We now have the concept of design genes controlling the development of the organism and the theory of tropism from nature and its potential application in the Blind Watchmaker.

If tropism is a response to a stimulus, can we use design genes as the basis for this response? And in particular, growth towards a support.

In engineering applications supports are often required to provide stiffness and strength in order to resist forces acting within the structure as a result of applied loads.

Organism development

An organism’s growth is governed by its ‘growth vector’, n.  If the organism responds to a trigger from the stimulus, the strength of this trigger, ω, could influence the direction of the ‘growth vector’. Perhaps it could trigger a division response in combination with a change in direction to increase or decrease the rate at which the organism bends, Figure 1.

Figure 1: Organism development towards a stimulus of different trigger strength

This sensing and response can be written in the design genes and with parameters to control active status and dominance a world of opportunity for different outcomes will become apparent.

Further to this, if the environment contains multiple supports, how does the organism respond? Branching towards one support and bending to another? Or branching to one support and growing directly to the other?

Figure 2: Growing towards two supports in through different responses

Design genes will allow the organism to respond to the presence of supports (and other stimuli) and organisms will begin to emerge that are a direct result of their environment and genetic makeup.