Cosmic Evolution has been seen as leading to two possible world views: a physical universe in which life is rare or unique to Earth, and a biological universe, in which the processes of cosmic evolution commonly end in life. These two worldviews now hang in the balance, in the same way that the heliocentric and geocentric worldviews were in the balance four hundred years ago when Galileo wrote his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems (1632). Astrobiology is the science that will decide which of the two modern astronomical worldviews is true. A third world view, the postbiological universe, is also possible and deserves more discussion. The confirmation of one of these worldviews will have profound implications for human destiny.

Key words

artificial intelligence biological universe cosmic evolution cultural evolution Drake Equation postbiological universe Shapley 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Dick
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA HeadquartersWashington DCUSA

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