The Promethean Illusion
The Western Belief in Human Mastery of Nature
This book explores two contradictory realities: our continuing belief that nature is subject to our willful control and nature's refusal to abide by this belief. It investigates particular aspects of modern science and spotlights the impact Newtonian science had upon the Western world. It then critically assesses twentieth century developments in science, presenting a number of biological and ecological case studies that document the various limitations that the natural world places upon human knowledge. The analysis argues against programmatic proposals to control nature via genetic engineering and planet management.