Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate / Edition 1

Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate / Edition 1

by Steven J. Dick
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521620120

ISBN-13: 9780521620123

Pub. Date: 09/28/1998

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Life on Other Worlds places the 20th century extraterrestrial life debate in historical perspective. It covers a broad range of topics, ranging from the search for life in the solar system to the search for planetary systems, the origins of life, UFOs, and aliens in science fiction.

Overview

Life on Other Worlds places the 20th century extraterrestrial life debate in historical perspective. It covers a broad range of topics, ranging from the search for life in the solar system to the search for planetary systems, the origins of life, UFOs, and aliens in science fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521620123
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.02(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tablesix
Acknowledgmentsxii
Introduction1
1From the Physical World to the Biological Universe: Democritus to Lowell6
1.1The Cosmological Connection7
1.2Philosophical Explorations15
1.3Scientific Foundations17
2Life in the Solar System25
2.1Lowell and Mars: The Search for Intelligence, 1894-192426
2.2The Search for Martian Vegetation, 1924-195744
2.3The Space Age: Lowell's Legacy Overturned53
2.4Reprise: Martian Fossils and Europan Seas65
3Solar Systems Beyond70
3.1Skepticism: Close Encounters of the Stellar Kind71
3.2Turning Point: 1943-195878
3.3Optimism: Observation to the Rescue88
4Extraterrestrials in Literature and the Arts: The Role of Imagination106
4.1The Invention of the Alien: Verne, Wells, and Lasswitz107
4.2The Development and Uses of the Alien: Burroughs to Bradbury116
4.3The Alien Comes of Age: Clarke to E.T. and Beyond125
5The UFO Controversy and the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis137
5.1The Rise of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis138
5.2The Peak of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, 1965-1969150
5.3Aftermath: The Nature of Evidence and the Decline of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis in Physical Science159
6The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Extraterrestrial Context169
6.1Origins of Life and Extraterrestrial Life: A Space Age Symbiosis170
6.2Evolution and Extraterrestrials: Chance and Necessity Revisited192
7SETI: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence200
7.1Cornell, Ozma, and Green Bank: The Opening of the Electromagnetic Spectrum for SETI201
7.2A Rationale for SETI: Optimists, Pessimists, and the Drake Equation212
7.3A Strategy for SETI: The Development of Observational Programs222
8The Meaning of Life: Implications of Extraterrestrial Intelligence236
8.1Perceptions of Cultural Impact237
8.2Astrotheology245
8.3Life and Purpose in the Universe: The Anthropic Principle254
9Summary and Conclusion: The Biological Universe261
9.1The Triumph of Cosmic Evolution261
9.2The Biological Universe as Cosmological Worldview265
9.3The Problem of Evidence and the Limits of Science266
9.4The Cultures of Science269
9.5Exobiology as Protoscience270
9.6Cultural Significance of the Debate271
Select Bibliographical Essay274
Index279

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