Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Human Imagination

SETI at the Intersection of Science, Religion, and Culture

Author: John Traphagan

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319105515

Category: Science

Page: 110

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The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) represents one of the most significant crossroads at which the assumptions and methods of scientific inquiry come into direct contact with—and in many cases conflict with—those of religion. Indeed, at the core of SETI is the same question that motivates many interested in religion: What is the place of humanity in the universe? Both scientists involved with SETI (and in other areas) and those interested in and dedicated to some religious traditions are engaged in contemplating these types of questions, even if their respective approaches and answers differ significantly. This book explores this intersection with a focus on three core points: 1) the relationship between science and religion as it is expressed within the framework of SETI research, 2) the underlying assumptions, many of which are tacitly based upon cultural values common in American society, that have shaped the ways in which SETI researchers have conceptualized the nature of their endeavor and represented ideas about the potential influence contact might have on human civilization, and 3) what sort of empirical evidence we might be able to access as a way of thinking about the social impact that contact with alien intelligence might have for humanity, from both religious and cultural perspectives. The book developed as a result of a course the author teaches at the University of Texas at Austin: Religion, Science, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds

Author: John W. Traphagan

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319417452

Category: Science

Page: 161

View: 3852

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This book explores humanity’s thoughts and ideas about extraterrestrial life, paying close attention to the ways science and culture interact with one another to create a context of imagination and discovery related to life on other worlds. Despite the recent explosion in our knowledge of other planets and the seeming era of discovery in which we live, to date we have found no concrete evidence that we are not alone. Our thinking about life on other worlds has been and remains the product of a combination of scientific investigation and human imagination shaped by cultural values--particularly values of exploration and discovery connected to American society. The rapid growth in our awareness of other worlds makes this a crucial moment to think about and assess the influence of cultural values on the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. Here the author considers the junction of science and culture with a focus on two main themes: (1) the underlying assumptions, many of which are tacitly based upon cultural values common in American society, that have shaped the ways researchers in astrobiology and SETI have conceptualized the nature of their endeavor and represented ideas about the potential influence contact might have on human civilization, and (2) the empirical evidence we can access as a way of thinking about the social impact that contact with alien intelligence might have for humanity.

Beyond UFOs

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

Author: Jeffrey Bennett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838486

Category: Science

Page: 248

View: 2871

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The quest for extraterrestrial life doesn't happen only in science fiction. This book describes the startling discoveries being made in the very real science of astrobiology, an intriguing new field that blends astronomy, biology, and geology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Jeffrey Bennett takes readers beyond UFOs to discuss some of the tantalizing questions astrobiologists grapple with every day: What is life and how does it begin? What makes a planet or moon habitable? Is there life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? How can life be recognized on distant worlds? Is it likely to be microbial, more biologically complex--or even intelligent? What would such a discovery mean for life here on Earth? Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars. In a new afterword, Bennett shares the most recent developments in extrasolar research, and discusses how they might further our quest to find alien life.

Civilizations Beyond Earth

Extraterrestrial Life and Society

Author: Douglas A. Vakoch,Albert A. Harrison

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857452126

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 7713

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Astronomers around the world are pointing their telescopes toward the heavens, searching for signs of intelligent life. If they make contact with an advanced alien civilization, how will humankind respond? In thinking about first contact, the contributors to this volume present new empirical and theoretical research on the societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Archaeologists and astronomers explore the likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, using scientific insights to estimate such elusive factors as the longevity of technological societies. Sociologists present the latest findings of novel surveys, tapping into the public's attitudes about life beyond Earth to show how religion and education influence beliefs about extraterrestrials. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, journalism, and religious studies offer innovative solutions for bridging the cultural gap between human and extraterrestrial civilizations, while recognizing the tremendous challenges of communicating at interstellar distances. At a time when new planets are being discovered around other stars at an unprecedented rate, this collection provides a much needed guide to the human impact of discovering we are not alone in the universe.

Extra-terrestrial Intelligence

The First Encounter

Author: James Lee Christian

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 303

View: 5891

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Fifteen scientists and science-fiction writers explore the possibilities, implications, and probable consequences of our making contact with, and communicating with, intelligent life in other planetary systems. Bibliogs

Der dunkle Wald

Roman

Author: Cixin Liu

Publisher: Heyne Verlag

ISBN: 3641174589

Category: Fiction

Page: 816

View: 2981

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Invasion Der erste Kontakt mit einer außerirdischen Spezies hat die Menschheit in eine Krise gestürzt, denn die fremde Zivilisation hat sich Zugang zu jeglicher menschlicher Informationstechnologie verschafft. Der einzige Informationsspeicher, der noch vor den Aliens geschützt ist, ist das menschliche Gehirn, weshalb das Wallfacer- Projekt ins Leben gerufen wird: Vier Wissenschaftler sollen die ultimative Verteidigungsstrategie gegen die Aliens ausarbeiten - doch können sie einander trauen?

The Eerie Silence

Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

Author: Paul Davies

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547488491

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 9003

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One of the world’s leading scientists explains why—and how—the search for intelligent life beyond Earth should be expanded. Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). After a half-century of scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. Physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies has been closely involved with SETI for three decades and chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we’re suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap—assuming that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In this provocative book Davies refocuses the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does.

The Biological Universe

The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science

Author: Steven J. Dick

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521663618

Category: Science

Page: 578

View: 6768

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This book is the first history of the twentieth century extraterrestrial life debate.

Vast Universe

Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation

Author: Thomas O'Meara

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814680488

Category: Religion

Page: 96

View: 660

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If we have learned anything from recent advances in cosmology and astronomy, it is that we have only barely begun to comprehend the vastness of our universe and all that it contains. For Christians, this raises some fascinating questions: If there are intelligent beings out there, what would be their relationship to what Christianity claims is a special history on Earth of life with God? Would the fact of persons on other planets banish or modify our understanding of God? Would it reduce the importance of Jesus? What role might goodness and evil play in extraterrestrial civilizations? Might God have incarnated himself among other races of creatures, as he became incarnate as Jesus among us? Respectful of the sciences that disclose the reality of the universe, Thomas O'Meara wonders about good and evil, intelligence and freedom, revelation and life as they might exist in other galaxies. In this book, one possible aspect of the universe we live in meets the perspective of Christian revelation.

Here Be Dragons

The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life

Author: David W. Koerner,Simon LeVay

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198033370

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 4483

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The discovery of life on other planets would be perhaps the most momentous revelation in human history, more disorienting and more profound than either the Copernican or Darwinian revolutions, which knocked the earth from the center of the universe and humankind from its position of lofty self-regard. In Here Be Dragons, astronomer David Koerner and neurobiologist Simon LeVay offer a scientifically compelling and colorful account of the search for life beyond Earth. The authors survey the work of biologists, cosmologists, computer theorists, NASA engineers, SETI researchers, roboticists, and UFO enthusiasts and debunkers as they attempt to answer the greatest remaining question facing humankind: Are we alone? From their "safe haven of skepticism" the authors venture into the "rough seas of speculation," where theory and evidence run the gamut from hard science to hocus pocus. Arguing that the universe is spectacularly suited for the evolution of living creatures, Koerner and LeVay give us ringside seats at the great debates of Big Science. The contenitous arguments about what really happens in evolution, the acrimonious UFO controversy, and the debate over intelligence versus artificial intelligence shed new light on the wildly divergent claims about the universe and life's place in it. The authors argue that while no direct evidence of extraterrestrial life yet exists, habitats and chemical building blocks for life abound in the universe. A wealth of new astronomical techniques and space missions may provide this evidence early in the next century. Lucidly written and scientifically rigorous, Here Be Dragons presents everything we know thus far about the emergence of intelligent life here on earth and, perhaps, beyond.

Starstruck

Cosmic Visions in Science, Religion, and Folklore

Author: Albert A. Harrison

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781845452865

Category: Religion

Page: 231

View: 367

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We live in an era of exploding scientific knowledge about the universe, and our place and future within it. Much of this new knowledge conflicts with earlier wisdom, and some has frightening implications. Cosmic evolution, space exploration, the search for extraterrestrial life, and concerns about humanity's future prompt us to seek new answers to old existential questions. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Are we alone? What will become of us? In our search for answers, we turn to science, religion, myth, and varying combinations thereof. Exploring an ambiguous region between recognized findings and unfettered imagination, Starstruck explores the multifaceted, far-reaching, and often contentious attempts of people with contrasting worldviews to develop convincing and satisfying interpretations of rapidly accumulating discoveries in physics, astronomy, and biology. Albert A. Harrison is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He is co-author of Living Aloft, Human Requirements for Extended Spaceflight (1985), From Antarctica to Outer Space: Life in Isolation and Confinement (1991) and author of After Contact: the Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life (1997) and Spacefaring: The Human Dimension (2001). He was a member of the International Academy of Astronautics' SETI Committee, and of NASA's Space Human Factors Engineering Science and Technology Working Group.

Einstein, die Geschichte und andere Leidenschaften

Der Kampf gegen die Wissenschaft am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts

Author: Gerald Holton

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3322850293

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 298

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Gerald Holton warnt mit Hilfe eines der größten Wissenschaftler unseres Jahrhunderts - Albert Einstein - vor der heutigen "Romantischen Rebellion", die für alle Fehler unserer heutigen Gesellschaft die Wissenschaft verantwortlich machen will und ein neues Denken propagiert. Dadurch, daß er die Einsteinsche Gedankenwelt sorgfältig durchleuchtet, zeigt er, daß die Spitzenergebnisse der Wissenschaft auf sehr viel Intuition beruhen und daß die moderne Wissenschaft in der Tat ein kreativer Ausdruck der westlichen Zivilisation ist.

Astrobiology, History, and Society

Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery

Author: Douglas A. Vakoch

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642359833

Category: Science

Page: 375

View: 428

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This book addresses important current and historical topics in astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first section covers the plurality of worlds debate from antiquity through the nineteenth century, while section two covers the extraterrestrial life debate from the twentieth century to the present. The final section examines the societal impact of discovering life beyond Earth, including both cultural and religious dimensions. Throughout the book, authors draw links between their own chapters and those of other contributors, emphasizing the interconnections between the various strands of the history and societal impact of the search for extraterrestrial life. The chapters are all written by internationally recognized experts and are carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute. This interdisciplinary book will benefit everybody trying to understand the meaning of astrobiology and SETI for our human society.

Contact with Alien Civilizations

Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials

Author: Michael Michaud

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780387686189

Category: Science

Page: 466

View: 4693

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This book describes a wide variety of speculations by many authors about the consequences for humanity of coming into contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. The assumptions underlying those speculations are examined, and some conclusions are drawn. The book emphasizes the consequences of contact rather than the search, and takes account of popular views. As necessary background, the book also includes brief summaries of the history of thinking about extraterrestrial intelligence, searches for life and for signals, contrasting paradigms of how contact might take place, and the paradox that those paradigms allegedly create.

SPERLING

ROMAN. VORW. V. KATHLEEN GOONAN

Author: Mary Doria Russell

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783453875524

Category:

Page: 663

View: 5340

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Sind wir allein im Universum?

Über die Wahrscheinlichkeit außerirdischen Lebens

Author: Paul Davies

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3105607269

Category: Philosophy

Page: 190

View: 5183

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Angenommen, wir würden Leben außerhalb unserer Erde finden – was würde es für uns und für unser Weltbild bedeuten? (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine frühere Ausgabe.)

Unsere einsame Erde

Author: Peter D. Ward,Donald Brownlee

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3642565069

Category: Science

Page: 374

View: 3952

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Sind wir vielleicht allein im Universum? Die Antworten überraschen und führen den Leser auf eine faszinierende Reise von den vulkanischen Quellen des Ozeanbodens bis zum Jupiter-Mond. "...ein stellares Beispiel präziser Ausdruckskraft." (American Scientist)