The Benard instability. Establishing an increasing vertical temperature gradient (ΔT) across a thin layer of liquid leads to a heat transfer through the layer by conduction (organizational state/form #1). Upon reaching a certain critical value of temperature gradient (ΔTC), an organizational transition takes place within the liquid layer and conduction is replaced by convection (organizational state/form #2), leading to a stepwise increase in the rate of heat transfer through the layer. The organizational state/form #2 (convection) is a more ordered state (higher negative entropy) than the organizational state/form #1 (conduction). The organizational state/form #2 (convection) will relax into the organizational state/form #1 (conduction) upon decreasing temperature gradient (not shown). As discussed in the text, the Benard instability is an example of a nonequilibrium dynamic system illustrating a number of the universal features shared by all biological (broadly defined) organizations: i) the emergence, maintenance, and development of any biological organization requires a continuous and accelerating flux of energy/matter through biological organization; ii) increasing the rate of energy/matter flux through a biological organization allows for growth in size and/or complexity; iii) any biological organization develops from states of relatively low order (low negative entropy) to states of relatively high order (high negative entropy); iv) increasing the rate of energy/matter flow through a biological organization leads to stepwise organizational state transitions and the emergence of organizational hierarchies and order that cover increasingly larger spatiotemporal scales; v) decreasing the rate of energy/matter flow through a biological organization leads to a stepwise hierarchical relaxation of ordered organization to states of lower negative entropy, and, eventually, to its dissolution and death (see more in the text).