CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Homeopathy 2020; 109(01): 030-036
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1692162
The Faculty of Homeopathy

Correlation between Vitalism and Genetics According to the Paradigm of Complexity

Marcus Zulian Teixeira
1   School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

24 March 2019

23 April 2019

Publication Date:
18 July 2019 (online)


Background In homeopathic philosophy, vital force is a non-material substrate that is responsible for maintaining the body's sensations and functions and where homeopathic medicines act. In genetics, the body's vital functions are controlled by biochemical information, which is contained in the cell genome and consists of a protein encoding portion (exome) and another that regulates this encoding scheme (epigenome). Both the philosophical vital force and the genome present properties of complex and dynamic self-organisation systems.

Aims This study aimed to explore and develop a philosophical-scientific correlation between vitalism and genetics according to the complexity paradigm.

Results Vital principle and genome present inseparable composition among distinct existing components that influence one another and form a network of connections that create complex and dynamic self-organisation behaviour. Described in both models, ‘vortex’ indicates the existence of a force coming from within the system that is externalised as an emergent, information-transmitting phenomenon. Supporting this correlation, some experimental studies show that homeopathic medicines act on the genome by modulating gene expression.

Conclusions In line with the similarity of existing characteristics and properties, the genome may be considered as hypothetical biological substrate of organic vital force.


• The vital force (or vital principle) is a philosophical non-material substrate, theoretically responsible for maintaining the body's sensations and functions.

• The cell genome controls the body's vital functions and consists of a protein encoding portion (exome) and another that regulates this encoding scheme (epigenome).

• Complex and dynamic self-organisation systems are composed of distinct units of behaviour that influence each other, forming an intrinsic network of connections.

• Both the vital principle and the genome (exome plus epigenome) present properties of complex and dynamic self-organisation systems.

• It is hypothesised that the cell genome is the biological representation of the organic vital force.

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