Chapter

Mirror Worlds

George Basalla

in Civilized Life in the Universe

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780195171815
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786862 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171815.003.0010
 Mirror Worlds

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SETI researchers portray intelligent alien life and civilization as mirror images of human life and modern industrial civilization. They assume that science, as we know it, is a universal form of knowledge cultivated everywhere. They argue that biological evolution takes the same path throughout the universe, and that it invariably results in intelligent beings. Similar arguments lead to the claim that all forms of intelligent life practice the same technology and develop earth-like civilizations, with this difference: extraterrestrial societies are tens of millions of years old and hence far advanced in science, technology, and the arts of civilization. This claim conflicts with current understanding of anthropology, evolutionary biology, social and cultural history, and the history, philosophy, and sociology of science and technology.

Keywords: anthropology; civilization; biological evolution; history; intelligent life; science; SETI; technology

Chapter.  8652 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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