This book offers a vision of how evolutionary life processes can be modelled. It presents a mathematical description that can be used not only for the full evolution of life on Earth from RNA to modern human societies, but also the possible evolution of life on exoplanets, thus leading to SETI, the current Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. The main premise underlying this mathematical theory is that the Geometric Brownian Motion (GBM) can be applied as a key stochastic process to model the evolution of life. In the resulting Evo-SETI Theory, the life of any living thing (a cell, an animal, a human, a civilization of humans, or even an ET civilization) is represented by a b-lognormal, i.e., a lognormal probability density function starting at a precise instant (b, birth) then increasing up to a peak time, then decreasing to senility time and then continuing as a straight line down to the time of death. Using this theory, Claudio Maccone arrives at remarkable hypotheses on the development of life and civilizations, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and when computers will take over the reins from us humans (Singularity). The book develops the mathematical Evo-SETI Theory by integrating a set of articles that the author has published in various journals on Astrobiology and Astronautical Research.
This book introduces a 'Big History' perspective to understand the acceleration of social, technological and economic trends towards a near-term singularity, marking a radical turning point in the evolution of our planet. It traces the emergence of accelerating innovation rates through global history and highlights major historical transformations throughout the evolution of life, humans, and civilization. The authors pursue an interdisciplinary approach, also drawing on concepts from physics and evolutionary biology, to offer potential models of the underlying mechanisms driving this acceleration, along with potential clues on how it might progress. The contributions gathered here are divided into five parts, the first of which studies historical mega-trends in relation to a variety of aspects including technology, population, energy, and information. The second part is dedicated to a variety of models that can help understand the potential mechanisms, and support extrapolation. In turn, the third part explores various potential future scenarios, along with the paths and decisions that are required. The fourth part presents philosophical perspectives on the potential deeper meaning and implications of the trend towards singularity, while the fifth and last part discusses the implications of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Given its scope, the book will appeal to scholars from various disciplines interested in historical trends, technological change and evolutionary processes.
What are the implications for human society, and for our institutions of higher learning, of the discovery of a sophisticated extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) operating on and around Earth? This book explores this timely question from a multidisciplinary perspective. It considers scientific, philosophical, theological, and interdisciplinary ways of thinking about the question, and it represents all viewpoints on how likely it is that an ETI is already operating here on Earth. The book’s contributors represent a wide range of academic disciplines in their formal training and later vocations, and, upon reflection on the book’s topic, they articulate a diverse range of insights into how ETI will impact humankind. It is safe to say that any contact or communication with ETI will not be merely a game changer for human society, but it also will be a paradigm changer. It makes sense for human beings to prepare themselves now for this important transition.
In this book, David Stevenson offers us a look at the evolution of planets as they move from balls of mixed molten rock to vibrant worlds capable of hosting life. Embedded in our everyday architecture and in the literal ground beneath our feet, granite and its kin lie at the heart of many features of the Earth that we take for granted. From volcanism and mountain building to shifting water levels and local weather patterns, these rocks are closely intertwined with the complex processes that continue to shape and reshape our world. This book serves as a wonderful primer for anybody interested in our planet’s geological past and that of other planets in our Solar System and beyond. It illustrates not only how our planet’s surface evolved, but also how granite played a pivotal role in the creation of complex, intelligent life on Earth. There has long been a missing element in popular astronomy, which Stevenson now aims to fill: how geological and biological evolution work in a complex partnership, and what our planet’s own diversity can teach us about other rocky worlds.
This book introduces the Statistical Drake Equation where, from a simple product of seven positive numbers, the Drake Equation is turned into the product of seven positive random variables. The mathematical consequences of this transformation are demonstrated and it is proven that the new random variable N for the number of communicating civilizations in the Galaxy must follow the lognormal probability distribution when the number of factors in the Drake equation is allowed to increase at will. Mathematical SETI also studies the proposed FOCAL (Fast Outgoing Cyclopean Astronomical Lens) space mission to the nearest Sun Focal Sphere at 550 AU and describes its consequences for future interstellar precursor missions and truly interstellar missions. In addition the author shows how SETI signal processing may be dramatically improved by use of the Karhunen-Loève Transform (KLT) rather than Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Finally, he describes the efforts made to persuade the United Nations to make the central part of the Moon Far Side a UN-protected zone, in order to preserve the unique radio-noise-free environment for future scientific use.
The recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and possible microfossils in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 are only the latest developments in a debate that spans millennia, and that has been especially heated in the twentieth century. From the furore over Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars at the beginning of the century to the biological experiments of the Viking spacecraft, the controversial 'Mars rock', and the sophisticated Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) at its end, otherworldly life has often titillated and occasionally consumed science and the public. So too have crucially related areas such as the search for planetary systems, the quest for an explanation of UFOs, and inquiries into the origin of life. The theme has been elaborated in science fiction from H. G. Wells to Arthur C. Clarke, and resulted in some of the most popular films of all time, including ET, Aliens, Independence Day, and Contact. Life on Other Worlds details in a readable and non-technical manner the history of the twentieth century extraterrestrial life debate, one of the pervasive themes of our century.
NOTE: NO FURTHER DISCOUNT FOR THIS PRINT PRODUCT--OVERSTOCK SALE -- Significantly reduced list price During the last 50 years, coincident with the Space Age, cosmic evolution has been recognized as the master narrative of the universe, history writ large. Cosmic evolution includes physical, biological, and cultural evolution, and of these the latter is by far the most rapid. In this volume, authors with diverse backgrounds in science, history, anthropology, and more, consider culture in the context of the cosmos. How does our knowledge of cosmic evolution affect terrestrial culture? Conversely, how does our knowledge of cultural evolution affect our thinking about possible cultures in the cosmos? Are life, mind, and culture of fundamental significance to the grand story of the cosmos that has generated its own self-understanding through science, rational reasoning, and mathematics? Might this lead to cultural evolution on a large enough scale to allow the universe to both create and steer itself toward its own destiny? Related products: NASA's First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives; NASA 50 Anniversary Proceedings can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/033-000-01336-1 Bringing the Future Within Reach: Celebrating 75 Years of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, 1941-2016 can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/033-000-01377-9 Other products produced by National Aerounautics and Space Administration (NASA) can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/550
Evolutionary theory in the theme that binds together these essays on such seemingly disparate topics as the feeding habits of flamingos, flowers and snails that change from male to female and sometimes back again, and the extinction from baseball of the .400 hitter