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Deprovincialized Biology

The Big Idea for Saturday, April 27, 2013

We humans have a bias leads us to expect that if life exists somewhere else in the universe it ought to resemble us, our at the very least our own perceived world.

That is quite a provincial view, argued Carl Sagan, who asserted in the TV series Cosmos that finding even a speck of life on another planet would "deprovincialize biology."

In today's lesson, Ross Pomeroy notes that "the vast randomness inherent to the evolutionary process can give rise to creatures the likes of which we cannot fathom." In other words, if the maxim "Life finds a way" happens to hold true on a distant planet, it likely not to be our way

Perspectives

  1. 1 Daniel Dennett Explores Darwinism and Outer Space
    Daniel Dennett
  2. 2 Life...As We Don't Know It
    Ross Pomeroy Experts' Corner
  3. 3 The Cheap Pleasure of Searching for Aliens
    Freeman Dyson
  4. 4 What Should We Do if We Find E.T.?
    Paul Davies
 

Deprovincialized Biology

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