Astrobiology and Human Significance

Presenter: Lucas Mix, Harvard University
When: November 14, 2017 3PM PST

Astrobiology reshapes the way we look at the cosmos and our place within it. By asking questions about the history, extent, and future of life in the universe, astrobiologists apply scientific reasoning to broader questions of human meaning, purpose, and significance. This talk looks at the relationship between data and philosophy in astrobiology. How our models of life in the universe impact us practically and ethically.

Specifically, I will look at questions of human significance arising from location – are we central? – and biology – are we unique? Answers to these questions have always been at the crossroads between observation, philosophy, and religion. The ways we speak about them, and our history of answering them, can encourage us to think critically about the role of data and science in societal questions.

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