Talking about Life

Author: Chris Impey
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113949063X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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With over 500 planets now known to exist beyond the Solar System, spacecraft heading for Mars, and the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, this timely book explores current ideas about the search for life in the Universe. It contains candid interviews with dozens of astronomers, geologists, biologists, and writers about the origin and range of terrestrial life and likely sites for life beyond Earth. The interviewees discuss what we've learnt from the missions to Mars and Titan, talk about the search for Earth clones, describe the surprising diversity of life on Earth, speculate about post-biological evolution, and explore what contact with intelligent aliens will mean to us. Covering topics from astronomy and planetary science to geology and biology, this book will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered 'Are we alone?'

The Science of Astrobiology

Author: Julian Chela-Flores
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400716273
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Since the publication of The New Science of Astrobiology in the year 2001—the first edition of the present book—two significant events have taken place raising the subject from the beginning of the present century to its present maturity. Firstly, in 2001 the Galileo Mission still had two years to complete its task, which turned out to be an outstanding survey of the Jovian system, especially of its intriguing satellite Europa. Secondly, the Cassini Huygens Mission was still on its way to Saturn. Its present success has surpassed all expectations of ESA and NASA. Astrobiologists still did not know that Titan was the fifth body in the Solar System that possibly contained a water ocean (including the Earth and the three Galilean satellites other than Io). For these reasons the book includes overviews of the evolutionary and molecular biology that are necessary. There is a discussion of other sectors of culture that are the natural frontiers of astrobiology, especially the humanities.

The Astrobiological Landscape

Author: Milan M. Ćirković
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521197759
Format: PDF
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Introducing new, multidisciplinary concepts, this book explains how we have reached a critical threshold in the study of astrobiology.

Frontiers of Astrobiology

Author: Chris Impey
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107006414
Format: PDF, Docs
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Investigating the latest research questions in astrobiology, this volume will fascinate a wide interdisciplinary audience at all levels.

The History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

Author: David Dunér
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 144385302X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Human beings have wondered about the stars since the dawn of the species. Does life exist out there – intelligent life, even – or are we alone? The quest for life in the universe touches on fundamental hopes and fears. It touches on the essence of what it means to formulate a theory, grasp a concept, and have an imagination. This book traces the history of the science of this area and the development of new schools in philosophy. Its essays seek to establish the history and philosophy of astrobiology as research fields in their own right by addressing cognitive, linguistic, epistemological, ethical, cultural, societal, and historical perspectives on astrobiology. The book is divided into three sections. The first (Cognition) focuses on the human mind and what it contributes to the search for life. It explores the emergence and evolution of terrestrial life and cognition and the challenges humans face as they reach to the stars. The essays raise philosophical questions, pose ethical dilemmas, and offer a variety of approaches, including one from cognitive zoology, in formulating a theory of the universal principles of intelligence, the limits of human conceptual abilities, and the human mind’s encounter with the unknown. The second section (Communication) examines the linguistic and semiotic requirements for interstellar communication. What is needed for successful communication? Are there universal rules for success? What are the possible features – and limitations – of exolanguages? What is required for recognizing a message as a message? The third section (Culture) considers cultural and societal issues. It explores astrobiology’s organization as a scientific discipline, its responsibilities to the public sphere, and its theological implications. It reviews the historically important panspermia hypothesis, along with the popularization of astrobiology and its ongoing institutionalisation. Through addressing these questions, we take our first steps in exploring the immense terra incognita of extraterrestrial life and the human mind.

Alien Life Imagined

Author: Mark Brake
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521491290
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Compelling account of how ideas of alien life have evolved for general readers, amateur astronomers and undergraduate students studying astrobiology.

What is Life On Earth and Beyond

Author: Andreas Losch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107175895
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Approaches from the sciences, philosophy and theology, including the emerging field of astrobiology, can provide fresh perspectives to the age-old question 'What is Life?'. Has the secret of life been unveiled and is it nothing more than physical chemistry? Modern philosophers will ask if we can even define life at all, as we still don't know much about its origins here on Earth. Others regard life as something that cannot simply be reduced to just physics and chemistry, while biologists emphasize the historical component intrinsic to life on Earth. How can theology constructively interpret scientific findings? Can it contribute constructively to scientific discussions? Written for a broad interdisciplinary audience, this probing volume discusses life, intelligence and more against the background of contemporary biology and the wider contexts of astrobiology and cosmology. It also considers the challenging implications for science and theology if extraterrestrial life is discovered in the future.