Thursday, April 05, 2007

Evo-devo, artistic messages to the stars and ‘Let’s Build an Extraterrestrial’

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Life - Research in evolutionary developmental biology, known as “evo-devo”, is being held back because the dominant model organisms used by scientists are unable to illustrate key questions about evolution, argue biologists in the latest issue of Nature Reviews Genetics. See
g Message - We’ve all heard of SETI, bit what about METI — “Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” or sending both scientific and artistic messages to the stars? See
g Cosmicus - In viewing Earth, moon and Mars, few could or would ask to look ahead five hundred years. When presenting his views to the blue-ribbon Presidential Panel, author Ray Bradbury took on the challenge of imagining a moon base and a Mars' civilization. See Note: This article is from 2004.
g Learning - Here’s a neat Web site that offers a variety of book, video and Web resources for teaching about space and astrobiology:
g Imagining - Here’s a neat site that draws upon the history of science fiction for examples: "Let’s Build an Extraterrestrial":
g Aftermath - Some of the best discussion of the consequences of alien contact occurs in science fiction. Here’s a novel that ranks among the most important in that dialogue: Arthur C. Clark’s “Songs of a Distant Earth.” Look for it at your library or local used bookstore.