Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society
Douglas A. Vakoch, Albert A. Harrison
Berghahn Books, Sep 15, 2011 - Social Science - 240 pages
Astronomers around the world are pointing their telescopes toward the heavens, searching for signs of intelligent life. If they make contact with an advanced alien civilization, how will humankind respond? In thinking about first contact, the contributors to this volume present new empirical and theoretical research on the societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Archaeologists and astronomers explore the likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, using scientific insights to estimate such elusive factors as the longevity of technological societies. Sociologists present the latest findings of novel surveys, tapping into the public's attitudes about life beyond Earth to show how religion and education influence beliefs about extraterrestrials. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, journalism, and religious studies offer innovative solutions for bridging the cultural gap between human and extraterrestrial civilizations, while recognizing the tremendous challenges of communicating at interstellar distances. At a time when new planets are being discovered around other stars at an unprecedented rate, this collection provides a much needed guide to the human impact of discovering we are not alone in the universe.
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DOES EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE EXIST?
ARE WE ALONE?
ENCOUNTERING ALTERNATIVE INTELLIGENCES
THE LIFETIMES OF SCIENTIFIC CIVILIZATIONS AND THE GENETIC EVOLUTION OF THE BRAIN
L ON EARTH
REACTIONS TO DISCOVERING LIFE BEYOND EARTH
CAN SETI FULFILL THE VALUE AGENDA OF CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY?
COMMUNICATION WITH EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE
CULTURAL ASPECTS OF INTERSTELLAR COMMUNICATION
DIRECT CONTACT WITH EXTRATERRESTRIALS VIA COMPUTER EMULATION
THE INSCRUTABLE NAMES OF GOD
ET PHONE DARWIN
A JOURNALISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON SETIRELATED MESSAGE COMPOSITION
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS