Cover image for Cosmos & culture : cultural evolution in a cosmic context
Title:
Cosmos & culture : cultural evolution in a cosmic context
Author:
Dick, Steven J.
Publication Information:
[Washington, DC] : [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of External Relations, History Division], [2009]
Physical Description:
1 online resource (ix, 602 pages) : illustrations (some color).
Summary:
From GPO Bookstore's Website: Authors with diverse backgrounds in science, history, anthropology, and more, consider culture in the context of the cosmos. How does our knowledge of cosmic evolution affect terrestrial culture? Conversely, how does our knowledge of cultural evolution affect our thinking about possible cultures in the cosmos? Are life, mind, and culture of fundamental significance to the grand story of the cosmos that has generated its own self-understanding through science, rational reasoning, and mathematics? Book includes bibliographical references and an index.
General Note:
Paper version available for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.
Language:
English
Contents:
Introduction / Steven J. Dick and Mark L. Lupisella -- Cosmic evolution : state of the science / Eric J. Chaisson -- Cosmic evolution : history, culture, and human destiny / Steven J. Dick -- Social evolution : state of the field / Kathryn Denning -- The evolution of culture / Daniel C. Dennett -- The big burp and the multiplanetary mandate / Howard Bloom -- Evo devo universe? A framework for speculations on cosmic culture / John M. Smart -- Dangerous memes; or, What the Pandorans let loose / Susan Blackmore -- Cosmocultural evolution : the coevolution of culture and cosmos and the creation of cosmic value / Mark L. Lupisella -- The intelligent universe / James Gardner -- Life, mind, and culture as fundamental properties of the universe / Paul C.W. Davies -- The value of "L" and the cosmic bottleneck / Seth Shostak -- Encoding our origins : communicating the evolutionary epic in interstellar messages / Douglas A. Vakoch -- History and science after the chronometric revolution / David Christian -- Bringing culture to cosmos : the postbiological universe / Steven J. Dick -- Bringing cosmos to culture : Harlow Shapley and the uses of cosmic evolution / JoAnn Palmeri.
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ISBN:
9780160831195

9780160897412
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Book

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Product Description : During the last 50 years, coincident with the Space Age, cosmic evolution has been recognized as the master narrative of the universe, history writ large. Cosmic evolution includes physical, biological, and cultural evolution, and of these the latter is by far the most rapid.    In this volume, authors with diverse backgrounds in science, history, anthropology, and more, consider culture in the context of the cosmos. How does our knowledge of cosmic evolution affect terrestrial culture? Conversely, how does our knowledge of cultural evolution affect our thinking about possible cultures in the cosmos? Are life, mind, and culture of fundamental significance to the grand story of the cosmos that has generated its own self-understanding through science, rational reasoning, and mathematics? Might this lead to cultural evolution on a large enough scale to allow the universe to both create and steer itself toward its own destiny?  


Author Notes

Steven J. Dick is the former Chief Historian for NASA. He obtained his B.S. in astrophysics (1971) and his M.A. and Ph.D. (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University. He worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, for 24 years before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2003. Among his books are Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (1982), The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (1996), and Life on Other Worlds (1998). The latter has been translated into Chinese, Italian, Czech, Polish and Greek. His most recent books are The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (2004) and a comprehensive history of the U.S. Naval Observatory, Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830-2000 (2003). The latter received the Pendleton Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government.  He is editor of Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications (2000), editor (with Keith Cowing) of the proceedings of the NASA Administrator's symposium Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars (2005), and (with Roger Launius) of Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (2006) and Societal Impact of Spaceflight (2007). He is the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. He received the NASA Group Achievement Award for his role in NASA's multidisciplinary program in astrobiology. He has served as chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society as president of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and he as president of the Philosophical Society of Washington.  He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Mark L. Lupisella works for NASA as an engineer and scientists. He has worked on the Hubble Space telescope, Mars planning, Exploration and Constellation programs, wearable computing, astrobiology, artificial life, and many other areas. He is the author of over 25 published works and received NASA's Space Flight Awareness Award for his work on the Hubble Space Telescope. 


Table of Contents

Steven J. Dick and Mark L. LupisellaEric J. ChaissonSteven J. DickKathryn DenningDaniel C. DennettJohn M. SmartSusan BlackmoreMark L. LupisellaJames GardnerPaul C. W. DaviesSeth ShostakDouglas A. VakochDavid ChristianSteven J. DickJoAnn Palmeri
Introductionp. V
Part 1 The Cosmic Context
Chapter 1 Cosmic Evolution: State of the Sciencep. 3
Chapter 2 Cosmic Evolution: History, Culture, and Human Destinyp. 25
Part 2 Cultural Evolution
Chapter 3 Social Evolution: State of the Fieldp. 63
Chapter 4 The Evolution of Culturep. 125
Chapter 5 The Big Burp and the Multiplanetary Mandatep. 145
Chapter 6 Evo Devo Universe?: A Framework for Speculations on Cosmic Culturep. 201
Chapter 7 Dangerous Memes; or, What the Pandorans Let Loosep. 297
Part 3 Cosmos and Culture
Chapter 8 Cosmocultural Evolution: The Coevolution of Culture and Cosmos and the Creation of Cosmic Valuep. 321
Chapter 9 The Intelligent Universep. 361
Chapter 10 Life, Mind, and Culture as Fundamental Properties of the Universep. 383
Chapter 11 The Value of "L" and the Cosmic Bottleneckp. 399
Chapter 12 Encoding Our Origins: Communicating the Evolutionary Epic in Interstellar Messagesp. 415
Chapter 13 History and Science after the Chronometric Revolutionp. 441
Chapter 14 Bringing Culture to Cosmos: The Postbiological Universep. 463
Chapter 15 Bringing Cosmos to Culture: Harlow Shapley and the Uses of Cosmic Evolutionp. 489
Contributorsp. 523
NASA History Seriesp. 533