J. C. Smuts coined the term “holism” ( from holo-‘whole’ + -ism) in the 1920s to designate the tendency in nature to produce organized “wholes” (bodies or organisms) from the ordered grouping of units. Holism is the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to systems, life and ecology.