Extraterrestrial altruism : evolution and ethics in the by Douglas A. Vakoch

By Douglas A. Vakoch

Extraterrestrial Altruism examines a easy assumption of the hunt for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that extraterrestrials might be transmitting messages to us for our profit. this question of even if extraterrestrials might be altruistic has turn into more and more vital in recent times as SETI scientists have began considering transmissions from Earth to make contact.

Technological civilizations that transmit signs for the good thing about others, yet without instant achieve for themselves, definitely appear to be altruistic. yet does this make organic feel? may still we predict altruism to adapt during the cosmos, or is that this basically wishful pondering? Is it risky to ship messages to different worlds, as Stephen Hawking has prompt, or could humankind make the most of an alternate with intelligence in other places within the galaxy? might extraterrestrial societies be in keeping with diverse moral rules, or might we see commonalities with Earthly notions of morality? Extraterrestrial Altruism explores those and similar questions on the motivations of civilizations past Earth, supplying new insights which are severe for SETI.

Chapters are authored by means of prime students from diversified disciplines―anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computing device technological know-how, cosmology, engineering, heritage of technological know-how, legislation, philosophy, psychology, public coverage, and sociology. The ebook is punctiliously edited via Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition on the SETI Institute and professor of medical psychology on the California Institute of indispensable experiences. The Foreword is via Frank Drake.

This interdisciplinary ebook will gain every body attempting to comprehend even if evolution and ethics are exact to Earth, or whether or not they are equipped into the cloth of the universe.

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According to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, interstellar travel is seemingly impossible because no vessel could travel faster than the speed of light, thus it would take centuries or millennia to travel the distances between solar systems. For example, at the speed of the Voyager spacecraft, it would take over 70,000 years to get to Proxima Centauri. However, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity indicates that faster than speed of light travel is theoretically possible by using large amounts of energy to continuously stretch space and time.

The food scenario has some intuitive appeal. After all, many humans consume animal flesh. In a classic episode of the science fiction program The Twilight Zone—‘‘To Serve Man’’—seemingly magnanimous aliens called the Kanamits come to Earth and share their advanced technology, which solves the planet’s greatest woes, including eradicating hunger, disease, and the need for warfare. Humans are encouraged to take trips to the Kanamits’ home planet, which is supposedly a paradise. However, a female code breaker eventually deciphers that a Kanamit book ironically titled To Serve Man is actually a cookbook on how to serve humans as meals.

Lupisella argues that both technology and social norms have reduced the costs of caring, with the result that biological altruism, which is motivated by the selfish gene and results in favored treatment of kin, has been supplemented by biocultural altruism, which encompasses more people. The product of cosmocultural evolution, advanced altruism, involves a broad-based respect for the universe and all beings within it. Based on principles, rather than circumstance, advanced altruism constitutes a framework of avoiding harm and viewing others as entitled to respect and rights.

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