Science, culture and the search for life on other worlds

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John W Traphagan Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds John W. Traphagan Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds John W. Traphagan Department of Religious Studies Univ of Texas at Austin Austin, TX, USA ISBN 978-3-319-41744-8 ISBN 978-3-319-41745-5 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-41745-5 (eBook) Library of Congress Control Number: 2016946427 © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016 This work is subject to copyright All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made Printed on acid-free paper This Springer imprint is published by Springer Nature The registered company is Springer International Publishing AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland For my dad Thanks for letting me stay up to watch Star Trek… Acknowledgements When one writes a book, there are many people who deserve thanks for their willingness to read chapters, discuss ideas, provide editorial assistance, or give ongoing support—and I’m always afraid I’ll forget someone Even if you are not mentioned here, please know that I’m deeply grateful to all who have provided ideas that contributed to the writing of this book The person I must thank first and foremost is my father, Willis Traphagan, who gave me the idea to write this book while we were chatting on the phone one day and who has always been a source of deep and intelligent discussion My colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas also deserve my thanks and appreciation for the wonderfully collegial environment they create on a daily basis and their patient tolerance for an odd anthropologist with interests in aliens who sits in among them Finally, of course, I must thank my wife Tomoko, son Julian, and daughter Sarah, who are always a source of strength and love vii Contents Science and SETI 1.1 Foundations for Thinking about SETI: Some Ideas and Assumptions 1.2 Thinking about Science 1.3 Understanding Science 13 A Brief History of Imagining Life on Other Worlds 2.1 Narrowing Imagination 2.2 Expanding Imagination 2.3 Modern Science and Cosmology 2.4 Imagining Life on Other Worlds 2.5 It Came From Outer Space 2.6 It Came From Earth, Too 17 19 24 31 31 34 39 Science and the Emergence of SETI 3.1 Humans Beyond Earth 3.2 Culture and the Drake Equation 3.3 SETI, Cultural Evolution, and Civilization 41 43 47 55 Dogs, Chimps, Humans, and Alien Intelligence 4.1 Intelligence and Communication 4.2 Culture and Indeterminacy 4.3 Culture as Collectivized Algorithms 71 76 82 90 ix References Abu-Lughod, Lila 1991 Writing Against Culture In Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present, ed R. Fox Santa Fe: School of American Research Press Ackerknecht, Erwin H 1947 Review of The Chrysanthemum and the Sword The Quarterly Review of Biology 22(3): 246 Almára, Iván, and Jill Tarter 2009 The Discovery of ETI as a High-Consequence, Low-Probability Event Acta Astronautica 68(3–4): 358–361 Appadurai, Arjun 1996 Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press Arens, William 1979 The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy Oxford: Oxford University Press Barbour, Ian 1997 When Science Meets Religion New York: HarperCollins ——— 2013a Religion and Science New York: HarperCollins ——— 2013b When Science Meets Religion: Enemies, Strangers, or Partners? 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MD: Naval Institute Press Ward, Peter D., and Donald Brownlee 2003 Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe New York: Copernicus Books Watson, James L (ed.) 1997 Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 154 References Wenseleers, Tom, Gardner Andy, and Kevin R.  Foster 2010 Social Evolution Theory: A R Wenseleers, Gardner, and Foster Review of Methods and Approaches In Social Behavior: Genes, Ecology, and Evolution, ed Tamás Székely, Allen J. Moore, and Jan Komdeur New York: Cambridge University Press Wexler, Bruce E 2006 Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change Cambridge: MIT Press Whitehead, Alfred North 1927 Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect New  York: Macmillan Will, Durant, and Ariel Durant 1963 The Story of Civilization, Volume VIII: The Age of Louis the XIV New York: Simon & Schuster Zafirovsky, Milan 2011 The Enlightenment and its Effects on Modern Society New York: Springer Index A Active SETI, 12–13 Adolescence, Alien civilization, 105, 111, 113, 114, 117 Alien cultures See Anthropology Alien imaginary See also Star Trek ETI, 117 production of knowledge, 120 techno-bureaucratic elit, 119 Alien intelligence, 75, 81, 94, 97 Almár scale, 112 Anthropology armchair, 102 Chrysanthemum and the Sword, 107 cross-cultural communication study, 110 cross-cultural psychological study, 109, 110 ethnographic fieldwork, 106 frontiersman vs peasant leads, 108 sociocultural processes, 105 Anthropomorphism, 133–136 Arecibo transmission, 114 Armchair anthropology, 102, 106 B Biological evolution, 56, 126, 137 Bounded-culture model, 83 C Change, 3, 7–12, 21–23, 27–31, 35, 36, 38, 51, 57, 58, 72, 75, 76, 81, 84, 89, 91, 95, 102, 104, 120–129, 134, 137–140, 144, 145 Chimpanzees, 72, 73, 119 Christianity and scientific knowledge, 59 Chrysanthemum and the Sword, 107–109 Civilization, 17, 43–47 alien, 35 alien civilizations, 17 American imagination, 39 canals and a complex water-based, 42 Christianity, 37 cosmology (see Cosmology) cultural tools, 40 © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016 J.W Traphagan, Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-41745-5 155 156 Index Civilization (contd.) development of technologies, 35 effects, global economies, 36 end of World War II, 37 enlightenment, 37 growth of astronomy, 20th century, 34 human imagination, 34 humans beyond earth alien civilizations, 47 assumptions, 47 communism and atomic annihilation, 43 dangers of atomic power, 43 extraterrestrial, 45 galactic life, 46 late 1950s, 43 Mars, 45 Moon, 44 postwar atmosphere, USA, 43 radio-based technologies, 45 rocket, 45 space travel, 44 telescopic lens, 46 imagination, 36 intelligent aliens, 1950's, 39 Mars, 42 Martian, 35 new ideas and innovative technologies, 40 Ptolemaic System, 20 realm of space, 39 relationship, earth and humans, 17 space program, USA, 38 space travel and exploration, 35 vegetation on Mars, 42 vegetative life, 42 Cosmology, 19–31, 34 biblical creation myth, 18 civilizations (see Civilization) competition, 19 Earth, 18 expanding imagination Aristotelian notion of concentric spheres, 25 awareness, 29 biological, 30 Christian theology, 24 Copernicus hypothesis, 25 development of life, 29 development, SETI research, 28 geocentric model, phases of Venus, 26 habitus, 27 idiosyncratic myths, 30 intellectuals, 19th century, 29 natural laws, 30 Newton, 26 Ptolemaic system, 28 radical innovation, 28 scope, 26 sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 24 theory of natural selection, 30 intelligent life, 32 laws of nature, 18, 19 life on Mars, 33 Mars, 32 moder science physical and biological science, 31 universe humans inhabition, 31 mythological, 18 narrowing imagination Abrahamic notion of humanity, 24 airplane traveling, 21 awareness, Earth, 23 geocentric model, 20 implications, Ptolemaic system, 23 motion of the Sun, Moon, and planets, 22 movement of the Moon and visible planets, 23 philosophical and cultural, 24 Index Ptolemy’s theory, 19 velocity and momentum of objects, 22 Western cosmology, 23 physical, 18 physical features, planet, 33 process of mapping Mars, 32 relationship, earth, human civilizations, and the universe, 17 search for extraterrestrial intelligence, 18 technological developments, 31 Cross-cultural communication, 82 Cultural evolution and civilization adolescent or infantile, 69 alien civilizations, 66 altruism, 63, 65 altruistic behavior, 62 Astronomical Research Telescope Array, 66 behaviors and attitudes, 57 Buddhism, 60 definition, 55 egalitarianism, 61 environmental disaster, 69 extraterrestrial civilization, 58, 61, 67 form of social organization, 62 imaginary of science fiction, 70 intelligent civilization, 67 Lewis Henry Morgan, 56 long-lived civilization, 68 mechanisms, 63 modern humans, 64 moral capabilities in humans, 57 Morgan’s evolutionary model, 56 paleoanthropology, 64 primitive technology, 59 relationship, religion and science, 60 savages and civilized humans, 58 scientific knowledge, christianity, 59 selfless altruism, 62 SETI community, 54 157 short-lived source, 68 social Darwinist concept, 58 social perspective, 55 spirituality, 59 stability and social unity, 66 telos, 57 uncivilized forms of humans, 57 usage, nuclear weapons, 61 Western Civilization, 55 Culture, 47–54 bounded-culture model, 83 characteristics, 83 cognitive processes, 88 collectivized algorithms, 90 cross-cultural communication, 82 Drake Equation (see The Drake Equation) ethnicity, 86 indeterminacy, 82–89 internal cohesion, 85 interstellar communication, 82 process-culture model, 83 properties, 84 race/nationalism, 86 D Darwin, C., 29 Darwinism, 102, 128, 135, 144 Dogs communicative intention, 72 symbolic activity, 97 types of smarts, 71 visual representation, 78 The Drake Equation alien civilizations, 47, 52 assumption, SETI, 48 communication, 52 communicative civilization, 54 communicative civilizations, galaxy, 49 complex life, 53 detectable signals, space, 52 158 Index The Drake Equation (contd.) education, 54 estimation, number of intelligent civilizations to contact, 50 extraterrestrial civilizations, 47 extraterrestrial technology, 48 fraction of planets, 51 GALEX mission, 50 intelligence forms, 52 Kepler Space Telescope, 51 Ozma Project, 48 planetary research and cosmic radio source, 48 prevalence of ETs, galaxy, 51 SETI, 53 social sciences and engineering, 49 star formation, 50 Star Wars, 52 variables, 49 Drake, F., 13, 47, 63, 91 E Ethics, 94 Ethnicity, 86, 90 Ethnocentrism, 136–138 Ethnographic fieldwork, 106 Extraterrestrial civilizations, galaxy, 49 Extraterrestrial intelligence civilization, 1–2 space travel and radio astronomy, 43 anthropocentric approach, 95 F Forbidden Planet, 40 G Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), 50 Geocentrism, 26–28 H Habitus, 26–28 Human intelligence communicative and noncommunicative intention, 72 extraterrestrial civilization, 82 internal cohesion, 85 languages, 80 motivations, 88 symbolic activity, 97 symbolic systems, 81 visual and aural abilities, 78 Heliocentrism, 27 I Indeterminacy See Culture Intelligence and communication, 73, 94 alien (see Alien intelligence) chimpanzees, 72, 73 cognition, 78 dogs, 71–73 echolocation, 78 humans (see Human intelligece) Japanese speakers approach, 79, 80 problem-solving and analytical skills, 76 rhythmical/melodic patterns, 81 symbolic systems, 81 International Academy of Astronautics, 103 K Kepler Space Telescope, 51 Kepler-186, 46 Kepler-186f, 46 KIC 8462852 alien civilization, 111 analogous process, 111 Index electromagnetic radiation, 111 ETI, 115 human value systems, 112 humanity and ignoring features, 114 linguistic structures, 112 METI/messaging, 113 L Lowell, P., 32, 42, 104 M Mars, 45 canali, 32 complex water-based civilization, 42 Darwinian evolution, 33 fossilized microorganisms, 122 planetary motion, 25 radio transmissions, 45 Martyr complex, 94 METI, 17, 113 Morality, 57 Morgan, L.H., 56 N Native imaginaries See Alien imaginary P Paradigm, 12, 25, 27, 28, 80, 109 Process-culture model, 83 Project Ozma, 48 Ptolemy’s theory, 19 R Race, 86, 90 Rare earth hypothesis, 52 Religion science, 139–141 159 traditional institutional, 60 Western approach, 141–144 Rio Scale, 103, 112, 143 S Sagan, C., 48, 53, 110, 114 Science astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake, 13 contradiction, cultural evolution, 11 culture and science, definition, empirical evidence, 12, 15 experiment/conditions, observation, flaws, gathering of data, 13 ignorance, institutional and disciplinary ideological matrices, 12 natural selection, 9–11 objectivity, 14 peers and competitors, 13 phyletic gradualism, product, 15 and religion, 15 scientific inquiry, 12 scientists, systematic study, 13 theoretical framework, truth, 14 verifiable, 14 Science and emergence of SETI, 43–70 19th century, 42 civilization, 42 communication, 41 cultural evolution (see Cultural evolution and civilization) culture and Darke equation (see The Drake Equation) 160 Index Science and emergence of SETI (contd.) cultural and technological innovations, 41 humans beyond (see Civilization) imaginings of elites, Greeks, 41 invention of technologies, 41 technological and cultural innovation, 20th century, 42 Search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) adolescence, altruism, 91, 93 American political ideology, 130 anthropomorphic endeavor, 145 anthropomorphism, 133–136 atomic bombings, 132 biological evolution, 126 Buddhism, 139 characteristics, 124 Christian theology, 124, 127, 144 civil war, 132 competition and territorial protection, 129 constitution, 132 cultural change, 128 cultural context, 6, 123, 124 cultural evolution, 124, 126, 130, 133 cultural product, 144 culture and emotion, 123 culture-specific nature, 131 ecosystem/context, 126 empiricism, 144 ETI, 94, 121 extraterrestrial intelligence, faith-based religion, 138 homo sapiens, human civilization, human culture, 124 human history, 133 human societies, 130 human trafficking, 132 human-centered, 145 humanity, hunter-gatherer groups, 131 imagination, 110–111 International Academy of Astronautics, 103 interpretive framework, 91 iterative process, 124 KIC 8462852, Library of Congress symposium, 123 martyr complex, 94 mind-set, 127 non-state societies, 131 physical and social scientists, politics/culture, 123 2016 Presidential campaign, 125 quantitative instruments, 103 realm of speculation, 122 religion and science, 138 risk management, 122 science and culture, science of evolutionary biology, 128 science/religion, 139–141 selfless behavior, 92 social and demographic environments, 126 social and political organization, 129 social organization, 125, 128 Star Trek Imaginary, 104, 131 Social state-level societies, 129 Taoism, 139 technological innovation, 124, 125 type of theology, 127 University of Texas at Austin, violence, 130 Western religions, 141–144 World War II, 132 Star Trek, 53, 69, 95–96 Symbolic interaction, 96–99 Symbolic systems, 81 Index T The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, 138 Tarter, J., 58 Tarter’s Rio Scal, 112 Telos, 57, 58 161 ... Publishing Switzerland 2016 J.W Traphagan, Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-41745-5_2 17 18 Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds nificantly.. .Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds John W. Traphagan Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds John W. Traphagan Department... Search for Life on Other Worlds, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-41745-5_1 Science, Culture and the Search for Life on Other Worlds 8462852 might be the product of extraterrestrial intelligence and an
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Xem thêm: Science, culture and the search for life on other worlds , Science, culture and the search for life on other worlds , 1 Foundations for Thinking about SETI: Some Ideas and Assumptions, 4 Imagining Life on Other Worlds, 5 It Came From Outer Space, 6 It Came From Earth, Too, 3 SETI, Cultural Evolution, and Civilization, 4 What Does this Mean for SETI Research?, 5 The Star Trek Imaginary, 2 SETI, Imagination, and Research on Culture, 4 Alien Imaginaries, Native Imaginaries, 3 SETI, Science, and Religion

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