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The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) represents one of the most significant crossroads at which the assumptions and methods of scientific inquiry come into direct contact with—and in many cases conflict with—those of religion. Indeed, at the core of SETI is the same question that motivates many interested in religion: What is the place of humanity in the universe? Both scientists involved with SETI (and in other areas) and those interested in and dedicated to some religious traditions are engaged in contemplating these types of questions, even if their respective approaches and answers differ significantly. This book explores this intersection with a focus on three core points: 1) the relationship between science and religion as it is expressed within the framework of SETI research, 2) the underlying assumptions, many of which are tacitly based upon cultural values common in American society, that have shaped the ways in which SETI researchers have conceptualized the nature of their endeavor and represented ideas about the potential influence contact might have on human civilization, and 3) what sort of empirical evidence we might be able to access as a way of thinking about the social impact that contact with alien intelligence might have for humanity, from both religious and cultural perspectives. The book developed as a result of a course the author teaches at the University of Texas at Austin: Religion, Science, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

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Genre: Science
Author: John Traphagan
Publisher: Springer
Release: 2014-11-07
File: 110 Pages
ISBN-13: 9783319105512

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Highlights the most recent developments in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and advocates a diverse range of approaches to make SETI increasingly more powerful and effective in the years to come.

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Genre: Science
Author: Douglas A. Vakoch
Publisher: SUNY Press
Release: 2011-04-01
File: 518 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781438437958

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This book is a collection of essays written by the very scientists and engineers who have led, and continue to lead, the scientific quest known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Divided into three parts, the first section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Past’, written by the surviving pioneers of this then emerging discipline, reviews the major projects undertaken during the first 50 years of SETI science and the results of that research. In the second section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Present’, the present-day science and technology is discussed in detail, providing the technical background to contemporary SETI instruments, experiments, and analytical techniques, including the processing of the received signals to extract potential alien communications. In the third and final section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Future’, the book looks ahead to the possible directions that SETI will take in the next 50 years, addressing such important topics as interstellar message construction, the risks and assumptions of interstellar communications, when we might make contact, what aliens might look like and what is likely to happen in the aftermath of such a contact.

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Genre: Science
Author: H. Paul Shuch
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release: 2011-02-14
File: 542 Pages
ISBN-13: 3642131964

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A consideration of the criteria by which we should judge whether we are alone in the cosmos, and how should we set about detecting extraterrestrials.

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Genre: Nature
Author: Jean Heidmann
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release: 1997-03-27
File: 243 Pages
ISBN-13: 0521585635

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BOOK EXCERPT:

This book is a collection of essays written by the very scientists and engineers who have led, and continue to lead, the scientific quest known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Divided into three parts, the first section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Past’, written by the surviving pioneers of this then emerging discipline, reviews the major projects undertaken during the first 50 years of SETI science and the results of that research. In the second section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Present’, the present-day science and technology is discussed in detail, providing the technical background to contemporary SETI instruments, experiments, and analytical techniques, including the processing of the received signals to extract potential alien communications. In the third and final section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Future’, the book looks ahead to the possible directions that SETI will take in the next 50 years, addressing such important topics as interstellar message construction, the risks and assumptions of interstellar communications, when we might make contact, what aliens might look like and what is likely to happen in the aftermath of such a contact.

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Genre: Science
Author: H. Paul Shuch
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release: 2011-02-14
File: 542 Pages
ISBN-13: 3642131964

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Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence is devoted to the concepts and studies related to the science, technology, and observational techniques of communication with extraterrestrial intelligence (CETI). Topics covered range from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) to the theory of interstellar communication; the problem of the origin of life; radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations; and interstellar communication by neutrino beams. An infinitely expandable space radiotelescope is also described. This book is comprised of 21 chapters and opens with a discussion on the CETI activities of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) from 1965 to 1976 and describes the outlook for the IAA CETI Standing Committee. The following chapters sketch the background and rationale for a SETI program; the significance of the detection of signals and of information that may be contained in signals from extraterrestrial civilizations; an extended Drake's equation, the longevity-separation relation, equilibrium, inhomogeneities, and chain formation; and the physical and psychological basis for the belief that a band of frequencies called the water hole is a prime band for SETI. This monograph will appeal to practitioners in the fields of astrophysics, astronomy, planetary formation, exobiology, and biological evolution.

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Genre: Science
Author: John Billingham
Publisher: Elsevier
Release: 2013-10-22
File: 252 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781483156149

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Have you ever wondered what could happen when we discover another communicating species outside the Earth? This book addresses this question in all its complexity. In addition to the physical barriers for communication, such as the enormous distances where a message can take centuries to reach its recipient, the book also examines the biological problems of communicating between species, the problems of identifying a non-Terrestrial intelligence, and the ethical, religious, legal and other problems of conducting discussions across light years. Most of the book is concerned with issues that could impinge on your life: how do we share experiences with ETI? Can we make shared laws? Could we trade? Would they have religion? The book addresses these and related issues, identifying potential barriers to communication and suggesting ways we can overcome them. The book explores this topic through reference to human experience, through analogy and thought experiment, while relying on what is known to-date about ourselves, our world, and the cosmos we live in.

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Genre: Science
Author: Michael Ashkenazi
Publisher: Springer
Release: 2016-09-23
File: 430 Pages
ISBN-13: 9783319444567

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If the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe is just around the corner, what would be the consequences for religion? Would it represent another major conflict between science and religion, even leading to the death of faith? Some would suggest that the discovery of any suggestion of extraterrestrial life would have a greater impact than even the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is now over 50 years since the first modern scientific papers were published on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Yet the religious implications of this search and possible discovery have never been systematically addressed in the scientific or theological arena. SETI is now entering its most important era of scientific development. New observation techniques are leading to the discovery of extra-solar planets daily, and the Kepler mission has already collected over 1000 planetary candidates. This deluge of data is transforming the scientific and popular view of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Earth-like planets outside of our solar system can now be identified and searched for signs of life. Now is a crucial time to assess the scientific and theological questions behind this search. This book sets out the scientific arguments undergirding SETI, with particular attention to the uncertainties in arguments and the strength of the data already assembled. It assesses not only the discovery of planets but other areas such as the Fermi paradox, the origin and evolution of intelligent life, and current SETI strategies. In all of this it reflects on how these questions are shaped by history and pop culture and their relationship with religion, especially Christian theology. It is argued that theologians need to take seriously SETI and to examine some central doctrines such as creation, incarnation, revelation, and salvation in the light of the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

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Genre: Science
Author: David Wilkinson
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release: 2013-08-01
File: 240 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780191669613

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Is the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence a genuine scientific research programme? David Lamb evaluates claims and counter-claims, and examines recent attempts to establish contact with other intelligent life forms. He considers the benefits and drawbacks of this communication, how we should communicate and whether we actually can. He also assesses competing theories on the origin of life on Earth, discoveries of former solar planets, proposals for space colonies and the consequent technical and ethical issues.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2005-07-26
File: 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781134544639

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If we send a message into space, will extraterrestrial beings receive it? Will they understand? The endlessly fascinating question of whether we are alone in the universe has always been accompanied by another, more complicated one: if there is extraterrestrial life, how would we communicate with it? In this book, Daniel Oberhaus leads readers on a quest for extraterrestrial communication. Exploring Earthlings' various attempts to reach out to non-Earthlings over the centuries, he poses some not entirely answerable questions: If we send a message into space, will extraterrestrial beings receive it? Will they understand? What languages will they (and we) speak? Is there not only a universal grammar (as Noam Chomsky has posited), but also a grammar of the universe? Oberhaus describes, among other things, a late-nineteenth-century idea to communicate with Martians via Morse code and mirrors; the emergence in the twentieth century of SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence), CETI (communication with extraterrestrial intelligence), and finally METI (messaging extraterrestrial intelligence); the one-way space voyage of Ella, an artificial intelligence agent that can play cards, tell fortunes, and recite poetry; and the launching of a theremin concert for aliens. He considers media used in attempts at extraterrestrial communication, from microwave systems to plaques on spacecrafts to formal logic, and discusses attempts to formulate a language for our message, including the Astraglossa and two generations of Lincos (lingua cosmica). The chosen medium for interstellar communication reveals much about the technological sophistication of the civilization that sends it, Oberhaus observes, but even more interesting is the information embedded in the message itself. In Extraterrestrial Languages, he considers how philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, science, and art have informed the design or limited the effectiveness of our interstellar messaging.

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Genre: Science
Author: Daniel Oberhaus
Publisher: MIT Press
Release: 2019-10-22
File: 264 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780262355278

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