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Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence$
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David Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680207.001.0001

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Hubble and Drake: SETI and Cosmology

Hubble and Drake: SETI and Cosmology

(p.29) 3 Hubble and Drake: SETI and Cosmology
Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

David Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

The vastness of the Universe gives strong support for the possibility of other intelligent life around other stars. At the same time, anthropic balances in the laws and circumstances of the Universe are a reminder of how special life may be. This chapter explores the tension between these arguments, reflecting on the Drake equation's attempt to give a probability to the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence. In addition, the size of the Universe poses a fundamental problem for SETI—that is there may be civilizations out there who are too far away for us ever to know of their existence.

Keywords:   cosmology, anthropic balances, multiverse, anthropic principle, Drake equation, interstellar communication

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