The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science

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Throughout the twentieth century, from the furor over Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars to the sophisticated Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, otherworldly life has often intrigued and occasionally consumed science and the public. Does 'biological law' reign throughout the universe? Are there other histories, religions, and philosophies outside of those on Earth? Do extraterrestrial minds ponder the mysteries of the universe? The attempts to answer these often asked questions form one of the most interesting chapters in the history of science and culture, and The Biological Universe is the first book to provide a rich and colorful history of those attempts during the twentieth century. Covering a broad range of topics, including the search for life in the solar system, the origins of life, UFOs, and aliens in science fiction, Steven J. Dick shows how the concept of extraterrestrial intelligence is a world view of its own, a 'biophysical cosmology' that seeks confirmation no less than physical views of the universe.