Science and Sensibility: The Elegant Logic of the Universe

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Prometheus Books, 2004 - Science - 233 pages
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Science has produced the vast information explosion that barrages us daily with data both trivial and profound. Though people seem eager to acquire more and more information, few understand what to do with it or how to integrate it into a coherent worldview. Paradoxically, as information has increased, knowledge has declined.
This book is designed to provide a thorough grounding in science literacy for the general lay reader. Acclaimed science writer and chemistry professor Keith J. Laidler reviews the major contributions of the different branches of science - including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology - and shows how they all lead to a unified conception of our place in the universe. He further asserts that by lifting the great veil of mystery through science, we can more fully appreciate the beauty of the universe. Although much still remains to be discovered, Laidler stresses that evidence from every field of science supports a consensus view, an elegantly logical and self-consistent picture of the formation and development of the universe and of life within it.
Even more important than understanding the basic features of this scientific worldview is knowing the method by which science arrives at its conclusions. He points out that this approach to ascertaining the truth is used by judges in courts of law and by scholars in academic fields of the humanities, as well as by scientists. By learning to weigh sound evidence in an objective and unbiased fashion, we can selectively judge the information that surrounds us and integrate it into a scientific understanding, while still retaining our sense of wonder.
This elegantly written and lucid explanation of science in contemporary life will not only spark an interest into the wonders of many fascinating scientific disciplines but will stimulate readers to think more critically and scientifically.

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About the author (2004)

Keith J. Laidler (1916 - 2003), Ph.D., was professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Ottawa and the author of eleven books, including To Light Such a Candle (Oxford University Press, 1998). He received numerous awards including the American Chemical Society's prestigious Dexter Award "for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry.

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