The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 28, 1999 - Science - 578 pages
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Throughout the twentieth century, from the furor over Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars to the sophisticated Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, otherworldly life has often intrigued and occasionally consumed science and the public. The Biological Universe provides a rich and colorful history of the attempts during the twentieth century to answer questions such as whether "biological law" reigns throughout the universe and whether there are other histories, religions, and philosophies outside those on Earth. Covering a broad range of topics, including the search for life in the solar system, the origins of life, UFOs, and aliens in science fiction, Steven J. Dick shows 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. This book will fascinate astronomers, historians of science, biochemists, and science fiction readers.

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About the author (1999)

Steven J. Dick held the 2014 Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. In 2013 he testified before Congress on the subject of astrobiology. He served as the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum (2011 2012), and as the NASA Chief Historian and Director of the NASA History Office (2003 2009). He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and is author or editor of twenty books, including The Biological Universe (1996). He was awarded the 2006 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society. In 2009, the International Astronomical Union designated minor planet 6544 stevendick in his honor.

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