The fourth of five pages on Visions (one of the Field Nodes comprising the subject tree of The Telson Spur),
this page is the third of four comprising a list of links to on-line resources for the study of the extraterrestrial life debate, the idea of a "plurality of worlds" and the concomitant issue of uniqueness.
This page contains links to resources in astrobiology or exobiology, the study of the nature of extraterrestrial life, its origin and evolution.
The other pages cover: bioastronomy and the SETI debate in general; extrasolar planets and planetary systems. their occurrence and detection; and extraterrestrial intelligence, including interstellar communication and contact.
A coordinate page, with common header and List of Contents, contains links to resources in environmental and future studies.
KEYWORDS: astrobiology; bioastronomy; biocosmology; exobiology; extraterrestrial life; Fermi Paradox; SETI; uniqueness
This probing of evolution is really a fantastic thing because we know only of one way evolution worked, on Earth. It is one history, our history. But there are probably millions of other roads....
One of the things that most interests me about SETI is that it answers the question of our uniqueness or else our existence in a universe filled with life. But that is really only part of the deeper question. The deeper question is whether life is an accidental phenomenon in the universe or whether it exists in some way to assume an important role with respect to the evolution of the universe.
SETI: Other Roads
Bioastronomy and the SETI Debate
Other Places: Extrasolar Planets
Other Tales: Exobiology
Other Travellers: Search and Contact
(Past) Life on Mars?
Lights come and go in the night sky. Men, troubled at last by the things they build, may toss in their sleep and dream bad dreams, or lie awake while the meteors whisper greenly overhead. But nowhere in all space or on a thousand worlds will there be men to share our loneliness. There may be wisdom; there may be power; somewhere across space great instruments, handled by strange, manipulative organs, may stare vainly at our floating cloud wrack, their owners yearning as we yearn. Nevertheless, in the nature of life and in the principles of evolution we have had our answer. Of men elsewhere, and beyond, there will be none forever.
I believe that nothing arbitrary entered the chain of incident that connected the origin of the Earth, and of living creatures on the Earth, with the general march of cosmic events. ... It has always been supposed that life originated on the Earth. The physical and chemical requirments must, however, have been far more favourable for the building of complex molecules before the Earth was aggregated. ... There is no suggestion that animals and plants as we know them originated in interplanetary space. But the vital steps on which life is based may have occurred there.
Fred Hoyle (1955)
Thus, the key question is not whether the precise conditions causing a particular sequence are replicated elsewhere, but whether the forcing functions are present and whether enough alternate routes exist.
Exobiology recapitulates eschatology.
Lewis White Beck