Signals of Life

  • Bruce Dorminey
Chapter

Abstract

Evolution, from the simplest multi-cellular life to hominids roaming the savannas of East Africa to our present space-faring civilization, all happened within 5 billion years of our planet’s formation. Whether Earth would see the same result if we could wind back and replay the evolutionary tape of life, as paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has wondered, remains very much an open question.1 “To me the most profound and puzzling question,” says Geoffrey Marcy, “is whether or not Darwinian evolution, which certainly leads to survival among the life forms, necessarily vectors toward intelligence, dexterity, and communicative skills. It’s not clear that if you started another Earth-like planet with the same conditions that you would vector toward intelligence. You might end up with a lot of cockroaches and woodpeckers, and maybe a few whales, but it’s not clear that the galaxy is teeming with intelligent life.”2 And yet we doggedly search for it.

Keywords

Radio Emission Radio Telescope Radio Astronomy Lunar Orbit Radio Frequency Interference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    Gould, Stephen Jay 1989. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. New York: W. W. Norton: 48.Google Scholar
  2. de Duve, Christian René 1995. Vital Dust: Life asa Cosmic Imperative. New York: Basic Books: 293.Google Scholar
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    Marcy, Geoffrey, astronomer, University of California at Berkeley Interviewed on May 25, 1999, at Dana Point, California, and on August 6, 1999, at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii. Follow-ups took place on September 8, 2000, May 10–12, 2001, and June 3, 2001.Google Scholar
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    Lineweaver, Charles H. “Why Did We Evolve So Late?” Poster paper presented at Bioastronomy 99, Hawaii, August 6, 1999. Livio, Mario. “How Rare Are Extraterrestrial Civilizations, and When Did They Emerge?” The Astrophysical Journal 511 (January 20, 1999 ): 429.Google Scholar
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    Cocconi, Giuseppe and Philip Morrison. “Searching for Interstellar Communications.” Nature 184 (September 19, 1959 ): 844.Google Scholar
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    Tarter, Jill C., director of SETI Research, SETI Institute. Interviewed on August 5, 1999, at Bioastronomy 99, Hawaii.Google Scholar
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    Maccone, Claudio 1999. “Space Missions Enabling SETI Searches Farther and Farther Out.” http://www.nidisci.org.essaycomp/cmaccone.
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    Woolf, Neville, astronomer at University of Arizona, Tucson. Interviewed on August 5, 1999, at Bioastronomy 99, Hawaii.Google Scholar
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    Bowyer, Stuart, astronomer, University of California at Berkeley Interviewed on August 7, 1999, at Bioastronomy 99, Hawaii.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Dorminey
    • 1
  1. 1.ParisFrance

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