The Biological Universe : The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science
As biological scientists learn more about how terrestrial life was formed, they increasingly turn to the stars to ask whether life might have evolved elsewhere. Thus far, despite a recent flurry of interest in Mars, they have found no solid evidence, but they keep looking. This scholarly book, written by a historian at the U.S. Naval Observatory, examines the long development of that quest, along with some of the philosophical questions that have emerged from it. Steven J. Dick notes that our observational abilities are both limited and biased, and that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence forces us to examine some of our own assumptions about what constitutes life in the first place.