Sunday, March 01, 2009

Methods of finding extraterrestrial life and key philosophical and theological issues arising from first contact

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 - A new genus of millipede living in Arizona caves was recently discovered by a Northern Arizona University doctoral student and a Bureau of Land Management researcher. See article.
g Message - It's possible to split up the methods of finding extraterrestrial life into two categories: humans trying to discover extraterrestrial life, and humans trying to be discovered by extraterrestrial life. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Aftermath - The scientific discussion of the evolution of life in the universe raises some key philosophical and theological issues: Will life and intelligence be found throughout the universe, or will it turn out to be exceedingly rare? Will intelligent life be capable of both rationality and moral agency? Will evolutionary biology determine its moral content or will it merely bequeath intelligent life with moral capacity, leaving moral content to be determined independently of biology? If moral agency evolves, will these species inevitably exhibit moral failure, or is our generic human experience of moral failure strictly the result of our particular evolution, leaving us to expect there to be other civilizations that are entirely benign? The discussion of these issues, though largely hypothetical, can offer insight into the theological and cultural implications of the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence as well into a better understanding of the human condition. See article.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

what do you think about that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lz0paNxDBM

Sarch4XtraLife - CLICK HERE!!! said...

What are the moral implications of spreading throughout the universe, if there isn't any other life? If we meet any life, might they be kind, but become hostile as we colonize beyond our solar system?