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Civilized Life in the UniverseScientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials$
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George Basalla

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171815.001.0001

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Trio of Ideas

Trio of Ideas

(p.3) CHAPTER ONE Trio of Ideas
Civilized Life in the Universe

George Basalla

Oxford University Press

Since ancient times, three key ideas have dominated the search for extraterrestrial civilizations (SETI): an infinite universe, life on distant planets in the universe, and advanced civilizations in the universe. All of these ideas are rooted in ancient philosophical and scientific thought, and all of them have shaped the modern search for extraterrestrial intelligence. For example, modern scientists replaced the old religious notion that the heavens are filled with gods and spirits with current claims that any alien civilization we might encounter will be superior to our civilization and able to help us resolve problems we face on earth.

Keywords:   alien, civilization, extraterrestrial, religious, SETI, terrestrial, infinite universe

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