Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Philosophy and data in astrobiology

  • Lucas John Mix (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Creating a unified model of life in the universe – history, extent and future – requires both scientific and humanities research. One way that humanities can contribute is by investigating the relationship between philosophical commitments and data. Making those commitments transparent allows scientists to use the data more fully. Insights in four areas – history, ethics, religion and probability – demonstrate the value of careful, astrobiology-specific humanities research for improving how we talk and think about astrobiology as a whole. First, astrobiology has a long and influential history. Second, astrobiology does not decentre humanity, either physically or ethically. Third, astrobiology is broadly compatible with major world religions. Finally, claims about the probability of life arising or existing elsewhere rest heavily on philosophical priors. In all four cases, identifying philosophical commitments clarifies the ways in which data can tell us about life.

Copyright
Corresponding author
e-mail: lucas@flirble.org
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

C.M. Bertka (2009). Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life. Cambridge University Press, New York.

J. Brooke (1998). Science 282, 19851986.

W.P. Brown (2010). The Seven Pillars of Creation. Oxford University Press, New York.

L.A. Campos (2015). Radium and the Secret of Life. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

J. Chela-Flores (2001). The New Science of Astrobiology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.

S. Conway Morris (2003). Life's Solution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

C.S.W. Crysdale (2009). God, evolution, and astrobiology. In Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life, ed. C.M. Bertka , pp. 220241. Cambridge University Press, New York.

D.J. Des Marais (2003). The NASA astrobiology roadmap. Astrobiology 3, 219235.

D.J. Des Marais (2008). The NASA astrobiology roadmap. Astrobiology 8, 715730.

S.J. Dick (2009). A historical perspective on the extent and search for life. In Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life, ed. C.M. Bertka , pp. 167185. Cambridge University Press, New York.

D. Dunér (2016). Zygon 51, 450479.

S.J. Gould (1994). Sci. Am. 271, 8491.

M. Lupisella (2009). The search for extraterrestrial life. In Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life, ed. C.M. Bertka , pp. 186204. Cambridge University Press, New York.

C.P. McKay (2009). Planetary ecosynthesis on Mars. In Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life, ed. C.M. Bertka , pp. 245260. Cambridge University Press, New York.

L.J. Mix (2009). Life in Space. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

L.J. Mix (2016). Zygon 51, 520535.

T. Nagel (2012). Mind and Cosmos. Oxford University Press, New York.

T. Peters (2011). Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. A 369, 644655.

T. Peters (2013). Would the discovery of ETI provoke a religious crisis? In Astrobiology, History, and Society, ed. D.A. Vakoch , pp. 341355. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

T. Peters (2016). Zygon 51, 480496.

A. Plantinga (2011). Where the Conflict Really Lies. Oxford University Press, New York.

M.J. Rubenstein (2014). Worlds Without End. Columbia University Press, New York.

J.D. Rummel , M.S. Race , G. Horneck & the Princeton Workshop Participants (2012). Astrobiology 12, 10171022.

L. Sagan (1967). On the origin of mitsoing cells. J. Theoretical Biol. 14, 225274.

C. Scharf & L. Cronin (2016). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 113, 81278132.

E. Schrödinger (1992). What is Life? Cambridge University Press, New York.

R. Scruton (2001). Kant: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, New York.

E. Sober (2008). Evidence and Evolution. Cambridge University Press.

D.S. Spiegel & E.L. Turner (2012). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 109, 395400.

D.A. Vakoch (2013). Astrobiology, History, and Society. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

D.A. Vakoch & M.F. Dowd (2015). The Drake Equation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

P. Ward & D. Brownlee (2004). Life and Death of Planet Earth. Henry Holt, New York.

L. White Jr. (1967). Science 155, 12031207.

D. Wilkinson (2013). Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 86 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 6th July 2017 - 26th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.