PARADIGMS LOST Author:JOHN L. CASTI IMAGES OF MAN IN THE MIRROR OF SCIENCE — From Publishers Weekly — Casti draws the reader into current scientific controversies as he weighs the pros and cons of puzzling questions: Did life on earth arise from a "primordial organic soup"? Can a machine ever duplicate human cognitive processes? How do children acquire the ability to speak their nat... more »ive language? Is there validity to sociobiologists' claims that human behavior patterns are genetically determined? Quantum physics, artificial intelligence and astronomers' search for intelligent life in the universe are among the topics explored in an engaging, elegant, personal fashion. Casti, author of Alternate Realities , spotlights the role of passion and politics in scientific debate. However, he highhandedly dismisses research into UFOs, Bigfoot (yeti) and "even more offbeat phenomena" as the work of pseudoscientific cranks, thus himself mirroring the attitudes of scientists whose blinkered viewpoints on other topics he so deftly exposes. BOMC and QPBC alternates.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Casti, a mathematician who also wrote Alternate Realities (Wiley, 1988), takes us on a tour of the philosophy of science and the great questions that elicit heated debates from working scientists. Some of the questions: How did life begin? Can machines really think? Is social behavior genetically determined? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? In each case, Casti marshals the arguments for and against the major positions as if they were "on trial" in a court. Finally, he produces his verdict, with which you may agree or disagree. Unfortunately, the author assumes a little too much knowledge of science and philosophy on the part of the reader, so some sections are rather obscure, and the educated layperson will have difficulty in weighing the arguments.
- Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll . , CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.« less