The ontological structure of the universe represents a hierarchical order: Observable phenomena are governed by laws, and laws by first principles.
The complexity of the living organisms, as it is widely acknowledged, is intractably large. A still bigger problem is that this complexity is not static. It changes from time step to time step. In biology, these structural changes are not random, but change systematically and consequently and sum up in a complex way based on preprogrammed principles.
Why did I jump into the air? A physicist can claim that I jumped into the air because a physical force had arisen between my foot and the ground. Yet this explanation indicates a further question: Why did these physical forces
arise? The answer can be given by the biologist: because biological processes like induction of biocurrents or neural voltage (excitations, action potentials, electric gradients) have been generated and form a system of stimuli extending from the neurons through the nerves to the muscles, making them contract. But then a further question arises: Why did the neurons become excited? The answer a psychologist (a scientist of self-conscious decisions) would likely give is that the neurons were agitated because a willing, self-conscious agent made a decision—in this case, to jump in the air.
Of course, the physicist can point out that the generation of the neural voltages and their propagation towards the muscles corresponds to material processes (like ion transfer) which are determined by physical laws. But this claim is only partially true; the generation and coordination of an immense number of elementary biocurrents into a biologically meaningful system of neural processes cannot be explained by physics; physical equations do not allow to predict them, simply because they serve a biological aim, and that aim governs the whole process from its generation to its final manifestations. If so, how are the first neural voltages generated? This is a crucial problem: How can our allegedly immaterial, unobservable decisions elicit material, observable consequences?
quantum electrodynamics (QED) is able to give account of the generation of “matter” in quantum processes: QED is able to describe quantitatively the generation and annihilation of particles and antiparticles from the vacuum,
which is a “sea” of spontaneously generated virtual particles.