The Astrobiological Landscape: Philosophical Foundations of the Study of Cosmic Life
Astrobiology is an expanding, interdisciplinary field investigating the origin, evolution and future of life in the universe. Tackling many of the foundational debates of the subject, from discussions of cosmological evolution to detailed reviews of common concepts such as the 'Rare Earth' hypothesis, this volume is the first systematic survey of the philosophical aspects and conundrums in the study of cosmic life. The author's exploration of the increasing number of cross-over problems highlights the relationship between astrobiology and cosmology and presents some of the challenges of multidisciplinary study. Modern physical theories dealing with the multiverse add a further dimension to the debate. With a selection of beautifully presented illustrations and a strong emphasis on constructing a unified methodology across disciplines, this book will appeal to graduate students and specialists who seek to rectify the fragmented nature of current astrobiological endeavour, as well as curious astrophysicists, biologists and SETI enthusiasts.
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The Colour Out of Space?
Prides and prejudices
Copernicanism and the promise of synthesis
Six eras and the New standard cosmology
historical parallel of cosmology
Cosmology life and selection effects
Astrobiology as a natural extension of Darwinism
Further arguments against REH
The argument from biological contingency
Towards a coherent philosophy of noogenesis and SETI
The strangeness of astroengineering
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anthropic arguments anthropic principle anthropic reasoning anthropocentric Archipelago argued artiﬁcial astrobiological landscape astrobiological research astroengineering astronomical astrophysical Basalla biogenesis biological evolution biosphere Chapter Cirkoviť civilizations complex concept context continuity thesis Conway Morris Copernicanism cosmic cosmology course criticism Darwin deﬁned deﬁnition difﬁcult discussed domain Drake equation Dyson Dyson shells Earth empirical epoch eternal evolutionary example existence explanation extrasolar planets extraterrestrial fact Fermi’s paradox ﬁeld ﬁnd ﬁnding ﬁne-tuning ﬁnite ﬁrst Galactic Galaxy Gould habitable planets Habitable Zone human hypothesis important inﬁnite inﬂuence instance intelligent observers issues J. B. S. Haldane least Milky multiverse nature noogenesis observation selection effects Olum’s panspermia parameters particular philosophical physical physical cosmology planetary systems plate tectonics principle Principle of Mediocrity problem question reﬂects relevant scepticism scientiﬁc SETI SETI studies signiﬁcant similar Solar System space speciﬁc stars stellar sufﬁciently terrestrial theory thought experiment timescale Tipler understanding universe Wallace’s