The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: A Philosophical Inquiry by David Lamb (Routledge) critically evaluates claims concerning the status of SETI as a genuine scientific research program and examines the attempts to establish contact with other intelligent life forms in the past thirty years. Are we alone in the universe? Is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence a waste of resources or a genuine contribution to scientific research? And how should we communicate with other life‑forms if we make contact?
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has been given fresh impetus in recent years following developments in space science which go beyond speculation. The evidence that many stars are accompanied by planets; the detection of organic material in the circumstellar disks of which planets are created; and claims regarding microfossils on Martian meteorites have all led to many new empirical searches.
Against the background of these dramatic new developments in science, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence evaluates claims concerning the status of SETI as a genuine scientific research program and examines the attempts to establish contact with other intelligent life‑forms of the past thirty years. David Lamb also assesses competing theories on the origin of life on Earth, discoveries of ex‑solar planets and proposals for space colonies as well as the technical and ethical issues bound up with them. Most importantly, he considers the benefits and drawbacks of communication with new life‑forms: how we should communicate and whether we could.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is an important contribution to a field that until now has not been critically examined by philosophers. David Lamb argues that current searches should continue and that space exploration and SETI are essential aspects of the transformative nature of science.
Life Beyond Earth by Timothy Ferris (Simon & Schuster) The search for
life beyond Earth takes the human mind and spirit back down long corridors of
cosmic history, probing the ancient questions of who we are and where we came
Life Beyond Earth is the story of this exploration.
A stunning blend of words and photographs crafted by Timothy Ferris, whom The Christian Science Monitor called "the best popular science writer in the English language today Life Beyond Earth combines more than 100 beautiful color illustrations with Ferris's rich, thought-provoking text and observations from such leading scientists as Freeman Dyson, Richard Gott, and Stephen Jay Gould. Drawn from Ferris's critically acclaimed, two-hour PBS documentary, the book covers broad swaths of time and space, from the South Pacific explorations of Charles Darwin and Captain James Cook to the latest space-probe searches for life and organic matter on Mars, Europa, and Titan.
Ferris fans and newcomers to his work alike will celebrate this, his most ambitious picture book since the classic Galaxies, which was hailed by Isaac Asimov as "a very good candidate for the most beautiful book in the world." As James Gleick, author of Chaos, remarked about Ferris's most recent bestseller, The Whole Shebang, "What luck that the universe has Tim Ferris to report on its condition!"
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