This is a book of criticism. It is directed at contemporary ecology, but would apply to any science or indeed any statement that claims to contain information. Application of simple criteria to judge the information in ecological statements reveals deep inadequacies in the science. Furthermore, the complexity of the contemporary field of ecology and the mistraining of a generation of ecologists has obscured its weakness. As a result, many ecologists are unaware of the failings of the science although others are deeply concerned for the future of the field. The author, Professor Peters, argues that a return to simple question of fact, to observations, and to questions of general relevance to science and society can make ecology a useful, practical and informative science. Such science is desperately needed to meet the problems of the age. A thought-provoking book that will be of interest to all scientists, but in particular ecologists from undergraduates to senior academics and professionals.
Table of Contents
1. Crisis in ecology
4. Operationalism of terms and concepts
5. Explanatory science-reduction
6. Cause and mechanism
7. Historical explanation and understanding
8. Weak predictions
9. Checklist of problems
10. Putting it together - competition
11. Predictive ecology.