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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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Mirror Worlds

Mirror Worlds

(p.175) CHAPTER TEN Mirror Worlds
Civilized Life in the Universe

George Basalla

Oxford University Press

SETI researchers portray intelligent alien life and civilization as mirror images of human life and modern industrial civilization. They assume that science, as we know it, is a universal form of knowledge cultivated everywhere. They argue that biological evolution takes the same path throughout the universe, and that it invariably results in intelligent beings. Similar arguments lead to the claim that all forms of intelligent life practice the same technology and develop earth-like civilizations, with this difference: extraterrestrial societies are tens of millions of years old and hence far advanced in science, technology, and the arts of civilization. This claim conflicts with current understanding of anthropology, evolutionary biology, social and cultural history, and the history, philosophy, and sociology of science and technology.

Keywords:   anthropology, civilization, biological evolution, history, intelligent life, science, SETI, technology

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