Lonely Minds in the Universe

Authors: Genta, Giancarlo

  • Addresses scientific and philosophical aspects of Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Reviews current science, and rebuffs pseudo-scientific assertions
  • Assesses the prospects for long-range space exploration, and the state of human hopes and fears
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About this book

XI ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii INTRODUCTION XV CHAPTER 1: THE HISTORICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES 1 The Magical Vision of the Nonhuman 1 Ancient Philosophy 2 Medieval Philosophy 6 The Renaissance 8 The Birth of Modern Science 10 First Attempts at Contact 16 Cosmism 17 From Enthusiasm to Disenchantment 18 CHAPTER 2: THE RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE 23 Is Extraterrestrial Life a Threat to Religion? 23 A Finite Universe and an Infinite God 25 Hinduism, Buddhism, and Other Oriental Religions 26 Judaism 27 Islam 28 Christianity 29 The Problem of Original Sin 30 The Problem of Redemption 34 Biocosmic Theology 36 Vll Contents CHAPTER 3: THE ASTROBIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE 41 A New Science: Astrobiology 41 Times of the Universe 43 The Anthropic Principle 47 Chemical Evolution 50 The Formation of the Solar System 51 The Formation of Extrasolar Planets 57 The Birth of Life on Earth 64 Panspermia 73 Evolution and Creationism 76 Toward a Great Complexity 81 Catastrophes and Mass Extinctions 86 Conditions Needed for the Development of Life 96 Life on Mars 107 Life in the Solar System 117 The Search for Life Outside the Solar System 123 CHAPTER 4: THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE 129 Intelligence and Consciousness 129 Consciousness 133 The Development of Intelligence on Earth 137 From Intelligence to Technology 147 Evolution Beyond Humans 154 The Expansion of Intelligent Life 156 The Search for Intelligent Signals 164 The Pdo Scale 176 The Problem of the Answer 177 The San Marino Scale 180 Which Message? 182 Extraterrestrials, How? 187

Reviews

From the reviews:

"Books on astrobiology and alien intelligence … are beginning to multiply rapidly. … Genta (mechanics, Politecnico di Torino, Italy) brings in a different dimension by adding the religious and philosophical aspects of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in an excellent treatment that covers both sides of each issue. … He also offers a very interesting discussion on how biology and morphology relate to the possible evolution of intelligence. … For anyone interested in the search for extraterrestrial intelligences. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels." (P. R. Douville, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (7), 2008)

"It has been a pleasure to read … this beautifully written book which begins with two brief but fascinating chapters on ‘The Historical and Philosophical Perspectives’ and ‘The Religious Perspective’ of extraterrestrial intelligence. … This highly intelligent and beautifully written book is highly recommended to all readers … ." (Fernande Grandjean and Gary J. Long, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 30 (4), 2008)

"It first gives an account of our current scientific understanding of the origins of the Universe, Galaxy, Solar System, planets, Earth, Moon, and life on Earth. … It is a solemn, scholarly, and intensively serious book, carefully and very well-written in English. … Every reader, even those who are not especially enthused by the prospect of extraterrestrials, is likely to appreciate this splendid portrait of humankind’s cosmic origins and of how we fit into the grand scheme of existence." (Peter V. E. McClintock, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 50 (3), May-June, 2009)


Table of contents (1 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-69039-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $27.50
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-33925-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $27.50
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-2225-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Lonely Minds in the Universe
Authors
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
Distribution Rights
English-Language Rights Only
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-69039-1
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-69039-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-33925-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-2225-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVI, 294
Number of Illustrations and Tables
58 b/w illustrations
Additional Information
Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK
Topics