Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics

Astrobiology, History, and Society

Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery

Editors: Vakoch, Douglas A. (Ed.)

  • Presents essays exploring the societal, anthropological, and religious dimensions of astrobiology and SETI
  • Offers a comprehensive overview of the extraterrestrial life debate from antiquity to the present day
  • Demonstrates possible impacts of the discovery of extraterrestrial life on human society
  • Explores the importance of analogies for contemporary astrobiologists, who search for life beyond Earth based on terrestrial life and environments
  • Provides insights into the nature of scientific discovery through in-depth case studies
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Hardcover $209.00
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Softcover $209.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-642-43540-9
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About this book

This book addresses important current and historical topics in astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first section covers the plurality of worlds debate from antiquity through the nineteenth century, while section two covers the extraterrestrial life debate from the twentieth century to the present. The final section examines the societal impact of discovering life beyond Earth, including both cultural and religious dimensions. Throughout the book, authors draw links between their own chapters and those of other contributors, emphasizing the interconnections between the various strands of the history and societal impact of the search for extraterrestrial life.

The chapters are all written by internationally recognized experts and are carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute.

This interdisciplinary book will benefit everybody trying to understand the meaning of astrobiology and SETI for our human society.

Reviews

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2014

“This book is a very well-balanced, detailed analysis of the subject. … This is one of the best books on the subject; it belongs in all college libraries. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.” (K. L. Schick, Choice, Vol. 51 (7), March, 2014)

“Are we alone in the universe? If not, then what might that mean? This fascinating volume offers a history of what Western cultures have thought about these questions … . a useful source for scientists, historians, anthropologists, and many other disciplines that concern themselves with these two large questions. … This volume nicely reveals the numerous ways in which anthropological knowledge and methods can help us think about and plan for managing the cultural impact of an eventual first contact.” (James Strick, Journal for the History of Astronomy, Vol. 47 (1), 2016)

“In this book you can find out about the first philosophers, writers and scientists who were interested in the possibility of life on other planets and get to know the reasons why it was considered possible by them and what actually led to their depictions of life elsewhere in literature. … Overall this book makes for really interesting reading if you’re interested in extraterrestrial life and astrobiology.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, December, 2013)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

  • The Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Antiquity to 1900

    Crowe, Michael J. (et al.)

    Pages 3-56

  • Early Modern ET, Reflexive Telescopics, and Their Relevance Today

    Danielson, Dennis

    Pages 57-72

  • Extraterrestrial Life as the Great Analogy, Two Centuries Ago and in Modern Astrobiology

    Sullivan, Woodruff T.

    Pages 73-83

  • Hegel, Analogy, and Extraterrestrial Life

    Ross, Joseph T.

    Pages 85-101

  • The Relationship Between the Origins of Life on Earth and the Possibility of Life on Other Planets: A Nineteenth-Century Perspective

    Tirard, Stéphane

    Pages 103-113

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35983-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35982-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-43540-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Astrobiology, History, and Society
Book Subtitle
Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery
Editors
  • Douglas A. Vakoch
Series Title
Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-35983-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-35983-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-642-35982-8
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-43540-9
Series ISSN
1610-8957
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVIII, 375
Topics