Origins from the Big-Bang to Civilisation Proceedings of the Iberoamerican School of Astrobiology Caracas, Venezuela, 28 November– 8 December, 1999
The general topic of this book concerns the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the Universe. It discusses the transition from inert matter to cellular life and its evolution to fully developed intelligent beings, and also the possibility of life occurring elsewhere, particularly in other environments in our own and other solar systems. br/ The theoretical framework of emAstrobiology/em may be probed with a forthcoming series of space missions, which at the time of writing are being planned for the next 10 to 15 years. Advanced extraterrestrial life can also be probed by means of radioastronomy in the well-established project of search for extraterrestrial intelligence. br/ emAstrobiology/em pays special attention to the robust growth in our capacity to search for microorganisms, as well as signals of extraterrestrial life, with recent significant technological progress in planetary science and radioastronomy. The progress of the main space agencies is highlighted. br/ emAudience:/em This volume is aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in the many areas of basic, earth, and life sciences that contribute to the study of chemical evolution and the origin of life.