We are going to have to learn to live with a lot
more uncertainty for a lot longer than our
generation has ever experienced.
—Thomas L. Friedman1
This book is about science, what it is as opposed to what people say it is; what scientists do as opposed to what most people believe they do. Science is what we use to understand the world and to understand ourselves. It defines what is real and sets limits on what is possible, on what is conceivable. Today when the dream of unending and inevitable progress seems unduly optimistic, then perhaps the time is ripe to go back and reexamine our view of science and sort out its strengths from its weaknesses.
Most people would identify science with certainty. Certainty, ...