The word synergy is constructed from two Greek terms, the prefix in, which means with, and the word ergo, which means work. So, synergy means working together, cooperation. Above linguistic definitions, this word was constructed to designate the physical, chemical and biological processes where all the parties involved seem to work towards a common goal. The results obtained are always superior to those that would result from the simple sum of the isolated work of each of the parties. A typical example of a synergistic system is living organisms, where the work of each of the organs is used by the body to stay alive and perform its activities. Another example would be any machine, where the simple sum of the work of its wheels, connecting rods, pistons,

The reader may think that the above is a truth of Perogrullo, and he would be right, but the immense diversity of nature’s forms and its perfect functionality makes us wonder where so many mineral structures, plants, animals, stars, planets, can come from. Etc. The formation of very complex structures from a simpler state is what synergy deals with. For this, as we shall see, a great contribution to external energy is necessary; Nothing is free in the economy of the universe. This new approach allows us to contemplate the world as something different, not composed of parts and ultimately reducible to them, but as the interrelation towards a common goal of all structures. A new scientific approach emerges from the knowledge of the general laws that govern the formation of structures,

On the other hand, fractals emerge as a new geometry, where the shapes of different natural objects, such as clouds, coasts, mountains, are no longer explained as a combination of straight lines, curves, points, three-dimensional polyhedra from geometry. Euclidean, but give birth to themselves to a new geometry, where the irregular, the fragmented, the chaotic, has existence by itself. Likewise, the notion of continuity, where all parts of a body are united so that it can be passed from one to the other without leaps, suffers a severe blow. New symmetries appear, invariance due to change of scale and a new concept, self-similarity.

The interesting thing about both synergy and fractals is that both arise from the study and direct observation of nature. It is not the nature constrained by laws and statically contemplated that has given birth to these two new approaches, but the direct study of the forms and interaction of systems has been what has broken old prejudices and has allowed that these two new ways of approaching science appear. Both have ended up giving death to reductionism and simple part analysis. Both have given birth to the vision of a global world, where all things interrelate with each other.

Fractals In Nature

Fractals would not cease to be a simple mathematical curiosity if it were not because the forms that nature uses for their bodies are invariant by the change of scale. The typical case is the branching of a tree; from the trunk to the major branches and following the smaller ones and reaching the leaves, the same type of scheme is repeated. The same happens in the rivers, where the main river and its tributaries repeat the same scheme, as we go back and follow the channel and its ramifications, etc. Let’s look at some examples that a picture is worth a thousand words.