Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 19, 2001 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 304 pages
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Are we alone in the Universe? From the furor over Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars at the beginning of the century to the more recent controversial rock from Mars and the sophisticated Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the prospect of otherworldly life has often titillated and occasionally consumed science and the public. The search for planetary systems, the quest to explain UFOs, and inquiries into the origin of life have fueled an abundance of popular and scientific literature. They have also provided Hollywood with fodder for some of the most popular films of our time, including ET, Aliens, Independence Day, and Contact. Lucid and accessible, Life on Other Worlds chronicles the history of the twentieth-century extraterrestrial debate. Putting the latest findings and heated controversies into a broader historical context, Steven Dick documents how the concept of extraterrestrial intelligence is a world view of its own--a "biophysical cosmology" that seeks confirmation no less than physical views of the Universe. The debate rests at the very limits of science, and attempts at confirmation only illuminate the nature of science itself. Dick shows that appreciating the history of the debate enables a better understanding of the nature of science, and is central to any forward-looking view of religion and philosophy. For anyone interested in a look over the edge of scientific discovery, Life on Other Worlds provides the exciting tale behind the greatest debate in the twentieth century. Dr. Steven J. Dick is an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory. He is the author of Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge, 1982) and Biological Universe (Cambridge, 1996).
  

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Target audience: Ages 14-18 Are we alone in the unviverse? the author asks. He recounts the Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars, the controversial rock from Mars, and the Search for ... Read full review

Life on other worlds: the twentieth century extraterrestrial life debate

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A nuclear physicist and a journalist, respectively, the Fishers (Tube: The Invention of Television, Counterpoint, 1996), a father-and-son team, review scientific research on the possibility of life ... Read full review

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Contents

From the Physical World to the Biological Universe Democritus to Lowell
6
11 The Cosmological Connection
7
12 Philosophical Explorations
15
13 Scientific Foundations
17
Life in the Solar System
25
The Search for Intelligence 18941924
26
22 The Search for Martian Vegetation 19241957
44
Lowells Legacy Overturned
53
The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Extraterrestrial Context
169
A Space Age Symbiosis
170
Chance and Necessity Revisited
192
SETI The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
200
The Opening of the Electromagnetic Spectrum for SETI
201
Optimists Pessimists and the Drake Equation
212
The Development of Observational Programs
222
The Meaning of Life Implications of Extraterrestrial Intelligence
236

Martian Fossils and European Seas
65
Solar Systems Beyond
70
Close Encounters of the Stellar Kind
71
19431958
78
Observation to the Rescue
88
Extraterrestrials in Literature and the Arts The Role of Imagination
106
Verne Wells and Lasswitz
107
Burroughs to Bradbury
116
Clarke to ET and Beyond
125
The UFO Controversy and the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis
137
51 The Rise of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis
138
52 The Peak of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis 19651969
150
The Nature of Evidence and the Decline of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis in Physical Science
159
81 Perceptions of Cultural Impact
237
8Z Astrotheology
245
The Anthropic Principle
254
Summary and Conclusion The Biological Universe
261
92 The Biological Universe as Cosmological Worldview
265
93 The Problem of Evidence and the Limits of Science
266
94 The Cultures of Science
269
95 Exobiology as Protoscience
270
96 Cultural Significance of the Debate
271
Select Bibliographical Essay
274
Index
279
Copyright

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Page vi - Why, so can I ; or so can any man : But will they come, when you do call for them ? Glend.

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JSTOR: Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial ...
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate. Gustaf Arrhenius. The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 74, No. 4, 456. Dec., 1999. ...
links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0033-5770(199912)74%3A4%3C456%3ALOOWT2%3E2.0.CO%3B2-8

Life on Other Worlds
Cambridge University Press 0521620120 - Life on Other Worlds - by Steven J. Dick Description More information. Description ...
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JINS 362 Extraterrestrial Life
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate. Cambridge:. Cambridge University Press, 1998. Iris Fry. The Emergence of Life on Earth: ...
www.nd.edu/ ~histast4/ exhibits/ syllabi/ RambergETCourseSyllabus.pdf

Astrobiology :: Research :: Key Astrobiology References
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate Steven J. Dick. Cambridge (2001) - shorter, popular version of the monograph listed ...
depts.washington.edu/ astrobio/ research/ references.html

Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A : Introduction ...
Dick, 1998 sj Dick, Life on other worlds: The 20th-century extraterrestrial life debate, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998). ...
linkinghub.elsevier.com/ retrieve/ pii/ S0039368107000416

Beyond the Basics in Astrobiology Research - Harvard College Library
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-century Extraterrestrial Life Debate / Dick, sj ; Cabot QB641 .D52 1998. Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life ...
hcl.harvard.edu/ research/ guides/ astrobiology/ beyond_basics.html

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Martians, microbes and the quest for life - physicsworld.com
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate Steven Dick 1998 Cambridge University Press 290pp 17.95/$24.95hb ...
physicsworld.com/ cws/ article/ indepth/ 2478

Essay Review: The Cambrian Explosion (of Books on the Origin of Life)
Steven J. Dick, Life on Other Worlds: the 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Freeman Dyson, ...
www.springerlink.com/ index/ T164128087L72641.pdf

About the author (2001)

Steven J. Dick served as the NASA Chief Historian from 2003 to 2009 and was the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace at the National Air and Space Museum from 2011 to 2012. He has worked as both an astronomer and historian of science. Minor planet 6544 Stevendick is named in his honor.

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