About John Casti’s first book, Paradigms Lost, Martin Gardner said, “a dazzling, splendidly written survey of the leading scientific controversies over time… Casti has jumped into the ranks of the nation’s top science popularizers.” Now, in his fascinating new book, Searching for Certainty, John Casti tells us why some systems for defining the shape of things to come work better than others.
Since the beginning of time, humankind has been searching for ways to predict future events. Although the Oracle at Delphi has given way to modern scientific theories, the prediction game is still a hard one to be. Taking us on a journey through the world’s of probability, chance, and chaos, Casti investigates developmental biology, modern warfare, weather and climate prediction, mathematics, economics, and games of chance.
Casti asks a variety of intriguing questions: Does any method exist to foresee stock market trends? Can warfare be predicted and avoided? Why can’t we get a foolproof forecast for the weekend weather on Tuesday? Are concepts as nuclear winter and the greenhouse effect real threats to humanity? And, finally, is mathematics, the queen of sciences, really as infallible as it’s cracked up to be? With extraordinary wit and insight, Casti shows us the forces that drive our world.
John Casti received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Southern California and then worked at the RAND Corporation and at the University of Arizona, New York University, and Princeton. He was one of the first research staff members of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. Casti is now on the faculty of the Technical University of Vienna.