The Search for life in the universe

P. C. W. Davies

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    1 Downloads (Pure)


    The existence of life places strong constraints on the cosmological initial conditions and the laws of physics. Cosmologists have long been intrigued by the "unreasonable" bio-friendliness of the universe in this regard. The explanation of choice is now the so-called multiverse cosmological model, which emerges naturally by combining the inflationary universe scenario with string theory. However, in the absence of an efficient panspermia mechanism, the question of whether or not life is widespread in the universe is not addressed by cosmology. Rather, it hinges on whether biogenesis is dominated by chance, or some elusive "life principle". One way to test the fashionable, but as-yet unjustified, claim that life arises readily on earth-like planets is to seek evidence for multiple genesis events on Earth. I offer some proposals for experimental test.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
    Subtitle of host publicationAstrobiology and planetary missions
    EditorsRichard B. Hoover, Gilbert V. Levin, Alexei Y. Rozanov, Randall G. Gladstone
    Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)0819459119
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    EventAstrobiology and Planetary Missions - San Diego, CA
    Duration: 31 Jul 20052 Aug 2005

    Publication series

    NameSPIE proceedings series
    ISSN (Print)0277-786X


    ConferenceAstrobiology and Planetary Missions
    CitySan Diego, CA

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


    • astrobiology
    • cosmological biophilicity
    • life principle
    • multiple geneses
    • bio-makers
    • chirality

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Search for life in the universe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this