How did the cosmos, and our own special part of it, come to be? How did life emerge and how did we arise within it? What can be said about the physical basis of consciousness? What can science tell or not tell us about the nature and origin of physical and biological reality? Science and Certainty clears away the many misunderstandings surrounding these questions. The book addresses why certain areas of science cause concern to many people todayin particular, those which seem to have implications for the meaning of human existence, and for our significance on this planet and in the universe as a whole. It also examines the tension that can exist between scientific and religious belief systems.Science and Certainty offers an account of what science does, in fact, ask us to believe about the most fundamental aspects of reality and, therefore, the implications of accepting the scientific worldview. The author also includes a historical and philosophical background to a number of environmental issues and argues that it is only through science that we can hope to solve these problems.This book will appeal to popular science readers, those with an interest in the environment and the implications of science for the meaning of human existence, as well as students of environmental studies, philosophy, ethics and theology.
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About the Author
John T.O. Kirk is a former Chief Research Scientist and Assistant Chief of Division (Plant Industry), CSIRO and a former Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Wales. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to two business interests: Clonakilla Vineyard & Winery, Murrumbateman, and Kirk Marine Optics research consultancy. He has a wide range of research experience gained over the last half century, ranging from biochemistry and molecular biology of plants to the physics of solar radiation in the ocean, with forays also into plant breeding and viticultural climatology.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1) Origin of the Cosmos and the Solar System; 2) Origin of the Biosphere and Homo Sapiens; 3) The Nature of Physical Reality; 4) The Physical Basis of Conscious Reality; 5) Environmentalism; 6) Science and Environmental Concern; 7) Gaia; 8) ‘-isms’; References and Further Reading; Index.