|Title:||Many worlds : the new universe, extraterrestrial life, and the theological implications|
|Authors:||Steven J. Dick, Editor|
|Publisher:||[S.l.] : Templeton Foundation Press, 2000|
|ISBN / ISSN / EAN :||978-1-890151-42-3|
|Bibliography note:||Includes bibliographical references and index|
|Subjects:||Cosmology--Congresses ; Life on other planets--Congresses ; Religion and science--Congresses|
"Four hundreds years ago, the Roman Catholic church burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for heresy. Among other things, he proposed the existence of an infinite number of inhabited worlds. Since this ran counter to the doctrine of man as God's supreme and special creation, Bruno was undermining a key tenet of the Christian faith at that time. I argue that the church got it exactly wrong. If life is widespread in the universe, it gives us more, not less, reason to believe in cosmic design. My discussion centers on the notion of biological determinism: given the right conditions, life inevitably will form after a sufficiently long time, and once life gets started, it will very probably progress toward intelligence. Thirty years ago, in spite of the popularity of science fiction stories about aliens, belief in extraterrestrial life was widely ridiculed by scientists. Today the pendulum has swung back, and biological determinism is the prevailing philosophy at NASA, among SETI researchers, school children, journalists and even the rich and famous"
Paul C. W. Davies, "Biologival Determinism, Information Theory, and the Origin of Life"