One of my best commenters, William Westmiller, has kindly consented to provide a chapter-by-chapter critique of "The Scientific Worldview" (TSW). In addition to helping me with future work, I believe this will be valuable for new readers confronting deterministic assumptions and scientific interpretations for the first time. It might even be considered a sort of study guide for solitary readers of the book (just search the blog for "cotsw" to get the complete guide). You may remember Bill as the person who was “95% in agreement” with "The Ten Assumptions of Science" (TTAOS). His disagreement seems to stem from his belief in free will and the existence of finite particles, which is a critical part of a book he is writing on physics. I suspect that many folks new to univironmental determinism might have similar beliefs and that they would be interested in what Bill has to say. I will be forever grateful to Bill for all his work!
Philosophy is the grandest achievement of humankind. When it is done properly, it should be the zusammenfassung (German for “together fastening”) of all knowledge. As a scientist, I have always believed in determinism: the proposition that “there are material causes for all effects.” So I took a cursory look at all philosophy with that in mind. What I found was a struggle of ideas between those who tended to believe in determinism and those who did not. Throughout history philosophy vacillated from a tendency to be dominated by either determinism or indeterminism. As knowledge about the real world accumulated, the cycles failed to repeat exactly, showing that there were advances in both camps. I cherry picked a few examples for Chapter 2 and even included a controversial sketch in the 1984 review version of TSW: