Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, May 5, 2010 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 480 pages
4 Reviews
What are the implications for Humankind of alien civilizations that may be 'out there?' In thinking about contact with extraterrestrials, we have to grapple with a host of philosophical, religious, and societal questions. The biggest is whether the outcome of contact will be beneficial or harmful. Will contact uplift us, bringing a golden age of wisdom and prosperity? Or will it demoralize, even destroy us? This thought-provoking book presents a rainbow of opinions expressed by scientists, sociologists, historians, legal and political thinkers, and many others. The author takes into account not only scientific speculation, but also fiction and popular opinion. He challenges the most frequent assumptions that unerlie our thinking. He looks at both sides of the 'where are they' debate, questioning the alleged paradox and proposing new ways of thinking about the issue. The serious practical questions raised by extraterrestrial intelligence are becoming harder to avoid as our search technologies and methods improve, as we identify ever-greater numbers of planets orbiting other stars, and as the wave front of our radio, television, and radar signals reaches out into the Galaxy. How should we deal with contact if it happens? What do we want to say to an extraterrestrial civilization? Will we speak as one, or as many? What should we do if we find alien technology in our solar system? Should we simply be watchers and listeners, or should we actively seek contact by sending out messages proclaiming our presence? Our answers reveal our hopes and our fears.
  

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Review: Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials

User Review  - Colin - Goodreads

A really great overview of the search for extraterrestrial life, in the past, present and future. In many ways it reads like a textbook and is a good review of our obsession with ETs and all the ... Read full review

Review: Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials

User Review  - Avery - Goodreads

Great depth and academic breadth in this review of the issues surrounding SETI and METI. I especially like his lamentation of how scientific investigation of UFOs has been poisoned by zealots on both sides of that issue. Read full review

Contents

A Belief in Other Minds
9
A New Era
25
Searching for Intelligence
33
Sending Our Own Signals
49
Probabilities
54
The Astronomical Factors
58
Life
68
Intelligence
77
The Consequences of Contact
208
Hopes
219
Fears
232
Dangers
241
Mixed Emotions
248
Some Assumptions Examined
259
Before Contact
260
After Contact
279

Civilization Technology and Science
89
Longevity
94
The Drake Equation Take Two
111
Should We Continue the Search?
113
Direct Contact
122
The UFO Controversy
143
The Drake Equation Take Three
162
Why Dont We See Them?
164
Reformulating the Problem
180
Thinking Outside the Box
190
SETI and Religion
202
The Drake Equation Take Four
324
What Is Missing
325
Some Conclusions Drawn
333
Paradigm Shifts
343
The Human Role
347
Preparing
358
About the Author
377
References
378
Index
450
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Michael Michaud served as Director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Advanced Technology and as Counselor for Science, Technology, and Environment at the American embassies in Paris and Tokyo. He led the negotiation of international agreements, played an active role in reviving U.S.-Soviet space cooperation, represented foreign policy interests in interagency discussions of U.S. space policy, and testified before Congress on space-related issues. He has published thirty articles and papers on the implications of contact, as well as sixty articles on other subjects and the book, Reaching for the High Frontier: The American Pro-Space Movement, 1972-1984.

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