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But it is. We can change our ideas about the blueprint for life and for anything else that emerges without having to worry about religion or dualism.
There is some really important work in this book and in the later books of both Davies and Kauffman, but you are going to have to ignore their concerns about emergence and simply accept it like the next generation of scientists will. You are going to have to accept that they grew up in a time where if you suggested there was anything predetermined, that meant god or something nonphysical. Review: If there is no signal from alien life, why even search? This is an actual concern for policy makers who fund projects like SETI.
The first answer from Davies is, "Logic! He gives all the standard arguments about why we should fund SETI and keep looking. First Life research will certainly go a long way to helping this cause. It is interesting to read this book in light of my current knowledge about his work with Sara Imari Walker and others in trying to define and synthesize life so that humans can keep searching for it on other planets. But, I am so tired of being anchored to that outdated concept that only serves to pull our focus away from continuing to gather facts and progress.
Davies went all in and tried to introduce the religiously interested to Swedenborg. One of my best friends grew up in the New Church, complete with its own little Swedenborg only community. I am in the camp that wants to keep sending out signals but I really do understand how that could get us all killed if there is more advanced life out there. Overall, this is a more worthwhile book that it might appear because he is really working toward something extremely important, namely updating our idea of what life is and fitting it into the frame work of not only biology but in physics where it surely belongs.
UN SILENCIO INQUIETANTE: LA NUEVA BUSQUEDA DE INTELIGENCIA EXTRAT ERRESTRE