Biomimetics as a metamodel

Pere Monras


Why this theme?

The deepest significance is found in the exact two words, which are well intertwined in their meaning.

The etymological origins of the biomimetic word refer to “imitate life”. Therefore, this word implies the concept that life has many aspects to be discovered and more than 3,800 million years that it shows them. Little by little, we have studied the origin of life on the planet. Evolution allows prokaryotic cells hybridization which generates the cellular unit called eukaryotic. A subsequent and fundamental step has provided these cells with the ability to interact among them, therefore making possible the evolution towards multicellular organisms. These organisms, through differentiation processes and through many errors, failed attempts and extinctions events, developed the different plant species, later the animals and, very recently, the species of hominids. Around 200,000 years ago these hominids species have been reduced to the Sapiens, the species we belong to in our entire diversity.

In its widest sense, nature, after about four billion years of existence has resulted in human life as we know it. Based on this scale-time, we are a new born species. Although, we show morphological diversity, we can say that we share the same fractal pattern. In other words, we all have the same organic functions expressed with similar intensity depending on the interaction between the genes that we have received and the surrounding conditions associated to them.

On the other hand, the second word, metamodel, is described as follows:

“Systematic series of questions that allow the collection of information that makes good linguistic communication possible, with particular emphasis on experiences, while studying the mental representations of the initial sensations that have given rise to a specific verbal expression.”

We could find additional expressions and connotations in the Jorge Wagensberg Meta-Theme concept or the Noam Chomsky NLP. Thanks to another scientific point of view we can talk about paradigm changes (Thomas Khunn).

This concept, and in a broad sense each paradigm, refers to a theory or a set of theories that serve as a model to solve problems or situations. Synonyms of paradigm would be: model, pattern, example, mold, ideal, as well as canon, norm or rule.

Keeping in mind what we have said, we can affirm that in the current evolutionary moment of planet Earth (Gaia), life is undergoing toward a paradigm shift and needs a metamodel that drive it to find answers to the progressive unsustainability associated to the dominant influence of the Sapiens species.

We have to assume and accept that human action has seriously altered the habitability of the planet, having entered into excessive consumption related to a massive extractive policies that have exhausted natural resources.

Everything we have done, and what we are doing, must be reviewed critically. We need to be aware that the way we have done things so far has no other destination than the vital failure. The paradox is that, although individually life is increasingly durable, we increasingly approach the end of the species.




  We have gained a lot of comfort taking advantage from nature and its resources, but we have not been wise enough to take care of the basic elements that make life possible: it is the contradiction that promotes our mental state. The rationalism and materialism that is derived from it are sinful of pride and arrogance. Our apparent well-being is based on an intolerable general egoism that makes life sustainable on the planet. Have we time to correct what we do and how do we do it? It is not necessary to measure the time left, it is enough to know that, whatever it is, it is necessary to stop this process and reverse our current life models to recover the evolutionary sense, based on different foundations. Principles such as the cohesion of the species, reconciliation and connection with everything we do -but we do not want to see-, understand that the path of “having” is a path of frustration and, ultimately, recognize that it is more important and more meaningful to develop himself than to “eat”, to “be” more than to “have”. We need to conceive a metamodel characterised by meta themes about what we do. We must generate a paradigm shift in two main axes and combine them in a single entity:

  • Maximum respect for nature in each and every one of its vital manifestations, aiming to learn from it.
  • Respecting ourselves, as we are, to use the vital intelligence potential that is evident in this new era where the deployment of the sciences and their technological applications must be accompanied by the human factor - without contradicting the social base consciousness of human life-. Without human interaction we will remain increasingly alienated.

We are the problem and the solution at the same time. If we do it right, Gaia will recognize us and we will meet again our status of hominids. Otherwise, different life form will occupy our place. Nature has many answers waiting for questions (Jorge Wagensberg)