Monday, April 11, 2005

Drilling to the enter of the Earth and scientific assault on the Moon

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars – Scientists have unveiled new research which shows how exploding stars may have helped to create the earth. The discovery was made during a unique research project examining how some dead stars reignite and come back to life. See article.
g Abodes – Scientist said last week they had drilled into the lower section of Earth's crust for the first time and were poised to break through to the mantle in coming years. See article.
g Life – Aiming to thwart persistent bacterial infections and better control group behaviors of certain microorganisms, scientists are creating artificial chemicals that infiltrate and sabotage bacterial "mobs." See article.
g Intelligence – A study published in the current issue of Journal of Personality studied adult male monozygotic and dizygotic twins to find that difference in religiousness are influenced by both genes and environment. But during the transition from adolescence to adulthood, genetic factors increase in importance while shared environmental factors decrease. See article.
g Message – Book alert: In “Are We Alone in the Cosmos? The Search for Alien Contact in the New Millenium,” edited by Byron Preiss and Ben Bova, major scientists involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, explain their work and reveal their thoughts. Joining them are some of the best speculative thinkers, from Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov to Gregory Benford, who address the major philosophical questions involved. See reviews.
g Cosmicus – Not only the United States, but European, Indian, Japanese and Chinese probes are being readied for a new scientific assault on the Moon, hoping to glean insight about lunar ice, the Moon’s cratering history, and even how that big, dusty ball of rock got there in the first place. See article.
g Learning – Here’s a neat classroom activity courtesy of NASA: MarsQuest. Students team up to create a travel brochure to Mars describing the Martian atmosphere, climate topography, and mythology.
g Imagining – Here’s an interesting piece published in an online science fiction fanzine that examines if aliens in our literature can be considered truly “evil.” See article.
g Aftermath – Here’s an interesting master’s thesis paper from a Catholic perspective. The thesis reads: “Scholars and intellectuals for thousands of years have speculated on the theological implications of intelligent life on other worlds. Are extraterrestrial intelligent beings like human beings creatures with souls made in the spiritual image of God? Have ET’s not fallen from grace or are they sinners in need of Redemption? Is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ a unique universal event affecting the whole of creation? Did Jesus Christ come to redeem and save ET’s as well as human beings by his grace via his life, death, and resurrection? Is the mission of the Catholic Church to spread the Gospel throughout the cosmos, baptizing all creatures, humans and ET’s alike, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit? Do the very existence of ET’s contradict or support certain interpretations of the Bible’s view of the special nature of humanity? Does the existence of ET’s imply or deny the intelligent design of the universe by an Intelligent Designer who Christians believe is the Logos? This thesis will explore these questions in order to determine whether the answers are consistent with Christian thought and theology as well as compatible with the concepts of universal redemption, justification, sanctification, and salvation as historically posited by the Catholic Church.” See article.

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