Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Philosophical and theological issues of discovering ETI

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - New research shows that some of the tectonic processes driving volcanic activity today were occurring as early as 3.8 billion years ago. The study provides new insight about the early environment of Earth. See article.
g Life - Researchers have proved that four-stranded “guadruple helix” DNA structures exist within the human genome. The finding could have implications in the treatment of cancer. See article.
g Intelligence - 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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