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Carlos Mariscal
University of Nevada, Reno
  1.  38
    Life and Life Only: A Radical Alternative to Life Definitionism.Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2975-2989.
    To date, no definition of life has been unequivocally accepted by the scientific community. In frustration, some authors advocate alternatives to standard definitions. These include using a list of characteristic features, focusing on life’s effects, or categorizing biospheres rather than life itself; treating life as a fuzzy category, a process or a cluster of contingent properties; or advocating a ‘wait-and-see’ approach until other examples of life are created or discovered. But these skeptical, operational, and pluralistic approaches have intensified the debate, (...)
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  2.  27
    Convergent Evolution as Natural Experiment: The Tape of Life Reconsidered.Russell Powell & Carlos Mariscal - 2015 - Interface Focus 5 (6):1-13.
    Stephen Jay Gould argued that replaying the ‘tape of life’ would result in radically different evolutionary outcomes. Recently, biologists and philosophers of science have paid increasing attention to the theoretical importance of convergent evolution—the independent origination of similar biological forms and functions—which many interpret as evidence against Gould’s thesis. In this paper, we examine the evidentiary relevance of convergent evolution for the radical contingency debate. We show that under the right conditions, episodes of convergent evolution can constitute valid natural experiments (...)
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  3. Modern Synthesis is the Light of Microbial Genomics.Austin Booth, Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2016 - Annual Reviews of Microbiology 70 (1):279-297.
  4.  9
    Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology.Carlos Mariscal & Kelly C. Smith (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book focuses on the emerging scientific discipline of astrobiology, exploring the humanistic issues of this multidisciplinary field. To be sure, there are myriad scientific questions that astrobiologists have only begun to address. However, this is not a purely scientific enterprise. More research on the broader social and conceptual aspects of astrobiology is needed. Just what are our ethical obligations toward different sorts of alien life? Should we attempt to communicate with life beyond our planet? What is “life” in the (...)
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  5.  32
    Why We Should Care About Universal Biology.Carlos Mariscal & Leonore Fleming - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (2):121-130.
    Our understanding of the universe has grown rapidly in recent decades. We’ve discovered evidence of water in nearby planets, discovered planets outside our solar system, mapped the genomes of thousands of organisms, and probed the very origins and limits of life. The scientific perspective of life-as-it-could-be has expanded in part by research in astrobiology, synthetic biology, and artificial life. In the face of such scientific developments, we argue there is an ever-growing need for universal biology, life-as-it-must-be, the multidisciplinary study of (...)
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  6.  30
    A Strategy for Origins of Life Research. [REVIEW]Caleb Scharf, Nathaniel Virgo, H. James Cleaves Ii, Masashi Aono, Nathanael Aubert-Kato, Arsev Aydinoglu, Ana Barahona, Laura M. Barge, Steven A. Benner, Martin Biehl, Ramon Brasser, Christopher J. Butch, Kuhan Chandru, Leroy Cronin, Sebastian Danielache, Jakob Fischer, John Hernlund, Piet Hut, Takashi Ikegami, Jun Kimura, Kensei Kobayashi, Carlos Mariscal, Shawn McGlynn, Bryce Menard, Norman Packard, Robert Pascal, Juli Pereto, Sudha Rajamani, Lana Sinapayen, Eric Smith, Christopher Switzer, Ken Takai, Feng Tian, Yuichiro Ueno, Mary Voytek, Olaf Witkowski & Hikaru Yabuta - 2015 - Astrobiology 15:1031-1042.
    Aworkshop was held August 26–28, 2015, by the Earth- Life Science Institute (ELSI) Origins Network (EON, see Appendix I) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. This meeting gathered a diverse group of around 40 scholars researching the origins of life (OoL) from various perspectives with the intent to find common ground, identify key questions and investigations for progress, and guide EON by suggesting a roadmap of activities. Specific challenges that the attendees were encouraged to address included the following: What key (...)
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  7.  28
    Universal Biology: Assessing Universality From a Single Example.Carlos Mariscal - 2015 - In The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth. Cambridge, UK: pp. 113-126.
    Is it possible to know anything about life we have not yet encountered? We know of only one example of life: our own. Given this, many scientists are inclined to doubt that any principles of Earth’s biology will generalize to other worlds in which life might exist. Let’s call this the “N = 1 problem.” By comparison, we expect the principles of geometry, mechanics, and chemistry would generalize. Interestingly, each of these has predictable consequences when applied to biology. The surface-to-volume (...)
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  8. CRISPR as a Driving Force: The Model T of Biotechnology.Carlos Mariscal & Angel Petropanagos - 2016 - Monash Bioethics Review 34 (2):1-16.
    The CRISPR system for gene editing can break, repair, and replace targeted sections of DNA. Although CRISPR gene editing has important therapeutic potential, it raises several ethical concerns. Some bioethicists worry CRISPR is a prelude to a dystopian future, while others maintain it should not be feared because it is analogous to past biotechnologies. In the scientific literature, CRISPR is often discussed as a revolutionary technology. In this paper we unpack the framing of CRISPR as a revolutionary technology and contrast (...)
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  9. There is Grandeur in This View of Life: The Bio-Philosophical Implications of Convergent Evolution. [REVIEW]Russell Powell & Carlos Mariscal - 2014 - Acta Biotheoretica 62 (1):115-121.
  10.  31
    Eukaryotes First: How Could That Be? [REVIEW]Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2015 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370:1-10.
    In the half century since the formulation of the prokaryote : eukaryote dichotomy, many authors have proposed that the former evolved from something resembling the latter, in defiance of common (and possibly common sense) views. In such ‘eukaryotes first’ (EF) scenarios, the last universal common ancestor is imagined to have possessed significantly many of the complex characteristics of contemporary eukaryotes, as relics of an earlier ‘progenotic’ period or RNAworld. Bacteria and Archaea thus must have lost these complex features secondarily, through (...)
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  11.  35
    Epistemology, Necessity, and Evolution: A Critical Review of Michael Ruse’s Philosophy After Darwin. [REVIEW]Carlos Mariscal - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):449-457.
    Michael Ruse’s new anthology Philosophy After Darwin provides great history and background in the major impacts Darwinism has had on philosophy, especially in ethics and epistemology. This review focuses on epistemology understood through the lens of evolution by natural selection. I focus on one of Ruse’s own articles in the collection, which responds to two classic articles by Konrad Lorenz and David Hull on the two major forms of evolutionary epistemology. I side with Ruse against Lorenz’s account of the necessity (...)
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  12.  12
    Five Chances in Evolution.Carlos Mariscal & Alexander Lerner - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 69:97-100.
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  13.  39
    Hidden Concepts in the History of Origins-of-Life Studies.Carlos Mariscal, Ana Barahona, Nathanael Aubert-Kato, Arsev Umur Aydinoglu, Stuart Bartlett, María Luz Cárdenas, Kuhan Chandru, Carol E. Cleland, Benjamin T. Cocanougher, Nathaniel Comfort, Athel Cornish-Boden, Terrence W. Deacon, Tom Froese, Donato Giovanelli, John Hernlund, Piet Hut, Jun Kimura, Marie-Christine Maurel, Nancy Merino, Alvaro Julian Moreno Bergareche, Mayuko Nakagawa, Juli Pereto, Nathaniel Virgo, Olaf Witkowski & H. James Cleaves Ii - 2019 - Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 1.
    In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory (...)
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  14. Introduction to Philosophy of Science.Carlos Mariscal - forthcoming - In Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience.
    This chapter will be a brief survey of the concepts from general philosophy of science for those interested in cognitive science. It covers several major topics in the philosophy of science: scientific explanation and underdetermination, reductionism and levels of nature, and scientific realism. We will discuss the goals of science, the methods of science, and the most plausible interpretations of science. To demonstrate the importance of these topics, the chapter includes cases in which confusion over these issues has led scientists (...)
     
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  15.  24
    Universal Biology Does Not Prescribe Planetary Isolationism.Carlos Mariscal - 2017 - Theology and Science 2 (15):150-152.
    Stephen Hawking’s caution against messaging extraterrestrial intelligence is a claim of universal biology and is probably false.
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  16.  3
    What Are Extremophiles? A Philosophical Perspective.Carlos Mariscal & T. D. P. Brunet - 2020 - In Kelly C. Smith & Carlos Mariscal (eds.), Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology. Oxford, UK: pp. 157-178.
    In the 1970s, R.D. MacElroy coined the term ‘extremophile’ to describe microorganisms that thrive under extreme conditions (MacElroy 1974). This hybrid word transliterates to ‘love of extremes’ and has been studied as a straightforward concept for the past 40 years. In this paper, we discuss several ways the term has been understood in the scientific literature, each of which has different consequences for the distribution and importance of extremophiles. They are, briefly, Human-Centric, at the Edge of life’s habitation of Morphospace, (...)
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