Agriculture and medicine palpably manifest a culture's world view. Correspondingly, changes in agriculture and medicine may be barometers of change in a culture's overall outlook. Conventional industrial agriculture and modern surgical/chemical medicine clearly express the Newtonian mechanical model of nature. The modern classical world view represents nature to be an externally related, atomic, reductive, material, and mechanical aggregate. Modern medicine, correspondingly, treats the body as an elaborate mechanism and industrial agriculture regards soil as a substratum for monocultures assembled from fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers, and chemical pesticides. The nascent agroecology and wellness movements each express and reflect the new paradigm variously emerging from ecology and quantum physics. Ecology and the new physics, each in its own way, represent nature to be an internally related, systemic, integrated, organic whole. Agroecology translates this abstract new vision into a concrete agricultural vocabulary: The farmstead is regarded as an artificial ecosystem with a multiplicity of diverse plant and animal constituents interacting with one another and with environing natural ecosystems in complex and mutually supporting ways.
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DOI 10.1007/BF02014458
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