What is Life? On Earth and Beyond

Front Cover
Andreas Losch
Cambridge University Press, Jul 13, 2017 - Religion - 328 pages
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Approaches from the sciences, philosophy and theology, including the emerging field of astrobiology, can provide fresh perspectives to the age-old question 'what is life?'. Has the secret of life been unveiled and is it nothing more than physical chemistry? Modern philosophers will ask if we can even define life at all, as we still don't know much about its origins here on Earth. Others regard life as something that cannot simply be reduced to just physics and chemistry, while biologists emphasize the historical component intrinsic to life on Earth. How can theology constructively interpret scientific findings? Can it contribute constructively to scientific discussions? Written for a broad interdisciplinary audience, this probing volume discusses life, intelligence and more against the background of contemporary biology and the wider contexts of astrobiology and cosmology. It also considers the challenging implications for science and theology if extraterrestrial life is discovered in the future.
 

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Contents

Reflections on Origins Life and the Origins of Life
13
The Search for Another EarthLike Planet and Life Elsewhere
30
Morphological Signatures of Ancient Microbial
57
Some Notes
75
Philosophy
97
What is Life? And Why is the Question Still Open?
111
Is the Origin of Life a Fluke? Why the Chance Hypothesis Should
132
Some Contemporary and Persistent Fallacies and Confusions
156
Theology
201
On the Nature
213
Where Theres Life Theres Intelligence
236
A Conversation
260
Talking Lions Intelligent Aliens and Knowing God Some
287
Conclusion
298
A Skeptical Afterword
311
Copyright

Superintelligent AI and the Postbiological Cosmos Approach
178

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About the author (2017)

Andreas Losch is an award-winning theologian, specialising in the dialog between the sciences, philosophy and theology, and he is currently coordinating the project 'Life beyond our planet?' at the Center for Space and Habitability, Universitšt Bern, Switzerland. Losch is a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey and he serves in the councils of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology and in the Karl Heim Society. He is also editor-in-chief of a German forum for dialog between the sciences and theology.

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