Is intelligent life trying to communicate with us from space? Professor Paul Davies explores the potential and limits of research into the origin and evolution of life, and the search for life beyond Earth. Has ET maybe visited our planet ages ago and left us a message? At the Australian National University, Paul Davies discussed his latest book The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe?
Tagged with “book:author=paul davies” (5)
Scientists can now explain virtually every stage of the evolutionary process. But there’s a basic question that still mystifies even the best scientists: How did life first begin on Earth? Or to put in another way, how did non-life somehow turn into life? And can we say the Earth itself is alive? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll talk with James Lovelock about his Gaia theory, and explore the question, What is Life?
This hour explores some of the fundamental mysteries of life - from how it first started on Earth to the possibility of supremely intelligent life on other planets and why technology is evolving like life itself. We begin with a rare recording of Nobel Prize winning physicist Edwin Schrodinger and comments on his book "What Is Life?" from Nobel Prize winning biologists James Watson and Harold Varmus. We also hear from Ken Miller, co-author of the most widely used biology textbook in American high schools, and Craig Venter, widely regarded as one of science’s leading innovators. Venter, who’s come as close as anyone has to creating life in a test tube, tells Steve Paulson what drives him. And we hear from some ordinary people about what they think life is.
University of Wisconsin geochemist Nita Sahai talks with Anne Strainchamps about how life might have begun on Earth. On the other hand, maybe the Earth itself is alive. That’s the remarkable idea behind the Gaia hypothesis. James Lovelock came up with it in the 1960s and at first no one would take him seriously. Lovelock, now in his nineties and one of our most celebrated scientists, tells Steve Paulson where the Gaia theory came from and how it’s evolved.
Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine. He’s also the author of a provocative book called "What Technology Wants." Kelly tells Jim Fleming that the sum total of our technology - what he calls "the technicum" - is taking on the properties of life itself. And anthropologist Tom Boellstorff takes us on a tour through the virtual world of Second Life. Astro-biologist Paul Davies chairs the SETI Post-Detection Task Group and is the author of "The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence." He tells Steve Paulson that alien intelligence might be stranger than anything Hollywood has dreamt up.
They’re heeeere! Yes, aliens are wreaking havoc and destruction throughout the land. But these aliens are Arizona beetles, and the land is in California, where the invasive insects are a serious problem.
And what of space-faring aliens? We have those too: how to find them, and how to protect our planet – and theirs.
From Hollywood to SETI’s hi-tech search for extraterrestrials, aliens are invading Are We Alone?
- Paul Davies – Physicist and author of The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence
- Frank Drake- Senior Scientist, SETI Institute
- Andy Ihnatko – Journalist and tech blogger
- Margaret Race – Biologist and Principal Investigator at the SETI Institute
- Margaret McLean – Director of bioethics at the Markkula Center for Ethics, Santa Clara University
- Mark Hoddle – Biological Control Specialist at the University of California, Riverside
- Vanessa Lopez – Graduate student in entomology, University of California, Riverside
The acclaimed British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist Paul Davies is the director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and co-director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University. He is also a member of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence’s (SETI) post-detection committee. Among his numerous scientific distinctions, Davies is a recipient of the prestigious Templeton Prize for his work on science and religion. His writings include the bestsellers The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, The Fifth Miracle, and The Goldilocks Enigma. In his provocative new book, Davies challenges existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if we ever do make contact. Free Library Festival (recorded 4/17/2010)
A new warning from astrophysicist and global science guru Stephen Hawking: Do not talk to aliens.
The brilliant Hawking is wheel-chair bound and speaks through a computer. But he’s thinking about the cosmos.
With billions of galaxies, trillions of stars, the numbers tell him there’s life out there. The smartest forms could make it here. But we should not want that, says Hawking. Too much danger.
Other scientists disagree. We’ll hear that debate, and talk to the man who heads Earth’s greeting committee for aliens.