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 we say about the essential nature of the physical world? 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 today – in 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 world view. 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.
"This is a courteous, competent and well-written book." Terence Kealey, The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2008
"Science and Certainty is a thoughtful and stimulating treatment of the nature and role of science in probing the nature of life and its home on planet earth. The selection of topics presents us with a palate which all thoughtful readers will appreciate and find engaging and will conclude, I am confident, that it is a book they are pleased they have read." Dr Jim Peacock, Chief Scientist Australian Government and CSIRO Fellow
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.