May 24, 2004

Exo, Astro, Other?

John Smart wrote to me today in response to my Exosociobiology post:
In the future I'd suggest renaming Exosociobiology to Astrosociobiology, as the "Exo" term is being outcompeted by Astro, and it will help the growth of the field for us to hew to the new standard.

Exo- also has a boogeyman, other, alien connotation that is really unnecessary (a false start on naming the field, IMHO) if the world is constrained to some degree by a bunch of universal developmental archetypes, as we are now beginning to suspect.

Interestingly, the Library of Conference has this to say on the matter:
Extraterrestrial Anthropology: Here are entered works on the prospective use of the science of anthropology in dealing with intelligent beings in outer space, or establishing earth colonies on extraterrestrial bodies.

Works on life indigenous to outer space are entered under "Life on other planets."

Works on the study of processes occurring in outer space that are relevant to biology, especially the origin and evolution of life, are entered under "Exobiology."

Works on the biology of humans or other earth life while in outer space are entered under "Space biology."

I think I still prefer astrosociobiology or exosociobiology over extraterrestrial anthropology, which is a bit limited as a descriptor.

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