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Space Archaeology » Entries tagged with "Paul Davies"

Review: ‘Footprints of alien technology’, by Paul Davies

Since the search for extraterrestrial intelligence began, astronomers have been trying to answer the question “Are we alone in the universe?” in two ways: by listening for deliberate messages, and by looking for physical evidence – the products and byproducts – arising as a consequence of extraterrestrial civilization. The latter search, called xenoarchaeology on this site, has explored a number of strategies such as hunting for orbiting probes, artificial structures on planetary surfaces, and astroengineering projects such as Dyson spheres. Paul Davies of the Beyond Center at Arizona State University has just published a paper in Acta Astronautica promoting the search for more subtle traces of nonhuman civilization, and asking that the entire scientific community be on the lookout. His paper covers a number of astrobiological issues such as the need to refine the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Genomic SETI

Anthropologist John Hawks has an interesting post on genomic SETI, responding to a Wall Street Journal essay by Paul Davies promoting The Eerie Silence.   The rationale for genomic SETI is that terrestrial organisms might have been genetically modified or created from scratch by ancient extraterrestrials, and that evidence of this, even deliberate messages, might be found in their genomes. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Theory

Review: The Eerie Silence, by Paul Davies

Are We Alone In The Universe / Renewing Our Search For Alien Intelligence Illustrated. 242 pages. Allen Lane. $15.82 – $17.82 [Buy from Amazon.com]. There are two subtitles for different editions of this fine book by Paul Davies.  Subtle promotional reasons most likely dictated the variance for different markets, but ‘Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence’ is truer to the theme of the book. Published for the 50th anniversary of SETI, Davies, one of the best cosmological science writers of our day, uses this work to challenge the assumptions of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. ‘How could something as bold and visionary as SETI become conservative?’ Davies asks in the first chapter. His answer: anthropocentrism (and later, what you might call ‘radiocentrism’). There’s a great sequence in the first chapter of examples of scientists basing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Space Archaeology: Definitions 2

Alun Salt has written a thoughtful response to my previous post about space archaeology theory … so here’s my thoughts on his thoughts My prior post featured a Venn diagram illustrating the conceptual space of the field and the interrelationships of its subfields of aerospace, xeno- and exo- archaeology. Alun asks whether this definition adds anything, and whether it’s necessary to draw boundaries around the field. Should a definition add anything or should it describe and clarify? I think the diagram adequately encapsulates the subject, even though I wasn’t sure how to visually convey the way that space heritage and exogarbology permeate the subfields (perhaps some kind of hatching?). Is the definition limiting? Perhaps I’m wrong, but the diagram seems to encompass all possible fields that could be considered space archaeology, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Theory