Milan M. Cirkovic

Milan M. Cirkovic
Astronomical Observatory Belgrade | AOB · astrophysics

PhD

About

224
Publications
29,273
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1,560
Citations
Citations since 2016
52 Research Items
884 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (224)
Article
A further argument for human space settlement is formulated on the basis of the risk of information catastrophe, as recently outlined by Melvin Vopson. Both the increase in the overall material basis of the human civilization and the lowering of operational temperature will act to mitigate this type of risk. Human space settlement and the creation...
Article
We consider the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) activities from a bioethical standpoint. In particular, we argue that there is a moral duty to search for other intelligent beings in the Universe. Some of them could – and are likely to be – morally enhanced in the sense that they are not only capable of unmistakable moral reasoning b...
Preprint
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Recent years have seen both a revival of space programs, mostly propelled by private industry's increasing interest, but also the emergence of strong resistance to human space activities on several levels. This is partly a manifestation of a wider counter-Enlightenment Zeitgeist, as detectable in other sectors of public life in the West, and partly...
Article
Recent years have seen both a revival of space programs, mostly propelled by private industry’s increasing interest, but also the emergence of strong resistance to human space activities on several levels. This is partly a manifestation of a wider counter-Enlightenment Zeitgeist, as detectable in other sectors of public life in the West, and partly...
Article
Full-text available
Now that we know that Earth-like planets are ubiquitous in the universe, as well as that most of them are much older than the Earth, it is justified to ask to what extent evolutionary outcomes on other such planets are similar, or indeed commensurable, to the outcomes we perceive around us. In order to assess the degree of specialty or mediocrity o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Now that we know that Earth-like planets are ubiquitous in the universe, as well as that most of them are much older than the Earth, it is justified to ask to what extent evolutionary outcomes on other such planets are similar, or indeed commensurable, to the outcomes we perceive around us. In order to assess the degree of specialty or mediocrity o...
Chapter
The opera of Stanislaw Lem present us with a kaleidoscope of ideas and concepts all linked, in one way or another, to one key issue: the place of evolving minds in the evolving universe. In particular, the idea of fragmented, non-conscious intelligences belonging to neither strictly natural, nor strictly artificial, realms has been presented throug...
Chapter
The continuity thesis as formulated by Iris Fry has a strong appeal not only in the origin of life studies, but as a unifying principle bridging the gap between physical and life sciences. It is one of the most powerful methodological tools of contemporary astrobiology, especially in its efforts to build a synthetic view of the place of life and in...
Article
It is well known that the chances of success of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence depend on the longevity of technological civilizations or, more broadly, on the duration of the signs of their existence, or technosignatures. Here, we re-examine this general tenet in more detail, and we show that its broader implications have not been giv...
Preprint
It is well-known that the chances of success of SETI depend on the longevity of technological civilizations or, more broadly, on the duration of the signs of their existence, or technosignatures. Here, we re-examine this general tenet in more detail, and we show that its broader implications were not given the proper significance. In particular, an...
Chapter
An often used assumption in astrobiology and SETI studies is that the average condition of the present universe is typical in time, and that many of the relevant physical quantities can be treated as stationary. The uncritical adoption of such assumption of ‘temporal Copernicanism’ can lead to wrong conclusions, and should be treated with extreme c...
Article
Observational data suggest that a belt of planetesimals is expected close to the snow line in protoplanetary discs. Assuming there is such a belt in the TRAPPIST-1 system, we examine possibilities of water delivery to the planets via planetesimals from the belt. The study is accomplished by numerical simulations of dynamical evolution of a hypothet...
Preprint
Full-text available
Observational data suggest that a belt of planetesimals is expected close to the snow line in protoplanetary disks. Assuming there is such a belt in TRAPPIST-1 system, we examine possibilities of water delivery to the planets via planetesimals from the belt. The study is accomplished by numerical simulations of dynamical evolution of a hypothetical...
Preprint
We consider some implications of the much-discussed circumstellar habitable zones around M-dwarf stars for the conventionally understood radio SETI. We argue that the flaring nature of these stars would further adversely impact local development of radio communication and that, therefore, their circumstellar habitable zones should be preferentially...
Article
Both human bioenhancement and human activities in space are two great projects of our species. Both are often motivated by exalted and noble purposes, the most important being the avoidance of the "ultimate harm" or a similar extremely undesirable outcome. Both projects are often met with fierce and even fanatical opposition. Motivations for opposi...
Article
The problem of the extent of habitable zones in different kinds of galaxies is one of the outstanding challenges for contemporary astrobiology. In the present study, we investigate habitability in a large sample of simulated galaxies from the illustris Project in order to at least roughly quantify the hospitality to life of different galactic types...
Preprint
The problem of the extent of habitable zones in different kinds of galaxies is one of the outstanding challenges for contemporary astrobiology. In the present study, we investigate habitability in a large sample of simulated galaxies from the Illustris Project in order to at least roughly quantify the hospitality to life of different galactic types...
Preprint
Full-text available
Galaxies represent the main form of organization of matter in our universe. Therefore, they are of obvious interest for the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology. In particular, to study habitability of galaxies represents one of the main emerging challenges of theoretical and numerical astrobiology. Its theoretical underpinnings are, however...
Article
How special (or not) is the epoch we are living in? What is the appropriate reference class for embedding the observations made at the present time? How probable – or else – is anything we observe in the fulness of time? Contemporary cosmology and astrobiology bring those seemingly old-fashioned philosophical issues back into focus. There are sever...
Preprint
Full-text available
How special (or not) is the epoch we are living in? What is the appropriate reference class for embedding the observations made at the present time? How probable -- or else -- is anything we observe in the fulness of time? Contemporary cosmology and astrobiology bring those seemingly old-fashioned philosophical issues back into focus. There are sev...
Article
Full-text available
uistinu neophodna za potpuno epistemološko i metodološko opravdanje teorije biološke evolucije. U tu svrhu koristimo tri primera velikih problema iz filozofije biologije, naime pitanje univerzalnosti evolucionih meha-nizama, problem porekla biološke hijerarhije i problem evolucije evolvabilnosti, na koje je teško u potpunosti odgovoriti bez značajn...
Article
In a recent article in this journal, Lingam and Loeb developed an excellent heuristic for searches for biosignatures versus technosignatures. We consider two ways in which their approach could be extended and sharpened, with focus on durability of technosignatures. We also note an important consequence of the adopted heuristic that offers strong su...
Preprint
In a recent paper in this journal, Lingam and Loeb (2018) develop an excellent heuristic for searches for biosignatures vs. technosignatures. We consider two ways in which their approach could be extended and sharpened, with focus on durability of technosignatures. We also note an important consequence of the adopted heuristic which offers strong s...
Article
Full-text available
Context . Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its “astrobiological landscape”) has emerged as a key research topic in recent years. In order to build precise, quantitative models of the Galactic habitability, we need to account for two opposing tendencies of life and intelligence in the most general context: the tendency to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context. Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its "astrobiological landscape") has emerged as one of the key research topics in recent years. In order to build precise, quantitative models of the Galactic habitability, we need to account for two opposing tendencies of life and intelligence in the most general context: the ten...
Article
Full-text available
Symmetry-based explanations using symmetry breaking (SB) as the key explanatory tool have complemented and replaced traditional causal explanations in various domains of physics. The process of spontaneous SB is now a mainstay of contemporary explanatory accounts of large chunks of condensed-matter physics, quantum field theory, nonlinear dynamics,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Symmetry-based explanations using symmetry breaking (SB) as the key explanatory tool have complemented and replaced traditional causal explanations in various domains of physics. The process of spontaneous SB is now a mainstay of contemporary explanatory accounts of large chunks of condensed-matter physics, quantum field theory, nonlinear dynamics,...
Article
Symmetry-based explanations using symmetry breaking (SB) as the key explanatory tool have complemented and replaced traditional causal explanations in various domains of physics. The process of spontaneous SB is now a mainstay of contemporary explanatory accounts of large chunks of condensed-matter physics, quantum field theory, nonlinear dynamics,...
Article
Full-text available
Galaxies represent the main form of organization of matter in our universe. Therefore, they are of obvious interest for the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology. In particular, to study habitability of galaxies represents one of the main emerging challenges of theoretical and numerical astrobiology. Its theoretical underpinnings are, however...
Article
Full-text available
The answer to the fine-tuning problem of the universe has been traditionally sought in terms of either design or multiverse. In philosophy circles, this is sometimes expanded by adding the option of explanatory nihilism – the claim that there is no explanation for statements of that high level of generality: fine-tunings are brute facts. In this pa...
Article
Recent discussion of the alleged adverse consequences of space colonization by Phil Torres in this journal is critically assessed. While the concern for suffering risks (s-risks) should be part of any strategic discussion of the cosmic future of humanity, the Hobbesian picture painted by Torres is largely flawed and unpersuasive. Instead, there is...
Article
A methodological problem is inherent in any discussion of extraterrestrial engineering and its detectability: how to distinguish detection signatures of such astroengineering from “natural”, non-intentional, albeit exotic, processes? In practice, searches for traces and manifestations of advanced technological civilizations have been reduced so far...
Article
Jared Diamond's argument against extraterrestrial intelligence from evolutionary contingency is subjected to critical scrutiny. As with the earlier arguments of George Gaylord Simpson, it contains critical loopholes that lead to its unraveling. From the point of view of the contemporary debates about biological evolution, perhaps the most contentio...
Article
It has already become a commonplace to discuss postbiological evolution in various contexts of futures studies, bioethics, cognitive sciences, philosophical anthropology, or even economics and SETI studies. The assumption is that technological/cultural evolution will soon entirely substitute for the biological processes which underlie human existen...
Article
Recent paper by Robert Klee in this journal argues that we should endorse a form of cosmic pessimism due to the inevitable destruction of Earth and humanity, allegedly meaning the complete and total annihilation of all traces of humanity's existence (‘human expunction’). It could be shown that both the physical basis and philosophical methodology u...
Book
Full-text available
Approaches from the sciences, philosophy and theology, including the emerging field of astrobiology, can provide fresh perspectives to the age-old question 'What is Life?'. Has the secret of life been unveiled and is it nothing more than physical chemistry? Modern philosophers will ask if we can even define life at all, as we still don't know much...
Article
There are manifold intriguing issues located within largely unexplored borderlands of bioethics, future studies (including global risk analysis), and astrobiology. Human enhancement has for quite some time been among the foci of bioethical debates, but the same cannot be said about its global, transgenerational, and even cosmological consequences....
Article
Full-text available
We historically trace various non-conventional explanations for the origin of the cosmic microwave background and discuss their merit, while analyzing the dynamics of their rejection, as well as the relevant physical and methodological reasons for it. It turns out that there have been many such unorthodox interpretations; not only those developed i...
Article
Both “optimists” and “sceptics” in regard to extraterrestrial intelligence tend to hold the view that we are entitled to an epistemically clear position: either there will be a signal, in the sufficiently general sense, proving the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), or no such signal is forthcoming. The distinction, I wish to argue h...
Article
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If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature environment: this can produce a $10^{30}$ multiplier of achievable computation. We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that the...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we suggest that the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology, as a set of the most general research programs dealing with life in its cosmic context is not only useful, but indeed necessary for the full epistemological and methodological justification of the theory of biological evolution. For this purpose, we use three examples...
Article
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Anthropic reasoning has lately been strongly associated with the string theory landscape and some theories of particle cosmology, such as cosmological inflation. The association is not, contrary to multiple statements by physicists and philosophers alike, necessary. On the contrary, there are clear reasons and instances in which the anthropic reaso...
Article
We consider global catastrophic risks due to cosmic explosions (supernovae, magnetars and gamma-ray bursts) and possible mitigation strategies by humans and other hypothetical intelligent beings. While by their very nature these events are so huge to daunt conventional thinking on mitigation and response, we wish to argue that advanced technologica...
Article
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We outline an argument favoring voluntary moral bioenhancement as a response to existential risks humanity exposes itself to. We consider this type of enhancement a solution to the antithesis between the extinction of humanity and the imperative of humanity to survive at any cost (e.g., by adopting illiberal strategies). By opting for voluntary mor...
Article
Gray (2015) argued that the Fermi paradox (FP) is a misnomer, and it is not a valid paradox. Gray also speculated that the argument was misattributed to Fermi, whose lunchtime remarks did not pertain to the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, but to the feasibility of interstellar travel. Instead, the paradox is ascribed to Hart and Tipler,...
Article
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We present an isolated Milky-Way-like simulation in the gadget2 N-body smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code. The Galactic disc star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and a stellar mass indicative of the Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life-friendly environments. SFR and stellar comp...
Article
Full-text available
Physical processes that characterize living matter are qualitatively distinct in that they involve encoding and transfer of specific types of information. Such information plays an active part in the control of events that are ultimately linked to the capacity of the system to persist and multiply. This algorithmicity of life is a key prerequisite...
Article
Advanced Galactic civilizations might, if originally evolved in circumstellar habitable zones of their home planetary systems, occasionally engage in the process Martyn Fogg dubbed "stellification": converting gas giants into stellar objects. There have been several developments since the time of Fogg's original article (1989) which make this astro...
Article
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We review the history and status of the famous classification of extraterrestrial civilizations given by the great Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Semenovich Kardashev, roughly half a century after it has been proposed. While Kardashev's classification (or Kardashev's scale) has often been seen as oversimplified, and multiple improvements, refinemen...
Article
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In this paper we analyze the kinematics and dynamics of the nearby early-type galaxy NGC 821 based on its globular clusters (GCs) and planetary nebulae (PNe). We use PNe and GCs to extract the kinematics of NGC 821 which is then used for the dynamical modelling based on the Jeans equation. We apply the Jeans equation using the Newtonian mass-follow...
Article
Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is now more than half a century old and has provoked enough discussion on technical, philosophical, and popular level, much of it critical. Historically, the criticism of SETI has been strong enough to heavily influence the course of research, so that there is a significant interest in discerning the...
Article
The well-known argument against the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) due to George Gaylord Simpson is re-analyzed almost half a century later, in the light of our improved understanding of preconditions for the emergence of life and intelligence brought about by the ongoing “astrobiological revolution”. Simpson’s argument has been en...
Article
Full-text available
We live in the epoch of explosive development of astrobiology, a novel interdisciplinary field dealing with the origin, evolution and the future of life. The relationship between cosmology and astrobiology is much deeper than it is usually assumed - besides a similarity in the historical model of development of these two disciplines, there is an in...
Article
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I reconsider a type of counterfactual argument often used in historical sciences on a recent widely discussed example of the so-called “rare Earth” hypothesis in planetary sciences and astrobiology. The argument is based on the alleged “rarity” of some crucial ingredient for the planetary habitability, which is, in Earth’s case, provided by conting...
Article
The duration of the current stelliferous era is re-examined in the context of our improved understanding of global star formation in disk galaxies. Important constraints come from the controversial existence of star-formation thresholds, as well as recycling, so-called Schmidt's law, and the past star formation history. The question to what extent...
Article
We simulate the evolution of Galactic habitable zone astrobiological complexity within neocatastrophic paradigm using the probabilistic cellular automata (PCA) platform. In this short talk we compare the results of our previous square lattice 2D PCA simulations with the new results obtained from the same model on the hexagonal 2D PCA lattice. Bidim...
Article
Ought we to take seriously large risks predicted by "exotic" or improbable theories? We routinely assess risks on the basis or either common sense, or some developed theoretical framework based on the best available scientific explanations. Recently, there has been a substantial increase of interest in the low-probability "failure modes" of well-es...
Article
Full-text available
The search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence constitutes one of the major endeavors in science, but has yet been quantitatively modeled only rarely and in a cursory and superficial fashion. We argue that probabilistic cellular automata (PCA) represent the best quantitative framework for modeling the astrobiological history of the Milky Way...
Book
Astrobiology is an expanding, interdisciplinary field investigating the origin, evolution and future of life in the universe. Tackling many of the foundational debates of the subject, from discussions of cosmological evolution to detailed reviews of common concepts such as the 'Rare Earth' hypothesis, this volume is the first systematic survey of t...
Article
Introduction; Acknowledgements; 1. Astrobiology: the colour out of space?; 2. Cosmology, life, and duration of the past; 3. Cosmology, life, and selection effects; 4. Cosmology, life, and the archipelago; 5. Astrobiology as a natural extension of Darwinism; 6. Rare Earths and the continuity thesis; 7. SETI and its discontents; 8. Natural and artifi...
Article
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We critically assess the prevailing currents in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), embodied in the notion of radio-searches for intentional artificial signals as envisioned by pioneers such as Frank Drake, Philip Morrison, Michael Papagiannis and others. In particular, we emphasize (1) the necessity of integrating SETI into a wide...
Article
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We describe a significant practical consequence of taking anthropic biases into account in deriving predictions for rare stochastic catastrophic events. The risks associated with catastrophes such as asteroidal/cometary impacts, supervolcanic episodes, and explosions of supernovae/gamma-ray bursts are based on their observed frequencies. As a resul...
Article
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It is argued that astrobiology in general, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in particular, are of foremost importance for the transhumanist endeavor. It is sketched how one can show incompleteness, at best, of the arguments usually cited in support of the uniqueness of human intelligence in the Galactic context. In addition to the a...
Article
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We present a preliminary results of our Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) 2D probabilistic cellular automata models. The relevant time-scales (emergence of life, it's diversification and evolution influenced with the global risk function) are modeled as the probability matrix elements and are chosen in accordance with the Copernican principle to be wel...
Article
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We review results of the simple 1-D models of the Galactic Habitable Zone constructed within neocatastrophic paradigm. The emerging astrobiological landscape demonstrates the capability of this theoretical framework to resolve the classical puzzles of Fermi's paradox and Carter's anthropic argument against extraterrestrial intelligence. Preliminary...
Article
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The kinematics of the early-type galaxy NGC 4649 (M60) is used in order to compare the predictions of two different approaches regarding the existence of unseen matter in its outer parts: modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) and the classical Newtonian dynamics. We use the recently published kinematical data of NGC 4649 out to ˜ 6R_{e} (where R_{e} i...
Article
We show that some observational properties of low- and intermediate-redshift Lyman-alpha forest clouds, e.g., the column density distribution function may be explained in more details by the classical minihalo model postulated by Rees. In addition, we propose a simple way of estimating the quantity of baryons residing in absorbing clouds in arbitar...
Article
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We review Fermi's paradox (or the "Great Silence" problem), not only arguably the oldest and crucial problem for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI), but also a conundrum of profound scientific, philosophical and cultural importance. By a simple analysis of observation selection effects, the correct resolution of Fermi's paradox is...
Article
A new strategy by which to defeat Carter's "anthropic" argument against extraterrestrial life and intelligence is presented. Our approach is based on relaxing hidden uniformitarian assumptions and considering instead a dynamical succession of evolutionary regimes governed by both global (Galaxy-wide) and local (planet- or planetary system-limited)...
Article
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In this paper the problem of the total mass and the total mass-to-light ratio of the early-type galaxy NGC~4649 (M60) is analyzed. Use is made of two independent techniques: the X-ray methodology which is based on the temperature of the X-ray halo of NGC~4649 and the tracer mass estimator (TME) which uses globular clusters (GCs) observed in this ga...
Article
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Can astrophysics explain Fermi's paradox or the "Great Silence" problem? If available, such explanation would be advantageous over most of those suggested in literature which rely on unverifiable cultural and/or sociological assumptions. We suggest, instead, a general astrobiological paradigm which might offer a physical and empirically testable pa...
Article
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I briefly consider the impact of recent developments in astrobiology, planetary sciences and philosophy on our changing historical perspective of extraterrestrial life and intelligence. In particular, I focus upon the re-emergence of catastrophism in Earth and planetary sciences, which is no more -- in sharp distinction to the historical experience...
Book
A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again....
Article
Full-text available
Context: Regarding the significant interest in both dark matter and the application of MOND to early-type galaxies, we investigate the MOND theory by comparing its predictions, for models of constant mass-to-light ratio, with observational data of the early-type galaxy NGC 4649. Aims: We study whether measurements for NGC 3379 and NGC 1399 are typi...
Article
It is argued that the "generic" evolutionary pathway of advanced technological civilizations are more likely to be optimization-driven than expansion-driven, in contrast to the prevailing opinions and attitudes in both future studies on one side and astrobiology/SETI studies on the other. Two toy-models of postbiological evolution of advanced techn...
Article
Full-text available
It is argued that the "generic" evolutionary pathway of advanced technological civilizations are more likely to be optimization-driven than expansion-driven, in contrast to the prevailing opinions and attitudes in both future studies on one side and astrobiology/SETI studies on the other. Two toy-models of postbiological evolution of advanced techn...
Article
Full-text available
The number and distribution of habitable planets in the Milky Way is one of the foremost problems of contemporary astrobiological research. We investigate the effects of applying general neocatastrophic paradigm to the evolution of the Galactic Habitable Zone. In this paper, we investigate the limits of simple, 1-dimensional astrobiological models,...
Article
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We reconsider the basic properties of the classical minihalo model of Rees and Milgrom in light of the new work, both observational (on "dark galaxies" and masses of baryonic haloes) and theoretical (on the cosmological mass function and the history of star formation). In particular, we show that more detailed models of ionized gas in haloes of dar...
Article
Full-text available
We reconsider the basic properties of the classical minihalo model of Rees and Milgrom in light of the new work, both observational (on "dark galaxies" and masses of baryonic haloes) and theoretical (on the cosmological mass function and the history of star formation). In particular, we show that more detailed models of ionized gas in haloes of dar...
Article
Full-text available
APSTRAKT: Razmatramo nekoliko različitih slučajeva neuspeha redukcionističkog pristupa eksplanatornim zadacima u kosmologiji. Pokazaćemo da oni postavljaju ograni-čenja na ovu vrstu eksplanatornih projekata. Konačno, iznosimo par utisaka i pretpostavki o mogućim uzrocima ovakvih neodgovarajućih primena redukcionističkog pristupa u filozofiji prosto...
Article
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We investigate the effects of correlated global regulation mechanisms, especially Galactic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), on the temporal distribution of hypothetical inhabited planets, using simple Monte Carlo numerical experiments. Starting with recently obtained models of planetary ages in the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ), we obtain that the times re...
Article
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One of the mainstays of the controversial "rare Earth" hypothesis is the "Goldilocks problem" regarding various parameters describing a habitable planet, partially involving the role of mass extinctions and other catastrophic processes in biological evolution. Usually, this is construed as support for the uniqueness of the Earth's biosphere and int...
Article
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It is shown that investigations in the field of microwave resonance stimulation of the acupuncture system, as well as investigations of the interactions of consciousness with microscopic and macroscopic environment - imply the existence of local and nonlocal macroscopic quantum biophysical effects, with great potential implications in medicine, psy...
Chapter
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We consider the problem of detectability of macro-engineering projects over interstellar distances, in the context of Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Freeman J. Dyson and his imaginative precursors, like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Olaf Stapledon or John B. S. Haldane, suggested macro-engineering projects as focal points in the context...