Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

By Paul Davies | Go to book overview

THERE ARE MANY WORLDS

Lucretius,
Roman poet and philosopher

Now here is something we must not think probable,
Since space is infinite on every side,
Since atoms numberless throughout the mighty universe
Fly here and there, by motion everlasting e'er implied,
That this one world of ours, this earth and sky
Alone were brought to birth.
We cannot cherish this belief --
Beyond the confines of the world we know,
Nature does nothing.
Particularly as the world we know
Was made by Nature thus:
The atoms of their own accord
Jostled from time to time by chance,
In random fashion, clashed, and blindly, heedlessly
And oft in vain,
Until at last were unions suddenly achieved
To be the starting points of mighty things,
Of earth and sea and sky, of every living thing.
And so I say again, again you must confess
That somewhere in the universe
Are other meetings of the atom stuff resembling this of
ours;
And these the aether holds in greedy grip.
For when the atom stuff is there,
And space in which the atom stuff may move,
And neither thing nor cause to bring delay,
The process of creation must go on; things must be made.
Now as it is,
If atom stocks are inexhaustible,
Greater than power of living things to count,
If Nature's same creative power were present too

-vii-

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Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • There Are Many Worlds vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 - A Brief History of Seti 1
  • Chapter 2 - Extraterrestrial Microbes 21
  • Chapter 3 - Alien Message 39
  • Chapter 4 - Against Aliens 61
  • Chapter 5 - The Nature of Consciousness 89
  • Chapter 6 - Alien Contact and Religious Experience 131
  • Appendix 1 - Project Phoenix 139
  • Appendix 2 - The Argument for Duplicate Beings 145
  • Bibliography 151
  • Index 153
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