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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Signs of Life: Criterion System of Exobiology Annotation pdf (1,186,121 Bytes) ocr (34,919 Bytes)
Signs of Life: Criterion System of Exobiology
Number of Image Pages:
13 (1,186,121 Bytes)
Date:
1965-07-03 (July 3, 1965)
Creator:
Lederberg, Joshua
Source:
Periodical: Lederberg, Joshua. "Signs of Life: Criterion System of Exobiology." Nature 207, 4492 (3 July 1965): 9-13. Article. 13 Images.
Lederberg UI: P121
Publisher:
MacMillan Magazines
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Nature
URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/index.htmlExit
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Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exobiology
Evolution
Exhibit Category:
Launching a New Science: Exobiology and the Exploration of Space
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: Published Scientific Article
Box Number: 82
Folder Number: 23
Unique Identifier:
BBABIQ
Accession Number:
3
Document Type:
Articles
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Writings
SubSeries: Published Scientific Articles
Folder: P121: "Signs of Life: Criterion System of Exobiology" (1965)
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2009-02-09
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples

Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW: This was an effort to systematize thinking about the question,
hoew do we decide what methodology to use in seeking life on Mars.
That requires a definition of "life"; a survey of potential administration;
a comparable survey of possible signatures, a review of existing information
and attention to the constraints of a prefigured, inflexible mission.
It was an early application of orthologic, close to what F Zwicky called
morphological analysis, and was certainly colored by my contemporary
preoccupation with DENDRAL, which embraced a forecasting generator
of all possible chemical isomers. (Cf P-300).  As a vector to scan
analyte signatures, particle (atomic/molecular weight) was ventured,
and that came up short with the realization that negentropic local
concentrations of almost any target, even elemntal or molecular hydrogen
might end up as a sign of life, perhaps even of intelligence (consider
a metal cylinder containing H2 gas!);  The only philosophical commentary
citing the article's method was Hao Wang', the formal and the intuitive in biology,
(1984);  other citers were preoccupied with my advocacy of optical activity
(cf the Pasteur probe) as a signature.

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jl 3/27/00