Think! Talk: "How to Search for Extraterrestrial Life"
The Center for Values and Social Policy in the CU Boulder Philosophy Department invites you to a public talk by Carol Cleland Thursday, Oct. 26.
The question "what is life?" is foundational to biology and especially important to astrobiologists, who may one day encounter utterly alien life, and scientists trying to understand how life arises from nonliving chemicals under natural conditions.
The most popular approach to answering this question is to provide a “definition” of life. Cleland will explain why this approach is mistaken and sketch a strategy for searching for alien forms of life without the guidance of a definition or universal theory of life, closing with an application to NASA’s fledgling search for extraterrestrial life.
Cleland is a full professor of philosophy at CU Boulder. She has written on the nature and origins of life in several manuscripts and a book, The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for life as we don’t know it. She also is affiliated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute and is a member of CU’s Center for Astrobiology. Most recently, she was named director of the new Center for the Study of Origins.
Thursday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Hellems Arts and Sciences, room 199