Astrobiology

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AstrobiologyCover1.jpg

and The Search for Life on Mars

ISBN: 978-1-60785-255-1

edited by Sarah Kember

Contents

Introduction: What is Life?

J. B. S. Haldane (1949) and Erwin Schrödinger (1944), two of the twentieth century’s most influential scientists, posed the direct question, ‘what is life?’ and declared that it was a question unlikely to find an answer. Life, they suggested, might exceed the ability of science to represent it and even though the sciences of biology, physics and chemistry might usefully describe life’s structures, systems and processes, those sciences should not seek to reduce it to the sum of its parts. While Schrödinger drew attention to the physical structure of living matter, including especially the cell, Haldane asserted that ‘what is common to life is the chemical events’ (1949: 59) and so therefore life might be defined, though not reduced, to ‘a pattern of chemical processes’ (62) involving the use of oxygen, enzymes and so on. (more)


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'Here are phenomena that are passing strange'

Percival Lowell 
Mars
H. G. Wells 
The War of the Worlds

'An aroma of actuality' - Lowell vs. Wallace on the Nature of Knowledge and Life

Percival Lowell 
Mars and Its Canals
Alfred Russell Wallace 
Is Mars Habitable?

From Martians with- to Martians as- Microbes

Percival Lowell 
Mars as the Abode of Life
Gilbert V. Levin 
The Labeled Release Experiment – Past and Future


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Alien Communication

NASA 
Voyager: Sounds of Earth
SETI-X 
Scrambles of Earth

What is life?

Chris P. McKay 
What Is Life -- and How Do We Search for It in Other Worlds?
Y. N. Zhuravlev, V. A. Avetisov 
The Definition of Life in the Context of Its Origin

Astrobiology from the Perspective of Sustainability

Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto 
Resistance of Microorganisms to Extreme Environmental Conditions and Its Contribution to Astrobiology
Seth D. Baum 
Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology


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Afterword

Sarah Kember 
Creative Evolution?: The Quest for Life (On Mars)

Attributions

A 'Frozen' PDF Version of this Living Book

Download a 'frozen' PDF version of this book as it appeared on 7th October 2011
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