From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 13:35:31 MDT
Modern science is admittedly reductionist in many ways. The inquiry
into cell structure that went on for three centuries, climaxing with
the double helix discovery, was reductionist, analyzing ever-smaller
units and using chemistry or physics to understand life processes.
This does not mean, however, that there was ever a prevailing view
that all life should be understood entirely by physics or chemistry.
Studying organisms at the molecular level has never precluded studying
them at higher levels and integrating those higher levels into a truly
holistic understanding. But so-called holistic theories that are not
founded on a base of reductionist facts are illusions and evaporate on
any close examination. However aesthetically satisfying and
politically correct such "holistic" theories may be, they lack the
problem-solving capability that is the legacy of modern science and
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