John Wiley & Sons Astrobiology Cover ASTROBIOLOGY This unique book advances the frontier discussion of a wide spectrum of astrobiologica.. Product #: 978-1-119-71116-2 Regular price: $167.29 $167.29 Auf Lager


Science, Ethics, and Public Policy

Torres, Octavio A. Chon / Peters, Ted / Seckbach, Joseph / Gordon, Richard (Herausgeber)

Astrobiology Perspectives on Life in the Univers


1. Auflage November 2021
432 Seiten, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-71116-2
John Wiley & Sons

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This unique book advances the frontier discussion of a wide spectrum of astrobiological issues on scientific advances, space ethics, social impact, religious meaning, and public policy formulation.

Astrobiology is an exploding discipline in which not only the natural sciences, but also the social sciences and humanities converge. Astrobiology: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy is a multidisciplinary book that presents different perspectives and points of view by its contributing specialists. Epistemological, moral and political issues arising from astrobiology, convey the complexity of challenges posed by the search for life elsewhere in the universe. We ask: if a convoy of colonists from Earth make the trip to Mars, should their genomes be edited to adapt to the Red Planet's environment? If scientists discover a biosphere with microbial life within our solar system, will it possess intrinsic value or merely utilitarian value? If astronomers discover an intelligent civilization on an exoplanet elsewhere in the Milky Way, what would be humanity's moral responsibility: to protect Earth from an existential threat? To treat other intelligences with dignity? To exploit through interstellar commerce? To conquer?

The book will attract readers from a wide range of interests including astronomers, astrobiologists, chemists, biologists, space engineers, ethicists, theologians and philosophers.

Foreword xv

Preface xix

1 Astrobioethics: Epistemological, Astrotheological, and Interplanetary Issues 1
Octavio A. Chon Torres

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Epistemological Issue 3

1.3 Astrotheological Issue 6

1.4 Interplanetary Issue 9

1.5 Conclusions 12

References 13

2 Astroethics for Earthlings: Our Responsibility to the Galactic Commons 17
Ted Peters

2.1 Introduction 17

2.2 Laying the Foundation for an Astroethics of Responsibility 20

2.2.1 First Foundational Question: Who Are We? 21

2.2.2 Second Foundational Question: What Do We Value? 22 Science and Value 24 Religious Reliance on the Common Good 25 A Secular Grounding for Astroethics? 27

2.2.3 Third Foundational Question: What Should We Do? 29 From Quandary to Responsibility 29 From Space Sanctuary to Galactic Commons 30

2.3 Astroethical Quandaries Arising Within the Solar Neighborhood 32

2.3.1 Does Planetary Protection Apply Equally to Both Earth and Off-Earth Locations? 32

2.3.2 Does Off-Earth Life Have Intrinsic Value? 33

2.3.3 Should Astroethicists Adopt the Precautionary Principle? 36

2.3.4 Who's Responsible for Space Debris? 36

2.3.5 How Should We Govern Satellite Surveillance? 37

2.3.6 Should We Weaponize Space? 38

2.3.7 Which Should Have Priority: Scientific Research or Making a Profit? 39

2.3.8 Should We Earthlings Terraform Mars? 40

2.3.9 Should We Establish Human Settlements on Mars? 42

2.3.10 How Do We Protect Earth from the Sky? 43

2.4 Levels of Intelligence in the Milky Way Metropolis 44

2.4.1 What is Our Responsibility Toward Intellectually Inferior ETI? 46

2.4.2 What is Our Responsibility Toward Peer ETI? 46

2.4.3 What is Our Responsibility Toward Superior ETI or Even Post-Biological Intelligence? 48

2.5 Conclusion 50

References 51

3 Moral Philosophy for a Second Genesis 57
Julian Chela-Flores

3.1 Moral Philosophy on Earth and Elsewhere 58

3.1.1 The Origin of Ethics and Its Universal Relevance 58

3.1.2 Why Should We Act Morally? 59

3.1.3 Is a New Morality Needed for Astrobiological Explorations? 60

3.2 Identifying the Lack of Ethical Substance in Science Communication 61

3.2.1 Understanding the Boundaries of Knowledge 61

3.2.2 Implications of the Limits and Horizons of Science 63

3.3 Going from Astrobiology to Astrobioethics: A Big Step for Science and Humanism 64

3.3.1 The Pathway from Ethics to Bioethics and to Astrobioethics 64

3.3.2 The Question of the Role of Ethics in Astrobiology 64

3.4 Would There Be New Ethical Principles if There Were a Second Genesis? 65

3.4.1 Inevitability of the Emergence of a Particular Biosignature 65

3.4.2 Universalizable Ethical Criteria 66

3.5 Astrobioethics is Subject to Constraints on Chance 67

3.5.1 Not All Genes Are Equally Significant Targets for Evolution 67

3.5.2 Evolutionary Changes Are Constrained 67

3.6 How Are We Going to Treat Non-Human Life Away from the Earth? 68

3.6.1 Can Ethical Behavior Be Extended into a Cosmic Context 68

3.6.2 Instrumentation for the Search of Life 69

3.7 Ethical Principles in Early Proposals for the Search for Non-Human Life in the Solar System 69

3.7.1 Ethical Considerations in Previous Research in the Solar System 69

3.7.2 Instrumentation That Might Harm Exo-Microorganisms 70

3.8 Conclusion 71

Glossary 72

References 73

4 Who Goes There? When Astrobiology Challenges Humans 79
Jacques Arnould

4.1 Introduction 79

4.2 The Copernican Revolution 80

4.3 Religious Reactions to the Copernican Revolution 81

4.4 Astrobiology and Speculation 83

4.5 Heretics 84

4.6 The Many Worlds Hypothesis 86

4.7 Desecration of Planets Beyond Earth 86

4.8 The Precautionary Principle 87

4.9 The Sacred Beyond Earth 91

4.10 Who Goes There? 91

4.11 Conclusion: The Astrobiological Apocalypse 92

Furher Readings 93

5 Social and Ethical Currents in Astrobiological Debates 95
Kelly C. Smith

5.1 Introductory Musings 95

5.2 Uncertainty Opens the Door 97

5.3 Time Frames 100

5.4 Conceptual Frames 103

5.4.1 Error Avoiders vs. Optimizers 104

5.4.2 Ecologicals vs. Anthropocentrists 105

5.4.3 Communalists vs. Commercialists 106

5.5 Complications, Connections, and CYA 107

5.6 A Concluding Thought 109

References 110

6 The Ethics of Biocontamination 113
Tony Milligan

6.1 The Beresheet Tardigrades 114

6.2 Our Conflicting Intuitions 117

6.3 The Intelligibility of Microbial Value 123

6.4 Contamination and Discovery 128

6.5 Conclusion 131

References 132

7 Astrobiology Education: Inspiring Diverse Audiences with the Search for Life in the Universe 135
Chris Impey

7.1 The State of Astrobiology 136

7.2 Astrobiology as a Profession 138

7.3 Graduate Programs 141

7.4 Undergraduate Programs 142

7.5 Conferences and Schools 143

7.6 Courses for Non-Science Majors 144

7.7 Massive Open Online Classes 149

7.8 Teaching Materials and Books 149

References 152

8 Genetics, Ethics, and Mars Colonization: A Special Case of Gene Editing and Population Forces in Space Settlement 157
Konrad Szocik, Margaret Boone Rappaport and Christopher Corbally

8.1 Introduction 158

8.1.1 The Complex Relationship Between Population Forces and Ethics 158

8.1.2 Humans Evolving on Earth and Mars 159

8.1.3 Bioenhancements: Science, Technology, and Ethics 160

8.1.4 A Set of Astrobioethical Guidelines for Off-World Exploration 161

8.2 Population Forces and the Ethical Issues They Raise 163

8.2.1 Natural Selection and Genetic Drift on Mars 163

8.2.2 Contrasting and Convergent Population Forces on Earth and Mars 164

8.2.3 Population Forces When Humans Colonize Mars, the Asteroids, and Outer Planets 165

8.3 Ethical Issues Implied by Population Forces and Genome Modification 166

8.3.1 Selection of Interplanetary Migrants Based on Invasive Genetic Procedures 166

8.3.2 Required Pre-Settlement Genetic Remediation 167

8.3.3 Moral Context for Genetic Engineering for Space 168

8.4 Case Types for Off-World Population Changeand Their Ethical Implications 168

8.4.1 The Case of the Isolated Space Colony 168

8.4.2 The Case of an Inclusivist or Exclusivist Space Colony: Science, Research, Intelligence 169

8.4.3 The Case of the Space Refuge as an Ethically Expensive Option 170

8.4.4 The Case of the Formation of a New Species of Human 171

8.5 Religious Ethics and Population Forces 172

8.6 Conclusions 174

Acknowledgement 175

References 175

9 Constructing a Space Ethics Upon Natural Law Ethics 177
Brian Patrick Green

9.1 Introduction 178

9.2 Space Ethics and Natural Law Ethics 179

9.3 A Natural Law Ethics Including Space 182

9.4 The Disadvantages, Ambiguities, and Advantages of a Natural Law Space Ethics 185

9.5 Conclusion 188

References 189

10 Two Elephants in the Room of Astrobiology 193
Jensine Andresen

Abbreviations 194

10.1 Identifying the Two Elephants 195

10.2 The Phenomenon Elephant 197

10.3 The Weaponization Elephant 204

10.4 U.S. Government Spending on Weapons for Space 206

10.5 The Military-Industrial Complex Operates Under Euphemisms Citing "Government-Industry" Linkages 211

10.6 How the Two Elephants Are Connected 215

10.7 The Astroethics Public Policy Path Forward 216

References 219

11 Microbial Life, Ethics and the Exploration of Space Revisited 233
Charles S. Cockell

11.1 Introduction 233

11.2 Critiques of Intrinsic Value 235

11.2.1 The Argument from Existing Destruction 235

11.2.2 The Argument from Sheer Numbers 237

11.2.3 The Argument from Impracticality 238

11.2.4 The Argument from Prevailing View 241

11.2.5 The Argument from Respect 243

11.3 What of Intrinsic Value? 244

11.4 Adjudicating Other Interests 247

11.5 Do We Need a Cosmocentric Ethic for Microbial-Type Life? 249

11.6 Conclusions 251

References 251

12 Astrobiology, the United Nations, and Geopolitics 255
Linda Billings

12.1 Introduction 255

12.2 What is Astrobiology? 258

12.3 Ethical Issues in Astrobiology 258

12.4 Astrobiology and Planetary Protection 259

12.5 Conflicting Ideologies 262

12.6 International Cooperation--or Not? 266

12.7 Conclusions 267

References 269

13 An Ethical Assessment of SETI, METI, and the Value of Our Planetary Home 271
Chelsea Haramia and Julia DeMarines

13.1 A Brief History of SETI and METI 271

13.2 Ethical Analyses of SETI and METI 273

13.3 Ethical Proposals for the Road Ahead 282

References 289

14 The Axiological Dimension of Planetary Protection 293
Erik Persson

14.1 Introduction 293

14.2 The Relation Between the Epistemic and the Axiological Dimensions of Planetary Protection 294

14.3 The Axiological Dimension of Planetary Protection Today 296

14.4 The Nature of Epistemic Values 298

14.5 The Outer Space Treaty and the Axiological Dimension of Planetary Protection 299

14.6 The Axiological Dimension of Planetary Protection - Historical Background 302

14.7 Ethics and Planetary Protection 305

14.8 Competing Values - Planetary Protection and the Commercial Use of Space 307

14.9 Conclusions 308

References 309

15 Who Speaks for Humanity? The Need for a Single Political Voice 313
Ian A. Crawford

15.1 Introduction 313

15.2 The Need for Global Decision-Making in an Astrobiological Context 315

15.3 Some Socio-Political Implications of Astrobiological Perspectives 319

15.4 Who Speaks for Humanity? Building Appropriate Political Institutions for Space Activities 324

15.4.1 A World Space Agency 325

15.4.2 Strengthening the United Nations for the Governance of Space Activities 327

15.4.3 Space Activities in the Context of a Future World Government 328

15.5 Conclusions 331

References 332

16 Interstellar Ethics and the Goldilocks Evolutionary Sequence: Can We Expect ETI to Be Moral? 339
Margaret Boone Rappaport, Christopher Corbally and Konrad Szocik

16.1 Introduction 339

16.1.1 The Little Broached Question of Ethics 340

16.2 Astronomical Detection of Possible Life 341

16.2.1 The Complex Relationship Between Signals and Ethics 341

16.2.2 Astronomical Signal Detection, the Goldilocks Zone, Habitation, and Ethics 342 Exoplanets 342 Exoplanets in the Goldilocks Zone 342 Exoplanets, Oxygen, and the 'Red Edge' 343 The Great Leap from Plant Cover to Ethics 344

16.3 Operationalizing Human Neurological Features for an ETI Vetting Protocol 344

16.3.1 Parallel Moral Assessments by Host and Visitor 344

16.3.2 Anthropocene or 'Adolescence'? 345

16.3.3 Vetting ETIs: Friend or Foe? Right vs. Wrong 346

16.3.4 Rationale and Approach: Operationalizing Human Neurology to Assess ETIs 347 Theory of Mind 349 Sequence of Evolutionary Innovations: Logical, Determinate, Systemic 350 Cultural, Moral, and Religious Capacities - How Important and in What Order? 351 Assessing ETIs for Culture 352

16.3.5 A Test for Neuroplasticity: The Clincher if We Have Time 353

16.4 Fictional Case Studies of Vetting ETIs 354

16.4.1 Examples from Film and Television 354

16.4.2 Case Study of the Film Arrival 355

16.5 Conclusion 356

References 357

17 Intrinsic Value, American Buddhism, and Potential Life on Saturn's Moon Titan 361
Daniel Capper

17.1 Introduction 361

17.2 Titan and Possible Weird Life 363

17.3 Some Strengths and Limitations of the Intrinsic Value Concept 365

17.4 Buddhist Scriptures and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 368

17.5 American Buddhists and Life on Titan 369

17.6 Discussion 372

17.7 Conclusion 374

References 375

18 A Space Settler's Bill of Rights 377
Russell Greenall-Sharp, David Kobza, Courtney Houston, Mohammad Allabbad, Jamie Staggs and James S.J. Schwartz

18.1 Introduction 377

18.2 Basic Physiological Needs 380

18.3 Physical and Psychological Well-Being 381

18.4 Freedom of Expression 383

18.5 Privacy 383

18.6 Reproductive Autonomy 384

18.7 Vocational and Educational Liberty 385

18.8 Communication 385

18.9 Constrained Dissent 386

18.10 Self-Governance and Revisability 386

18.11 Conclusion 386

References 387

Index 389
Octavio Alfonso Chon Torres, PhD is a Professor at the Universidad de Lima, Doctor in Philosophy, Doctor(c) in Education, Master in Epistemology, and Philosopher; president and founder of the Asociación Peruana de Astrobiología - ASPAST (Peruvian Astrobiology Association); Associate Member of the Astronomical International Union F3 Commission; member of the International Working Group on Astrobioethics; organizer of the IV International Congress of Astrobiology. Research topics: philosophy of astrobiology, astrobioethics, epistemology and transdisciplinarity.

Ted Peters (Ph.D., University of Chicago) teaches systematic theology and ethics at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, USA. He co-edits the journal, Theology and Science, at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Ted Peters is author of God--The World's Future (Fortress, 3rd ed., 2015) and God in Cosmic History (Anselm Academic 2017). He is co-author of Evolution from Creation to New Creation (Abingdon 2002). Along with colleagues he has just edited, Astrotheology: Science and Theology Meet Extraterrestrial Life (Cascade 2018). He has also authored a series of fiction thrillers including For God and Country, Cyrus Twelve, and The Moon Turns to Blood (Aprocryphile Press).

Richard Gordon, PhD is a theoretical biologist and retired from Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba in 2011. Presently at Gulf Specimen Marine Lab & Aquarium, Panacea, Florida and Adjunct Professor, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth & Development, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan. Interest in exobiology (now astrobiology) dates from 1960s undergraduate work on organic matter in the Orgueil meteorite with Edward Anders. Has published critical reviews of panspermia and the history of discoveries of life in meteorites.

Joseph Seckbach, PhD from the University of Chicago and did a post doctorate in Caltech, Pasadena, California. He led a group researching exobiology (extra-terrestrial life) at UCLA and spent postdoctoral period at UCLA, Tubingen, Munich and Harvard University. Professor Joseph Seckbach has edited over 35 books for various publishers. Beyond editing academic volumes, he has published more than 140 scientific articles on plant ferritin-phytoferritin, cellular evolution, acidothermophilic algae, life in extreme environments and on astrobiology.

O. A. C. Torres, Universidad of Lima, Peru; T. Peters, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, USA; J. Seckbach, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israe; R. Gordon, Wayne University, Detroit, MI, USA