How did life on Earth get started? Can we duplicate human thought in a computing machine? How do children acquire language? Ten years ago, in PARADIGMS LOST, John L. Casti looked at the state of play with these and a handful of other eternal questions, outlining the competing answers on offer and describing the scientists who advocated them. In PARADIGMS REGAINED Casti recounts the huge leaps science has made since then, and how new theories and candidate answers have emerged for almost all the big questions. As we enter the twenty-first century, PARADIGMS REGAINED provides an excellent summary of what we understand about key scientific issues.
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(203mm x 127mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
Perhaps one of the reasons popular science books are, well, popular is that we actually know so little. We think we can track the development of the universe back to unimaginably small fractions of a second after the Big Bang, but why did it happen? Why is there something rather than nothing? Particle physicists explain many details of matter, but what is everything actually made of? We simply do not know. Nor do we know how life began or what consciousness is or whether computers will ever think. We do, however, appear to be edging towards a clearer picture on such things, and for many people following this progress provides endless fascination. This book is about the so called big questions. The author is himself a scientist, working at the famous Santa Fe Institute, and his past books have demonstrated his ability to explain complex issues to interested laymen. It is something of a sequel to Paradigms Lost, published in 1989, and revisits some of the same issues in the light of our developing knowledge. Major puzzles are investigated in c individual chapters. There is no attempt to present magic solutions, indeed the reader is, to some extent, left to form their own judgement of the evidence. If you view the study of the mysteries of modern science as a journey rather than a destination, then this is a journey that boggles the mind. The book provides a compelling review in the company of a writer who projects his enthusiasm for science powerfully, and who has an ability to make the most complex issues seem a little more understandable. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - John L. Casti
John L. Casti is a member of the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute and a professor at the Technical University of Vienna. He divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Vienna.