Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life: Philosophical, Ethical and Theological Perspectives

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Constance M Bertka, Constance M. Bertka
Cambridge University Press, Sep 3, 2009 - Religion - 324 pages
Where did we come from? Are we alone? Where are we going? These are the questions that define the field of astrobiology. New discoveries about life on Earth, the increasing numbers of extrasolar planets being identified, and the technologies being developed to locate and characterize Earth-like planets around other stars are continually challenging our views of nature and our connection to the rest of the universe. In this book, philosophers, historians, ethicists, and theologians provide the perspectives of their fields on the research and discoveries of astrobiology. A valuable resource for graduate students and researchers, the book provides an introduction to astrobiology, and explores subjects such as the implications of current origin of life research, the possible discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life, and the possibility of altering the environment of Mars.
 

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Contents

Bertka
1
Emergence and the experimental pursuit of the origin of life
21
definitions of life viewed in a historical context
47
the emergence of life and the nature of science
61
reflections on the origin and future
96
A biologists guide to the solar system
115
Centre for Religion and the Biosciences Theology and Religious Studies
168
epistemology ethics
186
History Division National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters
200
God evolution and astrobiology
220
restoration ecology
245
an ethical primer
261
a Christian perspective
281
Comparing stories about the origin extent and future
303
Index
321
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About the author (2009)

Constance M. Bertka is an Adjunct Professor at the Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC. Until recently, she was Director of the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Constance M. Bertka is an Adjunct Professor at the Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC. Until recently, she was Director of the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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