Reductionism and/versus Holism in Physics and Biology - are Both Defective Concepts without Scaleportation

These comments below regarding the claims on knowledge of nature of Reductionism and/versus Holism that concern to the sporadic publications in Physical and Biological literature on the Hierarchical medium properties, matter organization and description we would like to be read by public and fortunately by some of these specialists.

From time to time during the last few decades the viewpoints of biologists and physicists are being diverted to some (few) developments that can be characterized as the attempts to choose or set-up the structural outlines (features) in a way that may be recognized as a hierarchical composition of elements in selected (given) science - mostly in biology. Still the same kind of attempts going on and in physics itself.

Because all these constructs involve the mechanism, language and method only of verbal, semantic classification without any meaningful suggesting of mathematical theory, mathematical system, or/and mathematical equation (set of equations) I won't be so determined to analyze and bring up some detail of such a "hierarchical" methods.

Simply because the said "hierarchical" methods would be the constructs that are purely qualitative - that means no good mathematics, which means, at least, suggesting the proper derivation of governing modeling equations. Nevertheless, there are workers that use the mathematical language which in reality are struggling to "couple" some phenomena at different scale by the very simple logistic connection of the different scale physical and mathematical models, see more in the Nanotechnologies section of our website -

  • Nanotechnologies and in - Announcements

    among others. That was and is going on continuously in physics. That means no significant points to talk about.

    Still, we would like to mention some works of that kind in the appropriate sections of this website.

    I would dare to show up here the Traditional Conventional Orthodox physics (not in terms of HSP-VAT) explanation of features fought over in physics as with regard to the "Reductionism" means and its consequences. There is no or lack (at least) of application of term and nature of the "Holism" equivalent in physics, workers in physics still do not think about that one as the reverse movement (action) to Reductionism as of the Bottom-Up deduction of events, processes.

    For example, in recent publications by Ellis (2005; etc.) we can read (quotes are from ) -

    2013: Unfortunately the site has gone, is dead now. But we have the excerpts from it.

    " 1) Physics is the model of what a successful science should be. It provides the basis for the other physical sciences and biology because everything in our world, including ourselves, is made of the same fundamental particles, whose interactions are governed by the same fundamental forces. It's no surprise then, ................ that physics represents the ultimate reductionist subject: Physicists reduce matter first to molecules, then to atoms, then to nuclei and electrons, and so on, the goal being always to reduce complexity to simplicity. The extraordinary success of that approach is based on the concept of an isolated system. Experiments carried out on systems isolated from external interference are designed to identify the essential causal elements underlying physical reality."

    Our comment: Not for everything as that was a success in the past - not anymore at this time after the concept of polyscale nature subject shifting the paradigm. There is no "isolated systems" in particle physics, nuclear physics, etc., and following this - there should not be an "isolated system". The issue is - How strong (large) is the interference and interconnection? What are abilities to tight the effects and fields on various scales?

    "2) The problem is that no real physical or biological system is truly isolated, physically or historically. Consequently, reductionism tends to ignore the kinds of interactions that can trigger the emergence of order, patterns, or properties that do not preexist in the underlying physical substratum. Biological complexity and consciousness -- as products of evolutionary adaptation -- are just two examples. Physics might provide the necessary conditions for such phenomena to exist, but not the sufficient conditions for specifying the behaviors that emerge at those higher levels of complexity. Indeed, the laws of behavior in complex systems emerge from, but are to a large degree independent of, the underlying low-level physics. That independence explains why biologists don't need to study quantum field theory or the standard model of particle physics to do their jobs."

    Our comment: Not anymore as biologists following physicists adopted to think conveniently. That path from the Bottom-Up scales phenomena and models now can be available to some hard working developmental procedures and researchers as via Hierarchical Scaled Physics (HSP)-VAT application.

    " 3) Moreover, causes at those higher levels in the hierarchy of complexity have real effects at lower levels, not just the reverse as often thought. Consequently, physics cannot predict much of what we see in the world around us. ...."

    Our comment: Again, not anymore in this simple explanation as biologists accustomed to think. The Both way transport of effects, fields, and phenomena are going all the time. And this can be studied and verified. The HSP-VAT formulation of, at least, the two neighboring scale fields, phenomena instantly depicts some features of the Top-Down connection, communication of physical field consequences.

    " 4) True complexity, with the emergence of higher levels of order and meaning, including life, occurs in modular, hierarchical structures.[1,2] Consider the precise ordering in large intricate networks -- microconnections in an integrated chip or human brain, for example. Such systems are complex not merely because they are complicated; order here implies organization, in contrast to randomness or disorder. They are hierarchical in that layers of order and complexity build upon each other, with physics underlying chemistry, chemistry underlying biochemistry, and so forth. Each level can be described in terms of concepts relevant to its own particular structure -- particle physics deals with behaviors of quarks and gluons, chemistry with atoms and molecules -- so a different descriptive language applies at each level. Thus we can talk of different levels of meaning embodied in the same complex structure."

    Our comment - As we see - that this verbal description is quite reminding of the Hierarchical arrangements of the infinite mathematics, the mathematics of infinite small variables at each level (scale) - those that we name the "calculus" or the calculus of infinite small numbers at one scale assigned. That is the part of the HSP-VAT mathematics.

    " 5) The phenomenon of emergent order refers to this kind of organization, with the higher levels displaying new properties not evident at the lower levels. Unique properties of organized matter arise from how the parts are arranged and interact, properties that cannot be fully explained by breaking that order down into its component parts.[3,4] You can't even describe the higher levels in terms of lower-level language.[5] "

    Our comment: Really? That was not true for many many years ago, since 80s of the last century. In the HSP-VAT this - the properties of the higher levels in terms of lower-level description language, had been derived actually many years ago !

    Among comments on this situation in physics made by ScienceWeek we can read -


    2013: Unfortunately the site has gone, is out of internet now.

    - "In general, "reductionism" is the idea that macroscopic phenomena can be explained in terms of microscopic entities and/or events, but the specific meaning of the term depends upon context and the conceptual identification within a particular science of levels of understanding. "

    "In physics and chemistry, the term "reductionism" may be applied to attempts to explain the macroscopic behavior of physical or chemical systems in terms of events at the level of atomic phenomena. Also in physics, the term "reductionism" may be applied to attempts to explain both the macroscopic behavior of a physical system and/or the microscopic atomic behavior of the entities of the system in terms of events at the still more microscopic level of fundamental particles and fundamental forces."

    "The various sciences are split by scientists (not by nature) into various levels of explanation, with researchers working at the various levels using various techniques and concepts. "

    "The attitude essentially is that here is a house, I choose to study in detail the nature of the bricks, you choose to study in detail the nature of the construction of the house, I enjoy what I'm doing, you enjoy what you're doing, and each of us is making some contribution to a general understanding of the nature of the entity "house".

    This division of labor has been quite fruitful in science, and there is never much of a problem concerning the existence of various levels of investigation until the person who studies bricks says that what he or she is doing is more important than what the person who studies the construction of the house does, or when the person studying the construction of the house says it is the study of the construction of the house that is more important than the study of bricks."

    The long quotations I would allow here that is to educate readers regarding to the nature of discussion and the rebuttal that the HSP-VAT is able to raise in this concern.

    Again citing from the


    - "In 1996, in a most prestigious physics journal (_Reviews of Modern Physics_), the physicist Robert Cahn stated that particle physics is essential to the understanding of our everyday world, that "particle physicists construct accelerators kilometers in circumference and detectors the size of basketball pavilions not ultimately to find the *t-quark or the *Higgs boson, but because that is the only way to learn why our everyday world is the way it is... Given the masses of the quarks and *leptons, and nine other closely related quantities, [the current theory of particle interaction] can account in principle for all the phenomena in our daily lives."

    "In July 1998, in the journal _Physics Today_, Pablo Jensen, a condensed matter physicist, took issue with Cahn's views and suggested that Cahn's "reductionist vision seems to be shared by many other particle physicists." Stating that he wished to "reopen a debate in the physics community," Jensen made the following points:

    "1) The reductionist ideas of Cahn and other reductionist particle physicists are wrong: even if we knew all the "fundamental" laws, we could not say anything useful about our everyday world. Our everyday world is irremediably macroscopic, and macroscopic concepts are needed to understand it."

    Our comment - Again, not anymore believing and bowing to the particle physicists claims that everything is consisting from particles - they don't know even within their own field - What is right and what is wrong?

    "2) Contrary to the pretensions of particle physicists, science is organized in decoupled layers, each with its own elementary entities or concepts, which generally are not simply derived from those of the lower level but constructed in creative efforts... Particle physics is practically irrelevant to understanding our everyday world... "If we learned tomorrow that previous results and analysis had overlooked certain systematic errors, and that the t-quark mass is near 195 *GeV and not 175 GeV, it is particle physics that would have to adjust to remain in agreement with the rest of physics, and not vice versa."

    Our comment - Again, not anymore as P.Jensen says. The Hierarchical capability of HSP-VAT had overturned this declaration on decoupling of neighboring scales (layers as Jensen says) physics. On the other hand, by the simple "coupling" that people in Homogeneous, Orthodox physics trying to connect phenomena at the two scales are invalid as long as to these features, phenomena, characteristics given the same known in Homogeneous physics one-scale model for each of two different scales.

    "3) Considering, for example, the property of "chirality" of large molecules (e.g., a sugar or any biological molecule), for all practical purposes, such molecules do not show the symmetry expected from the fundamental laws -- in this case, quantum mechanics."

    Our comment - Again, not anymore.

    "4) In the study of phase transitions, there are characteristics of such transitions that apparently depend on the collective behavior of the system and are not determined by the microscopic interactions."

    Our comment - Again, that is visibly done by like a biologist - because even the second year physics student won't say like this!

    5) "Each level of complexity must be studied with its own instruments, and requires the invention of new concepts adapted to describe and understand its behavior... Intermediate concepts such as *entropy, *dissipative structures, cells, genes, etc., cannot be simply "deduced" from the fundamental laws: such concepts are said to be "emergent" because they arise at high levels of complexity and must be invented at those levels to deal with specific situations... These emergent concepts are as real and as fundamental as the concepts and particles introduced by particle physicists."

    Our comment - Again, not anymore

    The author concludes: "By all means let us each study our chosen "layer" of reality, whether it involves quarks or convective cells. But let us also remember that each layer is just one part of the greater whole. Accounting for all the phenomena in our daily lives "in principle" is entirely different from accounting for them in actuality."

    Our comment - Again, that depends on what you consider as a Whole and what level of knowledge a researcher has.

    Further citing from the


    - "In the November 1998 issue of _Physics Today_, Robert Cahn presents a rebuttal to the critique of Pablo Jensen, the author making the following points:

    1) The empirical parameters of the *Standard Model of particle physics shape the most familiar aspects of our physical surroundings... Given these parameters, the Standard Model, which subsumes the Maxwell and Schroedinger equations, determines all the fundamental processes of electroweak and strong interactions. Changes in the basic parameters would produce worlds quite different from our own."

    Our comments - We would argue with this Ultimate "Manifesto" of Reductionist (reductionism):

    This is mostly the bunch of crap, these wordings - as long as many aspects of what R.Cahn says are questionable at least and more correctly are not specified, while are simply conjectural by derivation that occurred in the first half of 20th century, etc. See publications with the thorough critics by R.Santilli, for example, everyone can find in -

  • Il Grande Grido

  • Institute for Basic Research

    Other numerous facts researchers presented throughout last ~40 years depicting the Standard Model as the group of conjectures, "fixers," that appeared to save the face of wrong direction.

    We would add to that critics the arguments those specifics could be raised only within the HSP-VAT scaled, local-non-local tools and mathematics in the following sections -

  • "Particle Physics - Heterogeneous Polyscale Collectively Interactive" ,

  • "Particle Physics (Particle Physics 2). Fundamentals" ,

  • "Nuclear Physics Structured. Introduction" ,

    then on the "Atomic and Sub-atomic Scale Description....," section

  • "Atomic and Subatomic Scales Description of Matter with HSP-VAT" ,

  • Atomic and Subatomic Physics 2 - Elements 3P

    and on the Fundamentals of scaled Spinning Physics

  • "Torsion" or Spinning (Rotation) Physics Scaled (SPS) - What is it When the Physical Objects being Presented at Scales not as the Point-Mass-Charge-Torsion Objects, but as the Physical Volumetric Rotating not Twisting Objects" .

    Also on the Ht MHL (Maxwell-Heaviside-Lorentz) Electrodynamics

  • "Electrodynamics" ,

    with the following content on Galilean Polyscale Electrodynamics

  • "Electrodynamics 2 - Elements 3P" ,

    with advancements stated in the introductory to Particle Physics -

  • "What's Going on in Particle Physics with Homogeneous Approach? How we Can Up-scale from the Sub-Atomic to the Continuum Mechanics? By MD it is the False Method (via the Homogeneous MD) and Even a False Math" ,

    and in

  • "Solid State Plasma Models,"

    and in

  • "What is the Particle Physics Now?"


  • "Quantum Mechanics-Why Not? What's Wrong? Some of the History,"

    and in

  • "Quantum Mechanics Other Theories (de Broglie--Bohm Theory, etc.) - Why Not 2? What's Wrong?,"

    and in

  • "What's Wrong with Particle Physics and Atomic Science Regarding the Averaging Assessment and Prohibited Idea of Scaling in Them?"

    "2) The stuff of daily life is made just of electrons and the lightest quarks. However, we cannot understand these particles by themselves, because they are intimately connected to others accessible only in high energy collisions."

    We need to add here: This is again the bunch of crap (B.S.), these wordings - as long as many aspects path from these quasiparticles to our continuum mechanics environment they (reductionists) don't know how to connect ?

    Particle physicists (and mostly not only particle physics people) also don't understand and don't know - How do nature forces of these particles work and stay in all together?

    "3) Concerning the supposed irrelevance of particle physics, constructs that embody the essential physical features of complex systems are indispensable, but their success is not a reason for abandoning the search for basic physical laws."

    Our remark: Would be honest to saying also that - "Yah, also we prefer to seek for the truth and to make judgments in our circles only - "We, the only Chosen to do that, Few Particle physics labs. Because, You Know, This is obviously Money All about."

    "4) Nature is not neatly partitioned into autonomous layers, as Jensen suggests. On the contrary, the macroscopic makes manifest the microscopic... The gross properties of the materials around us, their color, conductivity, and strength, reflect the details of their quantum mechanical states. Likewise the structure of atoms reflects divisions in the subatomic world."..

    Our remark: And this all what Orthodox physics people can say? This had become the praying.

    "Only by willfully closing our eyes can we miss the connection between the fundamental interactions and their manifestations that surround us." The author concludes: "We particle physicists share with all physicists the goal of explaining the world. We differ by asking ever more basic questions. Like young children who relentlessly insist, Why?, particle physicists ask, Why is there light? Why are electrons light and protons heavy? Why are there electrons or protons, anyway? 'Just because' and 'Who cares?' will not satisfy the curious child, nor should they satisfy us."

    Our remark: It would be honest to saying that - We don't care what others telling us with regard to our wish list. Unless there is some shortage of money funding for our livelong thoughts.

    This sentence above might be strong enough, at the meantime the constructions particle physicists allow to themselves, the long list of mistakes, and the absence and blocking of critical voices make it deserved.

    What B.Richter (2006) wrote in the paper more recently in the same magazine again aiming to the similar topic of invalidity of many constructions that particle physics continues to use. This interested person is a retired scientist-administrator, so he is brave enough in his labeling. Those are still within the traditional Homogeneous particle physics. Few of the following sentences give a flavor of the statements.

    In p. 8: "To me, some of what passes for the most advanced theory in particle physics these days is not really science ."

    Again in p. 8: "most advanced theory looks to be more theological speculation , the development of models with no testable consequences, than it is the development of practical knowledge, the development of models with testable and falsifiable consequences (Karl Popper's definition of science)."

    p. 8: "The general trend of the path to understanding has been reductionist ."

    p. 8: "That brings us to where we are today, looking for something new and playing with what appear to me to be empty concepts like naturalness, the anthropic principle, and the landscape ."

    p. 9: "All the anthropic principle says about those ideas is that as you make your theories you had better make sure that (alfa)" (fine structure constant (VT)) "can come out to be 1/137; that constraint has to be obeyed to allow theory to agree with experiment. I have a very hard time accepting the fact that some of our distinguished theorists do not understand the difference between observation and explanation, but it seems to be so ."

    p. 9: "It is not that the landscape model is necessarily wrong, but rather that if a huge number of universes with different properties are possible and equally probable, the landscape can make no real contribution other than a philosophic one. That is metaphysics, not physics ."

    Well, and this is only the smaller part on the subject of questionable content in particle physics. Keep looking though.

    Regarding promoted through the last 15-18 like years the "Constructal theory" authors of the own hierarchical hypothesis West and Brown (2004) mentioned in their rebuttal on the Bejan's claim (Bejan, et. al., 2005) of universality of his "Constructal theory" that: "It remains to be seen, however, whether constructal theory is sufficiently general, detailed, and mechanistic to describe these systems in a quantitative, predictive, and analytic way."...

    We can add to this - that the "constructal theory" contentions are looking as just the wishful thoughts while using the simplified point of view (Bejan, 2000; other publications ). We would place this "Constructal theory" to the kind of an "ad-hoc science" conjecture. More on this "universality" claim can be seen at this website in - "Pseudo-Averaging (Scaling, Hierarchy), Quasi-Averaging, Ad-hoc Averaging, and other "Averaging" (Scaling, Hierarchy) Type Claims "

    In a real world we need to stick -- especially in biology, to the models that nature presents to us in a incontestable way, mode, form and shape.

    Nevertheless, we also need to follow the shape and structure of the natural subjects -- real polyscale physical media, the cell which is the enormously complex polyscale subject, etc.

    And we need to begin with understanding, explanation, and model strictly what is up in front of us - then we might be able to contest the nature and try to modify (or create from a scratch) the new entity, matter, material, "cell", single cell organisms first of all, tissue, organ, etc.

    What are the "hierarchical" theories doing claiming to be of the Reductionism and/versus Holism nature in physics and biology right now is the way to promote selected political agendas in scientific and technology enterprises. All the Lower scale features presented as for the Upper scale finally and the interscale connection are being lost just after authors (theory concept creators) write down the Upper scale governing equations, if they are able to write them at all, and start to exercise the right for a free scientific diving.

    So far there have been no one strict Interscale communication, famous "structure-properties" findings by while using any of these theories, but via the HSP-VAT as we have shown in -

  • "When the 2x2 is not going to be 4 - What to do? "

  • "Two Scale EM Wave Propagation in Superlattices - 1D Photonic Crystals"

  • "Two Scale Solution for Acoustic Wave Propagation Through the Multilayer Two-Phase Medium"

  • "Globular Morphology Two Scale Electrostatic Exact Solutions"

  • "Effective Coefficients in Electrodynamics"

  • "Classical Problems in Thermal Physics"

  • "Classical Problems in Fluid Mechanics"

    In Conclusion (partial) - we would like to raise the issue of credibility of all these "hierarchical" or "scaling" claims in physics and biology referring to the question of possibility of these theories to perform the Scaleportation (transport between two or more scale physical properties, models, subjects, and objects) (Travkin, 2004 definition).

    Without means and ways to connect, communicate and calculate with strictness the physical characteristics between the two (at least) scales (as we understand now the physical realities, models), not using the "coefficients" science tools, of course - there would be no Scaleportation and the whole subjects of scale dependency, Hierarchy, polyscaling (multiscaling), Bottom-Up or Top-Down characteristic findings, nanotechs and bionanotechs, systems biology and tissue engineering, time traveling, multiple universe existence, etc. are becoming nullified.

    At present time only the HSP-VAT has demonstrated this ability to recognize, model, and find the properties of Bottom-Up and Top-Down physics scales realities and models for these realities - that means to perform the Scaleportation .


    Ellis, George F. R., "Physics and the Real World," Physics Today, Vol. 58, Iss. 7, pp. 49-54, (2005).

    Richter, B., "Theory in Particle Physics: Theological Speculation Versus Practical Knowledge ," Physics Today, Vol. 59, Oct. Iss. 10, pp. 8-9, (2006).

    West, Geoffrey B. and Brown, James H., "Life's Universal Scaling Laws," Physics Today, Vol. 57, Issue 9, pp. 36-42, (2004).

    Bejan, A., Morega, A., West, G.B., and Brown, J.H., "Constructing a Theory for Scaling and More," Physics Today, Vol. 58, Iss. 7, pp. 20-21, (2005).


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