The search for life in the universe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The existence of life places strong constraints on the cosmological initial conditions and the laws of physics. Cosmologists have long been intrigued by the "unreasonable" bio-friendliness of the universe in this regard. The explanation of choice is now the so-called multiverse cosmological model, which emerges naturally by combining the inflationary universe scenario with string theory. However, in the absence of an efficient panspermia mechanism, the question of whether or not life is widespread in the universe is not addressed by cosmology. Rather, it hinges on whether biogenesis is dominated by chance, or some elusive "life principle." One way to test the fashionable, but as-yet unjustified, claim that life arises readily on earth-like planets is to seek evidence for multiple genesis events on Earth. I offer some proposals for experimental test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.B. Hoover, G.V. Levin, A.Y. Rozanov, G. Randall Gladstone
Pages1-11
Number of pages11
Volume5906
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventAstrobiology and Planetary Missions - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2005Aug 2 2005

Other

OtherAstrobiology and Planetary Missions
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period7/31/058/2/05

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Bio-makers
  • Chirality
  • Cosmological biophilicity
  • Life principle
  • Multiple geneses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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  • Cite this

    Davies, P. (2005). The search for life in the universe. In R. B. Hoover, G. V. Levin, A. Y. Rozanov, & G. Randall Gladstone (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 5906, pp. 1-11). [59060I] https://doi.org/10.1117/12.624239