But we know very well that this natural universe is neither prickles nor goo exclusively: it’s gooey prickles and prickly goo [and] we’re always playing with the two.

Alan Watts. 

Animated here: http://www.freshminds.com/animation/alan_watts_prickles.html

And explained further in Watts’ essay on “The Nature of Consciousness”: 

Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow

Quote in context: “Imagine a child playing in a woodland stream, poking a stick into an eddy in the flowing current, thereby disrupting it. But the eddy quickly reforms. The child disperses it again. Again it reforms, and the fascinating game goes on. There you have it! Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow—patterns in an energy flow…. It is becoming increasingly clear that to understand living systems in any deep sense, we must come to see them not materialistically, as machines, but as stable, complex, dynamic organization.”

— Carl R. Woese. 2004. “A New Biology for a New Century.” Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2004 June; 68(2): 173–186. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419918/

doi:  10.1128/MMBR.68.2.173-186.2004

Mitosis II in Drosophila melanogaster embryo

Fluorescent microscopy image of a Drosophila melanogaster embryo, 160x magnification. Green is DNA in mitosis, red is a nuclear protein.”

“This fruitfly embryo is expressing a green fluorescent protein attached to a histone (one of the proteins DNA wraps around). The red staining is done by using an antibody staining. This image was taken with a wide field fluorescent microscope.”

KarinOnFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karinonflickr/2530982134/in/gallery-gmacqueron-72157624995046534/