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Beck, Lewis White (1913–1997)




Lewis White Beck
American philosopher who is among the few of his profession to consider the possible impact on humanity of extraterrestrial contact (see extraterrestrial intelligence, implications following first contact). He has argued that popular science and science fiction have so prepared people for the discovery of intelligent alien signals that, if it comes, it will have no great lasting effect on individuals' lives. It might, however, have longer term consequences since:
[T]here is no limit to what in coming centuries we might learn about other creatures and, more portentiously, about ourselves. Compared to such advances in knowledge, the Copernican and Darwinian Revolutions and the discovery of the New World would have been but minor preludes.

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   • PHILOSOPHY
   • SETI