Topological defects play important roles throughout Nature. ~ American physicist Michael Ray
At every scale, coherence employs templates. These templates instantiate as localized, information-laden energy patterns, some of which manifest in particulate form (quantize).
Defects engender diversity by divergence from templates. Defect production may seem an odd algorithm for variety generation, but it works. Instantiations which resonate well through time themselves become a new template – templates evolve.
Quantum physics models suggest that Nature should be quite different than the how it is. Only by unaccountably breaking symmetry in the models does matter manifest as it does. The breaking is a blot on a mathematical perfection.
Each particle of matter is itself a defect artifact. Quanta are formed via defects in the fields which generate them.
Every particle is an unnecessary defect in a smooth and featureless field. ~ Brian Skinner
Further, interactive properties arise from defects. Superfluidity at the quantum level comes via defects which alter the flows of vortices.
Unique properties amongst complex liquids arise from a highly ordered defect structure. ~ Mexican biochemist José Martínez-González et al
Small flaws may produce outsized effects, and so alter fundamental properties or dynamics. Dislocations in a crystal lattice determine the strength and hardness of materials.
Genetically identical cells grown under the same conditions display extensive variability in their potential to grow and differentiate. They have the intrinsic ability to generate emergent, self-organized behaviour that results in the formation of complex, multicellular, asymmetric structures. ~ Swiss cytologist Prisca Liberali et al
Biological diversity arises from statistically breaking symmetry. Cells individually decide their fate.
New species arise from changed environmental conditions, or from preferences away from the norm, such as in mating or food selection. Speciation is a process of population symmetry breaking: a minority group becomes a new population by finding the norm unacceptable.