Julian Chela-Flores is the author of several books and numerous research papers in the fledgling scientific field of astrobiology. His most recent work Astrobiology and Humanism: Conversations on Science, Philosophy and Theology was published by Cambridge Scholars in August of this year to impressive reviews.
The study concerns the horizons and frontiers of humanism as they interact with the science of life in the universe, or what is now generally known as “astrobiology”. Praise for the book has been multifaceted; the study is both a comprehensive introduction to astrobiology and an informed debate on the relationship between science and faith. Furthermore, through autobiographical reflections and biographical sketches Chela-Flores interweaves discussions on an array of influential scholars and religious leaders.
You can read excerpts from recent reviews of the text below:
“This work serves as an excellent first-hand history of the origins and development of astrobiology, as it engages most, if not all, of the principal scientists involved. It is an excellent source of bibliographical material for anyone who wishes to research this history in more detail.”
George V. Coyne
“The author’s contacts with great religious personalities such as Pope John Paul and Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, as well as with several Nobel laureates, have enriched his reflections on the frontier of science and religion. During his scientific career, Chela-Flores has reached a personal philosophy of life and humanism by conversing with outstanding persons. Presently, he is eager to share his achievement and these conversations with the public.”
“In this succinct and highly interesting set of reflections on astrobiology, Prof. Julian Chela-Flores provides an unusually broad-minded study. Unlike most other scientifically informed studies of the topic, the author is fully aware of the dramatic humanistic and religious implications of the new scientific interest in the phenomenon of life in the universe. Informed by recent developments in the dialogue of science, ethics, and religion, Chela-Flores has produced a thoughtful and readable study that should appeal to readers of many different backgrounds.”
Professor John F. Haught
“Astrobiology and Humanism, albeit a relatively thin volume, contains all the aspects of what you need to know about the relationship between astrobiology and humanism, as well as the origin of the field of astrobiology. […] The volume should be in every library for the benefit of science and humanism, as well as on the bookshelves of general readers, since the topics discussed will certainly become ever more pivotal in today’s world.”
Professor Joseph Seckbach
“Únicamente diremos que Astrobiology and Humanism es una obra necesaria, elaborada –nótese bien – por un científico con sensibilidad hacia las humanidades, como invitación seria, honesta y meditada, al encuentro fructífero -diálogo- entre la ciencia, la filosofía y la teología, en definitiva entre fe y razón, con ocasión de los profundos retos que, de manera natural, por su propia actividad y dinámica como ciencia, la astrobiología pone ante ellas desde hace más de medio siglo, pero especialmente en la actualidad. Astrobiology and Humanism es, por lo mismo, la apelación urgente de un astrobiólogo a la filosofía y a la teología a colaborar y contribuir, desde su experiencia milenaria, con la joven ciencia de la vida en el universo, consciente de la magnitud y el calado de los retos y cuestiones que la actividad y progresos de la astrobiología le plantean tanto a sí misma como al conjunto de la cultura occidental de la que ya forma parte.”
Roberto Aretxaga Burgos