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EGENIS seminar: "The New N=1 Problem", Dr Carlos Mariscal (University of Navada, Reno)

Egenis seminar series

We have a single example of life: that which originated on Earth. The N=1 Problem refers to the difficulty of inferring general properties for life based on this single sample. This problem is predicated on the assumption that life is a natural kind with essential properties to be discovered.

Event details

In this talk, I present the New N=1 Problem. This riddle holds that there are an indefinite number of broader categories to which any single example belongs, none of which are non-controversially equivalent to life itself. The creation or discovery of members of any of those categories are not evidence of new examples of life without begging the question against the other categories. New evidence will only convince partisans if it proves to be wildly more fruitful than their view, which is unlikely. No creation nor discovery of a lifelike phenomenon will resolve this riddle.

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Venue: Byrne House, Streatham Campus (places limited)

Virtual: via Zoom