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tsuomela : astrobiology   16

The hammer of Hawking: The impact of celebrity scientists, the intent of extraterrestrials and the public perception of astrobiology | Gazan | First Monday
"This paper assesses the impact of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s warning about the possibly malicious intent of extraterrestrial visitors on the public opinion of the search for life in the universe, which is the domain of the interdisciplinary science of astrobiology. Using Web content analysis and sentiment analysis methods, 13 distinct categories of opinion are proposed, suggesting the role of Web comments as both public forums and naturalistic data sources. The results suggest that a significant percentage of those studied agreed with Hawking purely on the merits of his reputation, but those who disagreed tended to claim that Hawking’s argument failed logically or scientifically. How cross–domain authority manifests on the Web, and the influence of celebrity scientists on the public perception of astrobiology, are discussed."
science  scientists  public-understanding  astrobiology  reputation  celebrity  impact 
july 2013 by tsuomela
Testing Anthropic Selection: A Climate Change Example - Astrobiology
"Planetary anthropic selection, the idea that Earth has unusual properties since, otherwise, we would not be here to observe it, is a controversial idea. This paper proposes a methodology by which to test anthropic proposals by comparison of Earth to synthetic populations of Earth-like planets. The paper illustrates this approach by investigating possible anthropic selection for high (or low) rates of Milankovitch-driven climate change. Three separate tests are investigated: (1) Earth-Moon properties and their effect on obliquity
astrobiology  astronomy  planetary  anthropic-principle  life  biology  climate 
april 2011 by tsuomela
White Dwarfs, Habitable Zones and Other Earths - Technology Review
"Today, Eric Agol at the University of Washington in Seattle points out that planet hunters may be missing a trick. He says that white dwarfs could be good targets for exoplanet searches.

He points out that they are as common as Sun-like stars, that the most common ones have a surface temperature of about 5000 K and that this should produce a habitable zone at distances of about 0.01 AU for periods in excess of 3 billion years. That's long enough for something interesting to have emerged on these bodies. "
astronomy  astrobiology  exobiology  life  planetary  stellar 
march 2011 by tsuomela
BBC News - Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence'
Dr Shostak says that artificially intelligent alien life would be likely to migrate to places where both matter and energy - the only things he says would be of interest to the machines - would be in plentiful supply. That means the Seti hunt may need to focus its attentions near hot, young stars or even near the centres of galaxies.
astrobiology  astronomy  seti  extraterrestrial  intelligence  alien  artificial-intelligence 
august 2010 by tsuomela
Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: The Fermi Paradox, Phase Changes and Intergalactic Colonisation
Bezsudnov and Snarskii even derive an inequality that a universe must satisfy to become civilised. This, they say, is analogous to the famous Drake equation which attempts to quantify the number of other contactable civilisations in the universe right now.
astrobiology  astronomy  extraterrestrial  intelligence  fermi-paradox  simulation  celluar-automata  model 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : Pondering Panspermia
Astrobiology, International Journal of Astrobiology, and Origins of Life.  In the process I’ve become converted to a more expansive version panspermia – life here probably originated outside our solar system. I’ve also learned: panspermia is no longer a marginalized view.  It may not yet be the majority opinion, but it shows up often in journal articles and conference proceedings, if not in summaries intended for wider audiences.
astrobiology  astronomy  panspermia  life  origin  academic  behavior  paradigm  change 
november 2009 by tsuomela
Charlie's Diary: How habitable is the Earth?
So, back to the gedankenexperiment. Currently, a random meat probe dropped on the Earth's surface has something like a 15% chance of finding it survivable. But a random sampling over the historical epoch would return a survivability probability of around 1%. And over the future epoch, it's likely similar, unless we're erring massively on the side of pessimism about the prospects for our atmospheric composition remaining stable.

Ergo: to a space probe searching for somewhere that our kind of life can thrive, a truly random sampling of the Earth's surface (distributed over both time and area) would probably result in the conclusion that the planet is uninhabitable.
biology  geology  astrobiology  space  science  thought-experiment  sf  earth  history  paleontology 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Lifeboat News: The Blog » The ‘Sustainability Solution’ to the Fermi Paradox
The Sustainability Solution states: the absence of ETI observation can be explained by the possibility that exponential or other faster-growth is not a sustainable development pattern for intelligent civilizations.
seti  fermi-paradox  astrobiology  astronomy  life  space  intelligence 
march 2009 by tsuomela

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