“At an early stage of their discoveries biologists were surprised and fascinated by the fact that living beings, however perfect (or even more perfect) their spontaneity, were always decomposable into an endless chain of closed mechanisms. From this they thought they could deduce universal materialism. But they overlooked the essential difference between a natural whole and the elements into which it is analysed.
By its very construction, it is true, every organism is always and inevitable reducible into its component parts. But it by no means follows that the sum of the parts is the same as the whole, or that, in the whole, some specifically new value may not emerge. That what is ”free”, even in man, can be broken down into determinisms, is no proof that the world is not based on freedom –as indeed I maintain that it is. It is simply the result of ingenuity –a triumph of ingenuity– on the part of life.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — The Phenomenon of Man (1955)