Last night I fell asleep while binge-watching Farscape on Netflix. This morning, when I opened my browser to see the last thing I remembered watching, it was set to continue watching season four, episode 4, “Lava’s a Many Splendored Thing.” Even though that was the last thing playing when I fell asleep, there could have been any number of scenes, episodes, or specific dialogue that triggered this question in my mind, “Are the petals on a flower redundant or necessary?” I thought this was a funny kind of question. It made me think about the human body and life’s redundancies.
Life, in general, has built-in redundancies. That is to say, body parts and organs sometimes come in pairs. I’m not an expert on anatomy but my best guess is that there are spare-parts (redundant organs) that create a solution for a just-in-case-scenario. For instance, just in case you break your left leg, the right leg still works and you can keep you mobile. If you lose your left hand, you still have the right one to help with activities of daily living, and so on.
Inside the human body there seems to be this same type of fail-safe. For example, if something happens to one of your lungs, you have another available. A woman with one ovary can still produce a child with a man who has one testicle. People have been known to live a full-life with one kidney, even though it may be a more complicated one. Humans have one head, heart, and stomach. If any of these are rendered inoperable then death is eminent.
So, “Are the petals on a flower redundant or necessary?”