Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

SETI: A Critical History

Dedication



SETI: A Critical History is a copy of the following PhD thesis, reproduced here with permission:

SETI's Scope
How the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Became Disconnected from New Ideas About Extraterrestrials

by Mark A. Sheridan (email)
Drew University
May 2009

© 2009 by Mark A. Sheridan
All rights reserved
Contents
Cover
>> Dedication
Opening quote
Some important events in the history of SETI

1. Introduction

Part I. Constructing SETI

2. SETI science
Greenbank
Intelligent life in the Universe
Uniformitarianism
The principle of mediocrity
SETI constructed within the boundaries of the traditional ETI discourse
3. SETI as popular science
ETI portraiture as a rhetorical site
SETI-ETI
Popular expositions of ETI science
SETI and the scientific community

Part II. Expanding the ETI discourse

4. The rehabilitation of "mind"

5. The Soviet critique of SETI
Differences in attitudes toward ETIs
Differences in temperament
Differences in intellectual traditions
Byurakan-II
6. The evolutionists' critique of SETI
Dueling improbabilities
"New" evolutionists
Eiseley: the possibility of non-humanoid ETIs
Simpson: making SETI's assumptions overt
Talking the talk
Byurakan-II: deepening the evolutionists' critique and expanding SETI's response
Dobzhansky: deterministic thinking
7. The philosophers' critique of SETI

8. Plausible non-humanoid ETIs
ETIs with non-humanoid sensorial
Superorganisms
Neutron star beings
Superconductor ETIs

Part III. Implications of the expanded ETI discourse for SETI

9. Reactions to the "nature"-based critiques
Project Cyclops
The Morrison workshops
Congress
Name change
10. Inflection
SETI's standing in the scientific community
Pascal's wager
Signs of wearying
Commission 51
The inflection point in popular culture
Giving up the ghost
11. Evanescence
1993: annus horribilis
Today
SETI in the popular culture
12. Conclusion


Bibliographical essay

Bibliography
SETI: Primary and secondary sources
ETI discourse: Secondary sources
ETI discourse: Primary sources
Texts that directly discuss ETIs
Popular expositions of ETI science
Hard science fiction featuring ETIs
ETI portraiture in American film and television

To Michael J. Crowe and Luis Campos


PREVIOUS (Cover) | NEXT (Opening quote)



Related category

   • SETI