Ironically, ancient wisdom, much of it presumably discredited by modern science, is making a comeback and vindicating itself.(Read the middle at: Uncommon Descent)
It turns out that the vitalists were right in a sense. Living matter is fundamentally different than non-living matter. Living matter requires information.
Stated in the crude way that Darwinists have: "Scratch a creationist and you'll find a vitalist." Yet what if the vitalists were correct "in some sense," so you have to have sense to make sense. If so, then given the way that the Darwinian mind has acted in the past it will quickly be all over the new developments or observations, merging things together while merging itself into it all by claiming that it has something to do with all progress while denying the very basis of progress. (Not to mention that such a mind is denying a transcendent perspective to trace or judge progress over time anyway.)
I.e., they will excrete more hypothetical goo over the facts while claiming that the "overwhelming" amount of their excrement makes for valid science. Science relies on accurate words and accurate information perhaps even more than a study of formations, yet the pollutions of language typical to the Darwinian mind are common. In modern times this begins at the foundation with the abuse of the term "evolution" itself.
Another example, applicable to vitalism:
Modern biology grew up in opposition to vitalism, the doctrine living organisms are organized by purposive, mindlike principles (Fig. 5.5).(Morphic Resonance & the Presence of the Past
Mechanists denied this. But modern biology now has purposive mindlike organizing principles of its own: the genetic programs. Moreover, purpose is no longer denied but admitted. The old term teleology, with its Aristotelian associations, has been replaced by the new term teleonomy, the “science of adaptation.” As Dawkins has pointed out, “in effect teleonomy is teleology made respectable by Darwin, but generations of biologists have been schooled to avoid ‘teleology’ as if it were an incorrect construction in Latin grammar, and many feel more comfortable with a euphemism.”
Thus the paradigm of modern biology, although nominally mechanistic, has in effect become remarkably similar to vitalism, with genetic “programs” or “information” or “instructions” or “messages” playing the role formerly attributed to vital factors such as entelechies.
Mechanists have always accused vitalists of trying to explain the mysteries of life in terms of empty words, such as entelechy, which “explain everything and therefore nothing.” But the vital factors in their mechanistic guises have exactly this characteristic. How does a marigold grow from a seed? Because it is genetically programmed to do so. How does a spider instinctively spin its web? Because of the information coded in its genes. And so on.
by Rubert Sheldrake :86-87)