07 August, 2009

The Search for Holistic Science

 Perhaps the most important current work of this author is concerned with that crucial Emergence which brought about the Origin of Life on Earth. It is NOT a physical, a chemical or even a biological investigation, but a philosophical one! The revelation of the crucial trajectory of Qualitative Change via such a revolutionary Event, such as an Emergence, must be at least the initial goal And one of the latest pieces of work in this field is perhaps epitomised by the Synopsis of paper IV in a series of papers on the philosophical and methodological implications of Miller’s Experiment. The papers themselves obviously give the full story, but when I had to concentrate the content of this particular piece into a Synopsis, I realised that it captured the work in the fewest possible words, while delivering its purpose in the way that I would have liked. It is included here to introduce the reader to this work, which not only addresses the issues in defining an Holistic Science, but begins to suggest the way forward via a re-running of Miller’s Experiment in a new Holistic way which would reveal the inner processes of that epoch-making contribution.


  1. Miller's experiment was holistic! It used pluralisitic means, but for a different purpose: it was to keep the initial primaeval mix unadulterated. It's controlled mini-world was a Model of the primaeval world before Life.
  2. But what had actually happened in the apparatus was, and still is, unknown, and could thereafter ONLY be used as an argument for the natural Origin of Life, but not exactly how it occured. It was not, and could not be, followed up.
  3. This, and many other experiments (such as those by Oparin), couldn't be carried further because of current experimental method and its generated assumptions about Reality. The crucial missing element was an awareness of the role of Emergent events.
  4. Indeed, even after Emergences were recognised as having occurred, their content was wholly unknown, and experiments such as those by Miller & Oparin were misinterpreted as being part of those events, whereas they were really only necessary precursors happening prior to the precipitation of the revolution itself.
  5. A random-chance conjunction of all these precursors became the standard assumption as to how Emergences did what they did, but that model was certainly quite mistaken. For it involved a wholly positive, tide-of-progress process and Emergences were certainly NO such events.
  6. They were, initially at least, cataclysms of destruction, wherein the past stabilities were first gradually and then acceleratingly, dismantled into a kind of chaos. The usual model, on the other hand, assumed that a trillion-to-one chance would definitely happen if Reality had 1 trillion chances, but that retrospective definition cannot be applied to creation.
  7. An Emergence had to radically alter probabilities. And it did just that! The initial phase conformed with the famed Second Law of Thermodynamics, and resulted in something very like chaos. But in so doing it provided the conditions for a new start, and impossible odds were first shortened to probable and then to inevitable.
  8. In fact the significant precursors for an Emergence were mostly those pressing towards a dissolution of the status quo, and such a disaster would always be the initial outcome. But as all positive feedback avalanches also contain the necessities for their own termination, so it was with Emergences.
  9. The second phase of a completed Emergence would always be one in which the detritus of the old regime, plus the unfulfilled possibilities such as are demonstrated in Miller's Experiment would come together in new ways in the creation of a wholly new regime.
  10. It must be the content of the processes of an Emergence which will provide the ground for the creation of a vital new approach to Science. The whole trajectory from incipient breakdown, through total dissolutions, and then upwards to a new regime, with new possibilities, must be tackled and solved.
  11. The first ideas currently suggested are of a series of avalanches of Change, removing the old maintaining processes, which subsequently allowed new mutually conducive, and hence mutually supporting processes to emerge as part of a wholly new order.
  12. The crisis at the end of the Cretaceous was such an Emergence, and the gains of Cosmology in the 20th century were also replete with other Physical Emergences in the Evolution of the Universe.
  13. But these are, as yet, NOT co-ordinated into a new hollisitc Scientific Method which addresses unfettered Reality directly!
  14. Even the mass of pluralist scientists have implicitly taken on the hollistic World in their attempts at Simulations. But they do not have a methodology, and instead impose a 'Threshold & Switch' method of dealing with qualitative Change. It will not do in dealing with creation...

This is of a paper written in July 2009, which was proposed would be published in the SHAPE Journal sometime in 2011, but it certainly cannot wait its turn in that very long queue, so it is flagged HERE and NOW, by this synopsis, and made available in full to all those interested in this vital and revolutionary area of research. The work involved is surely too broad and important to be undertaken by a single individual, and it is hoped that this publication will elicit a response form those who agree with the quest, and even from those who would like to participate.

You can download the PDF of paper IV here

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