8 items with the tag “philosophy

  • NAI Feature Stories

    AbGradCon 2011

    July 21, 2011
  • The ABRC Philosophy of Astrobiology and the Origin of Life Discussion Group
    NAI 2010 Montana State University Annual Report

    At Montana State University we have developed a think tank that involves Philsophers and Scientists and different points in their careers (Professor, Graduate Students, and Undergraduate Students) for the discussion of aspects of Origin of Life Theories. The think tank team has tackled a number of interesting problems and has presented there findings at national and international meetings and published their findings in the journal “Origin of Life and Evolution or Biospheres”.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.1 3.2
  • The ABRC Philosophy of Astrobiology and the Origin of Life Discussion Group
    NAI 2011 Montana State University Annual Report

    A unique feature of Montana State’s ARBC is our Philosophy of Astrobiology Focus Group. Our group consists of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students from philosophy, history, chemistry and bio-chemistry who are interested in examining the philosophical questions that intersect with astrobiology research.

    Specifically: • What are the defining characteristics of life? • What would we look for in searching for “alternative” life forms? • What is “intelligence” and how would we know when we had found it? • How do we choose between competing theories of the origins of life? • How are emerging sciences, such as astrobiology, different from mature sciences? • What are the social implications of discovering life on another planet or, alternatively, for failing to find life? • What are the ethical obligations of scientists in conducting research on other planets? • How should we assess potential environmental and health risks associated with astrobiological research?

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.1 3.2
  • The ABRC Philosophy of Astrobiology and the Origin of Life Discussion Group
    NAI 2012 Montana State University Annual Report

    The focus group continues to meet every other week. This year, 3 faculty members (Sara Waller, Prasanta Bandyopadhyay, and Visiting Assistant Professor Jeffrey Stephenson) and one graduate student (Stephen Keable) form the core of the group. We have discussed exo-environmental ethics, time travel, and the latest research on arsenic-based life forms. Dr. Bandyopadhyay is finishing a paper for publication that develops a Baysian analysis of the probability of the existence of extra-terrestrial life. Dr. Stephenson is working on an article in exo-environmental ethics. Dr. Waller continues to work with students who record communicative vocalizations of non-human animals on Earth to develop an empirical basis for analyzing potential extra-terrestrial communications. The group recently submitted a grant proposal to the NAIDDF to support further research and discussion on pressing questions of policy regarding exo-environmental ethics.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 3.1 3.2