The ‘Book of Nature’ metaphor is often associated with medieval theologians who invented it to reconcile the appeal of naturalistic explanations of events based on worldly observation with the unworldly focus on study of sacred scripture inherited from christianity’s judaic roots. The book metaphor effetively contained the world, implying that it had a beginning and an ending, joined by a story line with a rational structure. And, of course, it also implied an author.
As naturalistic thinking gained ground and modern scientific practises came into being, the Book of Nature metaphor fell out of use. Some habits of mind engendered by its use persisted, however. While many take it for granted today that the scientific and religious outlooks are irreconcilable, many also display an assumption that a rational account of the world is possible and, by implication, that some rational plan exists … somewhere.
Nature is not a Book sets out to examine these assumptions and challenge them where appropriate. Along the way, I will experiment with different strategies for presenting such challenges and may also wander into economics and politics and possible future technological alternatives to them.