Re: So much is starting to make sense!
All of modern physics is based on statistical laws. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle proves that it cannot be otherwise.
I have to disagree with that. There is a significant difference between a constant and an average, esp. in terms what you're explaining and what shape those explanations take. If, for example, the conservation of energy were not absolute, all
of physics would have to be tossed in the garbage. I think it's a misunderstanding of the uncertainty principle to say it suggests everything is fundamentally statitistical. The uncertainty principle states, roughly, you cannot know everything about a particle with precision. It does not say you cannot know one or another thing with precision - you can do that fine (at the cost of being uncertain about other things).
Perhaps you are thinking more in terms of the wave function equations? There it's helpful to note that the probability referred to in wave function is not the same type of 'chance' probability that you find with, say, rolling dice; and it's more properly called amplitude. There the Schroedinger equations are completely deterministic so there is no uncertainty or probabilistic statements; those are only introduced when taken to the classical level. Semi-classical theories, typicallly with a systemic principle (e.g. twistor theory, quantum loop qravity, Barbour's "mist", et al), are much more productive in terms of completeness of explanation, and in their ability to save from the ravages of indeterminism that most fundamental of tenets in science that says events do not occur arbitrarily: there is a cause/reason for them to happen as they do. (One of the things systemic theories are very helpful at is explaining randomness in a deterministic world.) In many ways, the systemic approach saves reductive answers from what would otherwise be failure.
Emergent properties of complex organisms are exactly that-emergent properties, based always on the simpler properties of that of which they are built. I still don't understand what "other" you are trying to see in these systems, but science says: it isn't there.
The point is that one cannot predict what those emergent properties will be based on the constituent properties (one cannot even predict that there will be emergent properties). If you are going with the assumption that the constituent properties are all that's needed to fully explain the higher level, then you must
be able to make those predictions. Unfortunately, in many cases reductive answers fail in that, and this is where you get folks talking about "the illusion of fill-in-the-blank" - basically, their theory can't explain or account for something, so they ignore it - but that can, and sometimes does, simply lead to a bunch of silliness (taken to it's ultimate, it becomes 'there is no objective reality' which is about as unscientific an attitude as I can imagine).
There are certainly many scientists who feel strict reductionism is the only answer, so you have some good company for holding that position; and there are plenty of ultra-Darwinians for strict reductionism for the evolutionary context. But it's far from a unanimous opinion, and you can just as legitimately say: science says it is there. The fact that E.O. Wilson, once a major champion of strict reduction, is changing his tune and now promoting his Concilliance concept which attempts to incorporate some systemic principles ought to suggest that the consensus is shifting; a more telling case is with Murray Gell-Mann who, disatisfied with his own Nobel Prize winning theory (quantum chromodynamics), founded the Sante Fe Institute precisely to address the notorious failure of a strictly reductive approach to explain certain things. And the systemic approaches have thus far proved very promising at explaining those things, e.g. origin of life, macroevolution, ecology, consciousness, classical phenomena in a quantum context, etc.
As far as the "other" - I'm not really sure what your question is. I'm not saying reductive anwers are inherently bad (they are most often the best and most appropriate approach), and it's not that this stuff is mutually exclusive of or conflicts with the reductive explanations of the system's constituents and their behavior when looked at as discrete events (i.e. isolated from the system as a whole). Perhaps it's better to look at it rather as "in addition" in the sense that there are, for example, laws of organization. That has proven to be a successful approach in widely different systems, where a general law applies to a type of system, and it doesn't matter what the constituents are or what their properties are, the same patterns, etc. always occur. That gives you the necessary predictability that the reductive answers lack.
If you're interested in seeing what this is all about, I'd recommend How Nature Works, by Per Bak, for the classical physics side of it (e.g. how it appears in simple systems like a pendulum or sandpile); The Quark and the Jaguar, by Murray Gell-Mann for the quantum-to-classical ideas and general applicability; and At Home in the Universe, by Stuart Kuaffman for complex systems (e.g. origin of life, thermodynamics in open systems, and adaptive systems in general).