.). Each of these are comprised of living cells (bone cells, muscle cells, skin/endodermis cells, and nerve cells) cells continually regenerating the skeletal/muscular systems, nervous system and covering) — living cells that have the constant requirements noted above.
What about all the internal organs: digestive system, respiratory (breathing) system , excretory (urinary) system, and circulatory system (heart, arteries and veins) etc.??
The concept to convey is that all the internal organs basically serve to maintain and nurture the cells of the rest of the body and themselves. As you address each of the internal organs and systems, have kids observe, reflect on, and discuss how they work together to maintain and nurture all the cells of the bo i.e. bone, muscle, nerves/brain, and covering and also the cells of which they themselves are made. The following video can be used as a gateway to this discussion.
In other words, physiologically, the whole body (human or any other animal) can be visualized as an infinitely complex, integrated system of cells nurturing, maintaining, and replicating themselves.
But here is a case where the whole adds up to more than the sum of parts. When we get to the whole animal, particularly a human, we introduce phenomenal intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual attributes and possibilities.
Conclude this with a discussion of the hierarchy of matter presented in the next section.
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