Talk:Holism in science

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Unacceptable article[edit]

In the present form the text sounds like nonsense babble. It does not make any sense to me. Cacycle 19:06, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This remark by Caccyle is characteristic of the judgmental and intolerant stance Wikipedia takes towards leading-edge soft sciences. Wikipedia editors are great on topics already settled in Science and nature and on many new topics. Editors appear consistently regressive in the field of holistic studies and research. Too bad, a missed opportunity in my mind.

Conspicuous by its absence in this stub on holism in science is mention of "consensual reality."

The "debate" between 19th century science and post 1970 holism fundamentally concerns "what is real? and “what reality and how much of it will be consensual and how much will be private, personal and subjective?"

Other editors could assist here by suggesting sources to cite for this page.

The drift of the page would then be like this: Holism in science is really a debate over "what is real?" and "what consensus can we share about reality?"

The 19th century "one reality fits all" science is an arbitrary construct, albeit a highly practical and useful, construct is made clear by even brief exposure to literature about some primitive tribes who have achieved a high standard of living, if you measure standard of living by happiness, low unemployment, low infant mortality, absence of warfare and low crime. The Senoi dreamers come to mind. 19th century "one reality fits all" science is not a requirement for all successful cultures.

Opening the discussion of holism in science to "what is real?" expands the topic problematically. The best solution I know of is to insist whatever science you believe in, that it evolve. Any science that does NOT evolve, is likely to stagnate, die and pass into history as so much of 19th century thinking already has.

In this sense conventional science, in my opinion, [citations?] has done a poor job of evolving. Therefore two tracks of science have evolved, one committed to "one reality can and must fit everyone, everywhere and at all times"; the other science, explores the subjective nature of sense perception and how individuals construct meaning [Jerome Bruner and “Bloom’s Taxonomy” citations] as well as promising research into the fractal nature of the human psyche and other topics considered "fringe" or beyond fringe to "hard science" diehards committed to "unevolving" versions of the hard science.

Sources likely to be fruitful for this discussion: General Semantics, NLP and then earlier lead up to Ernst Lehrs Man or Matter 1985 third ed. Wait til it comes out in eBook, hopefully by end of 2013. Lehrs works this out better than any other author before or since in my wide reading.

I vote to keep the page "Holism in science" as alternative views to 19th century science is a crucial topic in the rhetoric of "what is real?" and "How do we know what is real, is real?" user Healing Toolbox Oct 2013

Agreed. I removed the ballast and rewrote the article, reducing it to a stub. I have no knowledge of the subject other than what I garnered from a Google search and some brief skimming. --Smithfarm 19:00, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think this subject has a lot of potential and hope someone with more knowledge than I have will be willing to expand and refine the article. I am also creating the topic "Reductionist science" as a redirect to this article. --Smithfarm 19:16, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Need more information[edit]

We need more information on the following as they (may) relate to holistic science:

  • Free choice profiling
  • Goethean Methodology
  • the EU Water Framework Directive

Thanks. --Smithfarm 19:14, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I checked some of the "Holistic science" sources on google. Many of them seem to be any kind of approach labeled holistic science because it sounds better, if nothing else. I think the article would face trouble if it keeps the name "holistic science", which would be very unfortunate, as the topic of the article here is very promising, with the outline of "holistic approach/paradigm opposed to reductionist approaches".
The EU Framework Directive, I am sure of that, can mearly serve as an example of the complex around Environmental science which is interdiscipliary, i.e incorporating many different fields, by some logic meaning holistic. Ben talk contr 11:34, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

Merge with holism[edit]

I don't see a difference between holistic science and holism, so the few facts, links, and see-alsos in this article should be merged with that article and holistic science should become a redirect to there. Beside that this article in its current form is a highly biased pseudoscientific rant full of weazel phrases and still without a clear and encyclopedic definition. Cacycle 13:00, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I take it you're opposed to holistic science, then. That is your POV. If you can help make the article more NPOV, please do so. Might I also suggest that you do some Googling for "holistic science" and "reductionist science". Just because you don't agree with something or think it can't be precisely defined, doesn't mean there shouldn't be an encyclopedia article about it. It may be meaningful to others. --Smithfarm 17:35, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Just FYI: I agree with Cacycle that the article needs expanding and improvement. I'm in correspondence with a real holistic scientist. He doesn't have time to write the article himself but he has given me enough guidance that I will be able to expand the article. I asked him for his opinion on merging the article with Holism. His answer was the only motivation he can see for not having a separate article is "aversion to any language that suggests that the ideas of holism have implications for science or any relation to science". Obviously, aversion would not be a valid reason to merge, and thereby delete, an encyclopedia article on a field that has top scientists working in it, at places like MIT and the Santa Fe Institute. In keeping with this, and also due to lack of consensus on the matter, I suggest removing the merge tag. Comments, anyone? --Smithfarm 19:13, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Holistic science could indeed be worth its own article. Unfortunately, in its current state it is only about the general scientific paradigm called holism. I would be very interested to read about holistic scientists, their scientific research, and their scientific results. But I also can't find much about this specific topic by googling. Therefore I'd leave the move template in place. It would be great if you could move the important content over to holism or if you could provide new content for a holistic science specific article. It would also help if you would not continuously remove critical content. Cacycle 23:52, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree there should be a separate article on holistic science, about scientific fields that have holistic approaches. There was a lot of discussion about cultural differences between scientific approaches in East and West, East being holistic, West atomist. I think this would belong here, too. So (summarizing), one article is about the concept of holism, one about applications of it. But the name could be misleading, because the concept of "holistic science" is not well-established. I would suggest "Holism in Science". Ben talk contr 12:44, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)

That would go along with the changes that I made yesterday to Holism. --Goethean 14:24, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Distinguish holistic ideas w/ Holistic Discipline[edit]

Much of this article discusses examples of fields that are holistic in one way or another. That does not make them their own discipline. Other parts of the article discuss "Holistic Science" as though it were its own discipline. I don't know what that discipline would include, or what its tenets would be, but the article must first distinguish these two threads before it can better describe its subject. +sj + 10:45, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think there is confusion between holism, systems theory and complexity theory. Much of the article seems to be written as if these ideas were completely interchangeable. Example: describing the Santa Fe Institute as "a center of holistic scientific research." This is not how SFI describes itself. One would have to make the case that Holism, Complexity and highly connected complex adaptive systems were the same thing. The article deals with the first. SFI addresses the second and third. I am not able to see an obvious connection between holism and SFI. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DBlakeRoss (talkcontribs) 18:57, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Input from User:Goethean[edit]

Hi. I found you in the history of the Ken Wilber article. I recently picked up the orphaned Holistic science page and I'm floundering around looking for other people who might be interested in the subject. I am extremely lacking in knowledge of the subject, but find myself drawn to it nonetheless. Therefore I would appreciate the opportunity to interact with people who are more knowledgeable. The first question I wanted to ask was: Are you in favor of having an article with the title Holistic science? I have also created "Non-reductionist science" as a redirect to it. --Smithfarm 13:35, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have a couple of responses. One, there is clearly a methodology that Sheldrake and others use, and skeptics cannot tenably argue against accurately describing that methodology. Maybe it should be called something other than holistic science, although I see nothing wrong with that name. The simple fact is that there are several scientists and theorists who call themselves holists. One wonders what possible objection there would be to calling their activities "holistic science." Especially when "holistic science" brings up 10,000 google hits. Hello!
Ken Wilber talks frequently about "narrow science" and "broad science." In his usage, the latter is what he is doing, and includes, for example, the testimony of mystics, which would be ignored or explained away by "narrow science." I havent read Wilber's book on science, but I have read his more philosophical works which do touch on the subject. Here is another good reference. Sheldrake seems to call his scientific methodological paradigm "holism" or "organicism."
Two, I'm not sure whether "Goethean methodology" refers to the method of Goethe's Theory of Colors, or to Rudolf Steiner, or to both. I am familiar with the Theory of Colors, but not with Steiner. Perhaps M Alan Kazlev (who maintains an enormously informative website on New Age ideas) could hep us with the Steiner aspect.
Three, perhaps the article should be re-written (again), in response to the complaints of skeptics. Simply asserting that the methodologies of Goethe, Steiner, Sheldrake and Wilber diverge from that of reductionistic or physicalistic science seems like a pretty uncontroversial claim. I'm not sure if we can include Wolfram in that group, however. --Goethean 16:25, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. I'm completely in favor of any attention (up to and including complete rewriting) you care to give to the page. I haven't had the opportunity yet to read any of the books you are referring to, or that I have linked to on the page - I was just shooting in the dark from stuff I found while Googling. So if any are inappropriate (Wolfram?) then I would suggest they be removed. The Goethean methodology is something I inherited from an earlier, somewhat incoherent version of the page. Maybe it, too, can be simply left out. Anyway, would you mind if I copied my question and your answer over to the Holistic science talk page? --Smithfarm 20:54, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's fine. --Goethean 22:07, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Heh, nice try to remove Category:Pseudoscience with the reason that "Holistic science" is not a science but a paradigm. I have put it back in, but may rethink this if you move the article to "Holistic paradigm" ;-)

Currently I can't decide from your article if holistic science is a scientific paradigm under the quality control mechanisms described in scientific method that is just not mainstream or if it is an arbitrary label for a certain type of pseudoscience mixed with mysticism. Capra and Sheldrake certainly belong into the latter class. If it is both, but then you would have make clear the borders. And where are the differences to multidisciplinarity and to classical scientific fields that describe systems (thermodynamics, ecology). Cacycle 13:27, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Interesting that you should mention ecological science. I'm trying to think how theories concerning "populations, communities, and ecosystems, to the biosphere as a wholes" (quoting from the Ecology article) can be experimentally verified by rigorous application of the scientific method? Also, that article clearly states that ecology in this sense is a holistic science. Yet you apparently don't consider it to be pseudoscience? Can you help me to clear up these seeming disparities? --Smithfarm 14:45, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There seem to be a continuum of paradigm debates going on:
If you want to claim that some of these are categorically different than the other debates, and take them out of the "continuum", fine - I have no objection to anyone fixing what they actually are about - but all of these debates appear to exist, and IMO all currently debated scientific paradigm issues should be discussed somewhere and possibly related together. --Pwqn
Capra seems to be more of a theorist than a researcher, and his work seems less suited to this article. But Shedrake is a self-described holistic scientist, and so excluding him would certainly be POV. --Goethean 15:22, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I thought about Duchamp's idea of the "art factor" when I talked to Sparkit and came to think it was holistic. The main idea of the "art factor" was that there can be no general consensus of what art is. Therefore it is not important to decide what is art and what is not art, but to how much of the ideas of an artist are transmitted/can be perceived by the observer and how they stimulate the observer. Because reception is productive and active, the observer is part of the artistic process and thereby part of the art. Reception differs individually, therefore art depends on the artist and the observer. The quality of "a piece of art" (if you may call it so) depends on the factor artist.ideas:observer.perception, what he called the art factor.
I have also the impression, that holism has a lot to do with Aristotle, buddhism, and today involves a rejection of enlightenment ideas connected to mechanistic world views following Isaac Newton and Immanuel Kant.
In AI, approaches would be e.g. Epigenetic programming.
I hope, this is of any use, Ben please vote! 04:53, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

A hypothetical passive voice[edit]

Cognitive science "can be argued to be an example of holistic science"? Really?? That "can be argued? Gee, I'm surprised, I thought perhaps it couldn't be argued. Okay, I'll cut the sarcasm, but this sentence needs work. --Christofurio 13:25, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

I tried myself at it. I didn't invest much time, but it's an improvement. If you want to add, you might find this link to be useful. Ben talk contr 13:01, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)


I really think this article should be renamed to "Holism in science" with a redirect from "holistic science". This has been discussed above on the page and will allow the article to remove the "disputed"-tag (if this can't be done already). Ben please vote! 13:06, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

Is anyone besides Cacycle disputing this article? Smithfarm 14:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
I have moved/renamed the article and removed the tag. --goethean 15:12, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Article isn't NPOV[edit]

I just changed the first sentence to conform to a more neutral POV. There are plenty of other problems, but I'll refrain from tagging the article until I can make a list of them. --ScienceApologist 14:00, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Appeal for calm[edit]

Before we get into a revert war, let's try to work together first. ScienceApologist, your idea of calling it "fringe science" is not going to fly. Can you add anything constructive to the article? --Smithfarm 18:37, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

What's wrong with fringe science? Do you object to it being so? --ScienceApologist 20:41, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a loaded question, a type of logical fallacy. The claim that holism is a fringe science is false. — goethean 20:55, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh really? Why do you say that holistic science is not fringe? --ScienceApologist 20:57, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I cannot find any reference that shows that holistic science is mainstream, but I can find plenty of incredulity with regards to the subject. By definition then holistic science is one of the fringe sciences. --ScienceApologist 20:58, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
By the way here is a somewhat balanced article that admits that holism is associated with a "lunatic fringe" [1] --ScienceApologist 20:44, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a blog entry. — goethean 20:55, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not recommending we include it as a reference, I'm simply refering to it as an example which supports my point. --ScienceApologist 20:56, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, I should point out that my quarrel isn't with holism being described as a legitimate research endeavor as it is clearly a subject worthy of metaphysical and philosophical inquiry. (See and excellent essay on the subject here) However, "holistic science" and "holism in science" is definitely decidedly not mainstream as most scientists perceive it as an at-best premature injection of a metaphysical concept into a naturalistic system. In particular, holism defies some level of falsifiability by positing the existence of phenomena which are only observable subject to context. --ScienceApologist 20:56, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I will object to anything that sounds pejorative. (We've already been around this block with pseudoscience and "fringe science" is equally derogatory.) Do you object to describing it as a paradigm? Have you read Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions? --Smithfarm 15:15, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Why is fringe science pejorative? Objecting because something "sounds" pejorative hardly strikes me as reasonable. I do have a problem with paradigms because in the Kuhnian sense it is impossible for two paradigms to exist simultaneously in science, which is what this page is claiming that holism is acting in. --ScienceApologist 18:05, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure plenty of people would agree that "fringe" is most often used in a pejorative sense. That's why it sounds pejorative. As for paradigms, the whole idea is that holism is a different paradigm that threatens the dominant paradigm (reductionism). Until the challenger completely supplants the dominant paradigm, the two exist side-by-side. That's why it's controversial - because reductionism feels threatened. Whether you call it a paradigm or an approach is irrelevant, though, so I don't object to the first sentence as you have it. --Smithfarm 14:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Holistic science is controversial[edit]

Why is this a problematic statement? --ScienceApologist 21:07, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

It's not controversial; look at the list of names in this article like Gellman. Other than that, it's an unsourced POV claim. — goethean 21:18, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
A list of names hardly indicates whether a subject is controversial or not. The fact is that there is plenty of criticism of holistic science (though this article lacks a lot of the criticisms). The descriptor "controversial" isn't exactly a POV when there is a controversy over the subject. The article even admits as much (though in a not entirely sufficient fashion). --ScienceApologist 18:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a problematic statement because it doesn't make sense. To say that holistic science is controversial is to say that its existence is controversial, which is not the case since there are so many who practice it. What is controversial is whether it is an acceptable method by which to practice science. What is not always considered is that Goethe understood that the method involved a rigorous approach to intuition and qualities through observation and reflection. This last part is what leads to controversy. How do you talk about qualities and sensibilities for all without controversy? Goethe predicted that this would be an issue and was careful to include sufficient rigor to allow deducibility from qualities. I think current technologies are allowing a quantification of qualities, so this controversy should disappear. Gahnett (talk) 00:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)gahnett

Paragraph views[edit]

In articles about subjects like this which are fringe science, it is important to let the reader know what the mainstream view is right off the bat. This isn't currently done, so we need to develop a sentence that NPOV illustrates the problems perceived by the mainstream with holistic science. Any suggestions before I take a crack at it? --ScienceApologist 18:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Is your position going to be that holistic science is not "real" science? (On a related note, did you insert the "under the guise of science" bit?) --Smithfarm 09:43, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
It is my position that holistic science represents a research program that is either disparately married or fringe science. Many of the claims made by those who support holistic science are not supported by consistent evidence and some of the claimed "holistic" researchers might take issue with categorization with others listed in this article. --ScienceApologist 15:06, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it should be noted right at the beginning that the word 'holism' usually denotes the opinion difference from the prevailing scientific method. Also, there is no doubt that some people protest current science without justification or out of different reasons than they state. But it would be too daring to claim that the current scientific practice has already reached the highest standards ever possible, so we must admit that someone might come up with a point to which current scientific practice is not paying enough attention. It would be unpleasant for such contributor to find that the first convenient trademark at hand, 'holism', has already been thoroughly discredited.

It follows from the definition that the word 'holism' denotes opinion difference, so it is redundant to further point it out. It is also improper to associate it with gentle pejoratives such as "controversial", "fringe", "not mainstream", "guise of science". Pejoratives should be addressed not at the word 'holism', but directly at those whom they aim to discredit: people with unjustified opinions who misuse 'holism' trademark, such as various romantic protesters.

I agree with these sentiments completely. However, the way you rewrote the intro was confusing and did not convey the meaning you allude to above. I feel that the previous intro did a better job at describing the differences at the very least, but I understand your critique. --ScienceApologist 10:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Holism (Holistic) versus Science = controversial (dialectic)[edit]

Science measures patterns; Holism is the exploration of patterned Charge.. Charge is unification, therefore; there are no patterns = dialectic (paradox, dichotomy, controversial, cause~effect, wave~partical duality, etc.).

The implication of unified Charge defies our own bodies - something many of us are not very comfortable with. Negotiating Relativity with Quantum Mechanics (Planck State?) is a wonderful (spiritual?) exercise.. and if we can integrate Charge into our dialectical processes; we can persist in flexing spacetime (Hegel flux?) more valuably.

Before you suppress (repress your own Flux/flexibility?); explore this:

Modeling Causality

Thank you. --Dialectic 19:19, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

--New Zeal 00:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)== Is there a way to improve this article? == This article is quite confusing. After reading it, I still have no idea of what the holistic method is. In particular, I can't see why Sri Aurobindo is mentioned in an article dealing with science. Dragice 15:24, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Integral theory is a philosophy that attempts to harmoniously integrate science with other disciplines. I changed the Aurobindo reference to Gebser, a more relevant author. — goethean 16:58, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I've read the arguments for and against the meaning/use of the word 'holistic science' on this page after coming here from an IE Advanced Search and finding it number 2 on the list. My pitch is that the meaning is something that is slowly being worked on. I personally am trying to develop a definition/method/application that is scientific and has a chance of becoming mainstream at SOHTech. Holistic science cannot be a branch of science because it encompasses all sciences and it is needed to act as a balance to reductionist science. All the methods of science belong to holistic science. The requirement of the discipline (of holistic science) is not to allow focus to remain too long in one area and to be able to pick from any area of science that is available. There are no fixed solutions to any problem and solutions of the same problem vary with time and circumstance. If you have a scientific community working on a project, the holistic scientists are more likely to be team leaders because they will have developed the skills to pick and choose and will not be biased towards particular disciplines. Holistic science does not need to be proven through scientific method. Darwin's theory of evolution never was and probably never will be, that doesn't diminish its usefulness. The same with holistic science. Anyway you may or may not find what I have to say at the link provided useful. Note: the site I've directed you to is still under development so if you experience any problems please let me know. Thanks, Kent Parker --New Zeal 00:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Now there is classical number theory and quantum number theory =[edit]

A scientific method of sorting out the holism-reductionism dichotomy is to have a discipline where both reductionistic and holistic mathematics have been developed. This is finally available after my development of quantum number theory. The topic describes analysis and predictions of holistic properties of the natural number system defined as a quantum object. Classical number theory is based on Peano's axiom where properties of standalone integers are manipulated. With quantum number theory, one can also analyse and predict exactly analogous to that in classical number theory. I hope that holistic scientists will reorientate themselves to provide analysis and predictions instead of statistical correlation. If one believes in Hopperism, statistical prediction is not a science. So what if one could predict that the Sun will rise from the East 99.99999999999999999999999999999999% of the time. It would be falsified if the Sun rises from the West tomorrow. I am not running down holistic sciences because from this month onward I am a converted holist. I do not believe that only reductionistc science is falsifiable science and that holistc sciences cannot match them in future breakthroughs. So please visit

the homepage of Sequence Algebra and Quantum Number Theory for enlightenment.

I suggest you integrate your findings with the synthesis process of the cyclic dialectic where axiom*atic spin advances another thesis. Consider the irrefutable laws of physics and the difference between general and special relativity in the equation. You may find that a slow flux of persistence (oscillation) is our nature - not vacillating patterns. Flexing spacetime?
In a universe of flux; Whole is an absolute - which defies the transition of spacetime. These same*ness§unique*ness, subject*ive§object*ive, divers*ity§un*ity, contrac*tion§expan*sion, etc. exercises equate to a flux in spacetime - the give-and-take of reality ∞.
Reductionism§Holism is a dialectic, transitive flux. The "dichotomy", "paradox", or dual*ity; can be balanced by single*ity (singularity). This is why your "99.99999999999999999999999999999999%" or any other number is a probable*ity, not an absolute. --Dialectic 04:05, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

A couple of changes[edit]

Hi, I'm new to this page. First, I went ahead and added a touch to the intro - and made it an intro to holistic science instead of an attack upon it. Generally in Wikipedia, you first state what something is supposed to be about before critiqueing it. Then I also added a reference to Rachel Carson.

There is a big red box at the top which states categorically that this page is disputed...but since really all of science is disputed by someone, then exactly why is the red box in order - I mean, there is a section which critiques holistic science already. Wonderactivist 16:19, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

What happened to the red box?

Hey, the red box has been removed and there is no documentation of that in the history? I did not remove the red box. Was it an automatic thing? Wonderactivist 13:30, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Issue of pseudoscience[edit]

Hi all. I added the pseudoscience category as there is a clear pseudoscience issue in the article. This does not mean that Wikipedia is calling the subject pseudoscience. The cat includes many scientific subjects that have pseudoscientific issues, e.g. hemispheric specialization. The category is to help the reader browse articles that help them to understand issues of pseudoscience. Please read the description of the category for further information. Thank you. KrishnaVindaloo 04:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Your just the next in a long line of ps-ists in wp. It's on. You're clearly misinformed. If you want people to "understand the issues of pseudoscience" direct them to Black supremacy. opps! that may be for real too... Prove your takes and justify your edits with refs. Thanks for playing. --RealDefender 05:29, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Not a problem at all. Refs provided as requested. KrishnaVindaloo 06:29, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Opposing views?[edit]

The section on Opposing views seems to make no sense at all. The fact that fringe scientists might use holistic arguments says nothing negative about holistic ideas: if a creationist uses scientific arguments, this doesn't make science creationist; this is merely attempted denigration by association.

The second section is strange, it cites a 1996 book written by a journalist that achieved brief notoriety for its soon recognised absurdity in concluding that very soon we would know everything there is to know.

I suggest deleting this section as WP: BollocksGleng 13:56, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree It's the same weak arguments with little, if any backing. The whole idea of including pseudoscience in holism in science is a reach. As it is, it was added by one editor who clearly has a narrow point of view. There has to be some underlying motive. --RealDefender 00:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, the information is reliable and verifiable. It belongs in the article. The title states opposing views, and the information does make a distinction between holism in science and holism in pseudoscience. I don't think any proponents of legitimate holism in science are going to worry about it. Adjustments can be made, but it complies with NPOV policy to the letter. KrishnaVindaloo 03:55, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

POV fork[edit]

The article is conflating two things: 1. The actual scientific field of systems science. 2. Pseudoscience that uses the word "holism". Conflating the two acts to make the pseudoscience seem more respectable; thus, this article is a POV fork and a WP:COATRACK for the ideas of Sheldrake etc. Fences and windows (talk) 22:45, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

The whole article is poorly sourced, and full of original research and synthesis. If you're going to make claims like the Santa Fe institute being holistic then you need references! Just because things like aspects of quantum theory look to the editors of this article like an example of holism, that doesn't mean they are. You need to find reliable sources that agree that this is the case. Fences and windows (talk) 23:16, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

It is a mistake, I agree, to call the Santa Fe Institute a organization involved in Holism. One might make and argument by explaining how SFI describes itself is an expression of holism. But the article fails to deliver such explanations and seems to lean on SFI to give credibility which is not necessarily due or explained. SFI Mission: The Santa Fe Institute is a transdisciplinary research community that expands the boundaries of scientific understanding. Its aim is to discover, comprehend, and communicate the common fundamental principles in complex physical, computational, biological, and social systems that underlie many of the most profound problems facing science and society today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DBlakeRoss (talkcontribs) 18:48, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Call it a day?[edit]

I've tried to make some cuts here and there, but I think this article is not doing its job in reflecting the world out there. "holism" is a banner which many new age groups will be happy to walk under, but as is typical of new age it has picked an eclectic collection of concepts from different cultures and time periods. Some of the pieces reflected in this article are:

  • Postmodernism. An intellectual movement in the 20th century that among other things questioned absolute truth.
  • The modern study of complex systems. One central property of this study is that the interaction between components in the system take centre stage.
  • Emergence, the appearance of complex and structured behaviour from a group of simpler components.
  • System dynamics and its sister field cybernetics, focus on feedback loops over linear causal chains and on the self regulating property of some feedback loops.
  • Critiques of reductionism as a scientific method and pointing out of its shortcomings.
  • The observer effect in quantum mechanics
  • Multidisciplinarity. In science it refers to work that transcend academic boundaries. In management studies the similar call for breaking down the "silos" call for more efficient project work by integrating people from different departments and with different educations.

Having read some amount of papers from these fields, it is my impression that hardly anyone outside the new age clique leans on "holism". Engineers doing cybernetics have no want nor need to use vague analogies to quantum mechanics to justify their work. It may have been different in the past, but this article should at least reflect the situation of today. A situation which is much more receptive to "holistic" ideas than before, one may add. EverGreg (talk) 19:47, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Seems to be a practically working logical positivist POV. Practically working scientists generally don't do philosophy, and logical positivism as a methodological working set works for some sciences, not all of them, especially not social sciences. Your phrasing "hardly anyone outside the new age clique" seems to entail a circular selection classification bias based on a certain preset POV. Nevertheless your characteristics of the parts of the article is valuable, and I'm going to read the article with your list in mind. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:09, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
BTW, I would regard Hermeneutics a fairly established methodology, as holistic in its approach. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
You could say it's the majority POV. It's part of the never-ending discussion about how to give a neutral point of view without also deceiving the reader about what the "general opinion" is among experts. This is especially difficult in an article like this, where there is no division between some factual object and a community's opinion of it. EverGreg (talk) 14:09, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:59, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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"Holistic science is controversial"[edit]

This is still a bad paragraph. The complaint is not against holism in itself but against the application of the word "holistic" to any old bullshit. I will try to correct this. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:48, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Sources for aspects?[edit]

Are there any sources for the "Two central aspects of Holism"? The first sounds reasonable, but the second is postmodern bullshit: "there is no objective reality". --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:53, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

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This thing needs work. Gonna be digging in over the next few days. It'd be great if anyone wanted to collaborate. Rap Chart Mike (talk) 15:20, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Clean up is properly in progress now. So far I have found citations for almost everything currently in the article, added a couple minor things, changed the sections around, removed the tags due to the work completed, and eliminated the external links section (at least for the moment) because it was all irrelevant or original research.
Now I'm going to move onto getting material from what is in the further reading section and incorporating that into the article. After that I'll see what else is out there on this topic.

Rap Chart Mike (talk) 19:11, 27 June 2018 (UTC)

Copy over and fix[edit]

I'm considering copying over a chunk of the Indications of holism in physical science section and the social science section from the holism page to here and improving the prose and citations for it. That stuff links to here as the main page and I think a fleshed out version of the material ought to be here. Thoughts? Rap Chart Mike (talk) 13:04, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Went ahead and did it. The last two sections are still not sourced correctly. having a burn out moment on getting them done. Will circle back at some point. Unless someone else gets to them or removes them for poor sourcing. Rap Chart Mike (talk) 14:36, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

The Organic Self[edit]

It seems likely that the early idea of a soul is in reality what we define today as the self. It is actually a result contained within the the body of a living creature. A yet to be explained astonishing organic process produced by the brain. It is well known that environment and injury to the brain can alter personality, awareness, behavior, etc. It is likely that death brings an end to the organic process of the self. You are terminated. Adios amigo. Dualism is a fantasy. See:Psychiatry for Social Workers by Alistair Munro M.D. and Wallace McCulloch M.Sc., Pergamon Press,London,1969, page.109 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Miistermagico (talkcontribs) 13:22, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

Psychobabble, Newberg, J. Z. Knight and Kubler-Ross[edit]

Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using Psychology to Think Critically About Issues in the News by Carol Tavris, Pearson, 3rd edition, 2010 is informative. A critical examination of Andrew B. Newberg, M.D., Neuroscientist, Director of Research for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his connections to What the Bleep Do We Know? and J.Z. Knight are a bit ODD. I am reminded of the strange deep waters where Elizabeth Kubler-Ross went under. So it goes..Miistermagico (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:27, 27 March 2019 (UTC)