Holistic Biology: What It Is and Why It Matters

Recent developments toward a more holistic biology do not eliminate reductionism and determinism, but they do suggest more complex forms of them, in which there are multiple, interacting influences, as there are in complex or chaotic systems. Though there is a place in biology for both systemic and...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Zygon
Authors: Watts, Fraser N. 1946- ; Reiss, Michael J. 1958-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Wiley-Blackwell [2017]
In: Zygon
Year: 2017, Volume: 52, Issue: 2, Pages: 419-441
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Biology / Holism / God
IxTheo Classification:AB Philosophy of religion; criticism of religion; atheism
Further subjects:B mechanistic
B systems biology
B organismal
B reductionist
B deterministic
B Interdependence
B Holistic
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:Recent developments toward a more holistic biology do not eliminate reductionism and determinism, but they do suggest more complex forms of them, in which there are multiple, interacting influences, as there are in complex or chaotic systems. Though there is a place in biology for both systemic and atomistic modes of explanation, for those with a theological perspective the shift to complex explanations in biology is often welcome. It suggests a more subtle view of divine action in which God's purposes are affected through engagement with the complex systems of creation rather than by discrete interventions. It also invites us to connect the biological interdependence with the interdependence in the nature and purposes of God, and it is consonant with a mystical vision of the unity of all things.
ISSN:1467-9744
Contains:Enthalten in: Zygon
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12339