eagletonian writes: In a recent interview mathematician George Ellis questioned the "bottom up" causation paradigm prevalent in science, where forces between particles are considered the only kind of physical causation from which chemistry, biology, and even our minds are emergent. Instead Ellis argues in favor of the possibility that " these emergent higher level structures, such as cells, neurons, and the brain, have causal powers in their one right". This "top-down causation" recognizes that higher levels can control the lower levels by setting constraints on lower level interactions. You can find details of Ellis theory in his paper published in the Annals of Physics.
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)