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From ancient times to the present, western civilization has been driven by a trust in scientific progress. This book asks whether this is still the case. Are limits, reductions in expectation now in sight? Biology and biogenetics promise spectacular advances, mathematics unfolds new areas of understanding. And yet it may be that the great classical sciences and their self-confidence are ebbing.
The possibility that string theory can neither be verified nor falsified may entail a crisis in the very concept of what constitutes a science. Have we reached the limits of what can be understood of our universe? A fuller understanding of consciousness may prove elusive.Twenty-first-century science is characterized by incompleteness and indeterminacy. If this were so, it would constitute a vast revolution in every domain of consciousness and society.
In the fourteen challenging, inspiring papers collected here, thinkers working at the leading edge of their intellectual fields explore some of the possible consequences for society and for the future of science itself.