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Davies Abstract

Cultural Perspective: How Detection of Extraterrestrial Life Will Change Our World Views
Paul Davies (ASU)
It is often remarked that the discovery of life beyond Earth would transform our view of ourselves and our place in the universe. However, the implications for science and society depend crucially on the precise nature of the discovery. In my talk I shall review a spectrum of possibilities, from finding a microbe on Mars to picking up a message from an advanced alien community. I shall discuss how we might obtain, right now, critical information about our place in the universe by identifying a shadow biosphere on Earth.