The History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

The History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

Author: David Dunér

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 9781443853026

Category: Science

Page: 290

View: 628

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.

The History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

The History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

Author: David Dunér

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Pub

ISBN: 1443850357

Category: Science

Page: 280

View: 530

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.

Handbook of Astrobiology

Handbook of Astrobiology

Author: Vera M. Kolb

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 9781351661119

Category: Science

Page: 866

View: 367

Choice Recommended Title, August 2019 Read an exclusive interview with Professor Vera Kolb here. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth. This exciting and significant field of research also investigates the potential existence and search for extra-terrestrial life in the Solar System and beyond. This is the first handbook in this burgeoning and interdisciplinary field. Edited by Vera Kolb, a highly respected astrobiologist, this comprehensive resource captures the history and current state of the field. Rich in information and easy to use, it assumes basic knowledge and provides answers to questions from practitioners and specialists in the field, as well as providing key references for further study. Features: Fills an important gap in the market, providing a comprehensive overview of the field Edited by an authority in the subject, with chapters written by experts in the many diverse areas that comprise astrobiology Contains in-depth and broad coverage of an exciting field that will only grow in importance in the decades ahead

From Influence to Inhabitation

From Influence to Inhabitation

Author: James E. Christie

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030221690

Category: Science

Page: 215

View: 439

This book describes how and why the early modern period witnessed the marginalisation of astrology in Western natural philosophy, and the re-adoption of the cosmological view of the existence of a plurality of worlds in the universe, allowing the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Founded in the mid-1990s, the discipline of astrobiology combines the search for extraterrestrial life with the study of terrestrial biology – especially its origins, its evolution and its presence in extreme environments. This book offers a history of astrobiology's attempts to understand the nature of life in a larger cosmological context. Specifically, it describes the shift of early modern cosmology from a paradigm of celestial influence to one of celestial inhabitation. Although these trends are regarded as consequences of Copernican cosmology, and hallmarks of a modern world view, they are usually addressed separately in the historical literature. Unlike others, this book takes a broad approach that examines the relationship of the two. From Influence to Inhabitation will benefit both historians of astrology and historians of the extraterrestrial life debate, an audience which includes researchers and advanced students studying the history and philosophy of astrobiology. It will also appeal to historians of natural philosophy, science, astronomy and theology in the early modern period.

Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Author: Kelly C. Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190915650

Category: Science

Page: 328

View: 832

"This book focuses on the emerging scientific discipline of astrobiology, exploring the humanistic issues of this multidisciplinary field. To be sure, there are myriad scientific questions that astrobiologists have only begun to address. However, this is not a purely scientific enterprise. More research on the broader social and conceptual aspects of astrobiology is needed. Just what are our ethical obligations towards different sorts of alien life? Should we attempt to communicate with life beyond our planet? What is "life" in the most general sense? The current volume addresses these questions by looking at different perspectives from philosophers, historians, theologians, social scientists, and legal scholars. It sets a benchmark for future work in astrobiology, giving readers the groundwork from which to base the continuous scholarship coming from this ever-growing scientific field"--

Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today

Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today

Author: Klara Anna Capova

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319962658

Category: Science

Page: 72

View: 585

This White Paper describes the state of astrobiology in Europe today and its relation to the European society at large. With contributions from authors in twenty countries and over thirty scientific institutions worldwide, the document illustrates the societal implications of astrobiology and the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to European society. The White paper has two main objectives: 1. It recommends the establishment of a European Astrobiology Institute (EAI) as an answer to a series of challenges relating to astrobiology but also European research, education and the society at large. 2. It also acknowledges the societal implications of astrobiology, and thus the role of the social sciences and humanities in optimizing the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to the lives of the people of Europe and the challenges they face. This book is recommended reading for science policy makers, the interested public, and the astrobiology community.

Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact

Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact

Author: Steven J. Dick

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108677769

Category: Science

Page:

View: 310

The search for life in the universe, once the stuff of science fiction, is now a robust worldwide research program with a well-defined roadmap probing both scientific and societal issues. This volume examines the humanistic aspects of astrobiology, systematically discussing the approaches, critical issues, and implications of discovering life beyond Earth. What do the concepts of life and intelligence, culture and civilization, technology and communication mean in a cosmic context? What are the theological and philosophical implications if we find life - and if we do not? Steven J. Dick argues that given recent scientific findings, the discovery of life in some form beyond Earth is likely and so we need to study the possible impacts of such a discovery and formulate policies to deal with them. The remarkable and often surprising results are presented here in a form accessible to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Space, Time, and Aliens

Space, Time, and Aliens

Author: Steven J. Dick

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030416140

Category: Science

Page: 799

View: 795

In this comprehensive and interdisciplinary volume, former NASA Chief Historian Steven Dick reflects on the exploration of space, astrobiology and its implications, cosmic evolution, astronomical institutions, discovering and classifying the cosmos, and the philosophy of astronomy. The unifying theme of the book is the connection between cosmos and culture, or what Carl Sagan many years ago called the “cosmic connection.” As both an astronomer and historian of science, Dr. Dick has been both a witness to and a participant in many of the astronomical events of the last half century. This collection of papers presents his reflections over the last forty years in a way accessible to historians, philosophers, and scientists alike. From the search for alien life to ongoing space exploration efforts, readers will find this volume full of engaging topics relevant to science, society, and our collective future on planet Earth and beyond.

Biosignatures for Astrobiology

Biosignatures for Astrobiology

Author: Barbara Cavalazzi

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319961750

Category: Science

Page: 347

View: 374

This book aims at providing a brief but broad overview of biosignatures. The topics addressed range from prebiotic signatures in extraterrestrial materials to the signatures characterising extant life as well as fossilised life, biosignatures related to space, and space flight instrumentation to detect biosignatures either in situ or from orbit. The book ends with philosophical reflections on the implications of life elsewhere. In the 15 chapters written by an interdisciplinary team of experts, it provides both detailed explanations on the nature of biosignatures as well as useful case studies showing how they are used and identified in ancient rocks, for example. One case study addresses the controversial finding of traces of fossil life in a meteorite from Mars. The book will be of interest not only to astrobiologists but also to terrestrial paleontologists as well as any reader interested in the prospects of finding a second example of life on another planet.

Astrobiology for a General Reader

Astrobiology for a General Reader

Author: Vera M. Kolb

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 9781527555785

Category: Science

Page: 172

View: 515

This book implements several outstanding features which are helpful to the general reader. It is organized in the form of a ‘Questions and Answers’ guide, an approach unique in the field of astrobiology. The questions and answers are linked in a conversation-like style, with each new question following from the previous answer. The book is organized into 20 chapters discussing broad and comprehensive topics, with over 250 questions answered. While the book is written for general readers who are assumed to have an interest in science, though not necessarily an extensive background, it will also be helpful to the beginning student and those who wish to pursue further one or more aspects of the field. It provides the reader with a comprehensive set of ‘Further Readings.’ After each chapter, resource material is keyed to the individual answers to each question. At the end of the book, full references are given, as well as a guide for how to obtain them. A thorough Index is also provided. The streamlined, condensed, and yet comprehensive approach provided here is well-suited for stimulating the appetite of many readers for delving more into the fascinating and multi-faceted field of astrobiology.

The Human Factor in a Mission to Mars

The Human Factor in a Mission to Mars

Author: Konrad Szocik

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783030020590

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 805

A manned mission to Mars is faced with challenges and topics that may not be obvious but of great importance and challenging for such a mission. This is the first book that collects contributions from scholars in various fields, from astronomy and medicine, to theology and philosophy, addressing such topics. The discussion goes beyond medical and technological challenges of such a deep-space mission. The focus is on human nature, human emotions and biases in such a new environment. The primary audience for this book are all researchers interested in the human factor in a space mission including philosophers, social scientists, astronomers, and others. This volume will also be of high interest for a much wider audience like the non-academic world, or for students.