Living within Limits: A Scientific Search for Truth

Living within Limits: A Scientific Search for Truth

Living within Limits: A Scientific Search for Truth

Living within Limits: A Scientific Search for Truth

Synopsis

The author, a research scientist, explores without jargon or mathematics the scientific search for truth, the nature of life and the future of man. Explaining and appreciating the scientific method and major scientific challenges such as measuring the known universe, the theoretical and experimental underpinnings for theories of evolution, and the unraveling of DNA, he discusses the difference between knowledge and belief. As the only conscious, rational beings on earth, he concludes that humans must take responsibility for our role overseeing the living kingdom on our planet.

Excerpt

It is increasingly apparent that the earth has physical and biological limits. In particular, such physical resources as energy and arable land are limited. And as we shall see in the chapter, The Search for Truth, humans have severe limitations in both sensory and reasoning powers.

The human population is increasing; longevity is increasing; technological exploitation is increasing; and third-world scientific achievements in technology and expectations of improving living standards grow with each day. As a result, we are ever so slowly crossing a great divide that will someday be known either as the Great Awakening or the Sybarite Slumber. We are not yet fully awake to the fact that our consumption of natural resources is increasing faster than those resources can be renewed.

LIMITS TO GROWTH

A number of authors have documented limits to the resources on Earth and the role these limits played in the collapse of ancient civilizations. A. Toynbee was among the first historians to describe in detail the breakdowns and disintegrations of civilizations (Toynbee, 1947). Since then Meadows, Tainter, and Diamond have analyzed the causes of the collapse of civilizations.

Dr. Meadows and her colleagues at MIT have produced computer models confirming that there are quantifiable limits to the resources of Earth (Meadows, D., et al 1972, 1992, 2004). The first model, published in 1972, was generated for the Club of Rome. The objective was to investigate the long-term consequences of growth in . . .

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