Texto 1. Astrobiology and Biocentrism
"Astrobiology and Biocentrism", in SECKBACH, J.; CHELA-FLORES, J.; OWEN, T.; RAULIN, F. (Eds.), Life in the Universe. From the Miller Experiment to the Search for Life on other Worlds. Dordretch (the Netherlands):Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004, Serie Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology (COLE), Vol. 7, p. 345-348.
The term "biocentrism" is polysemic in as far as it has, at least, three different meanings. One of them is to be found in the field of Philosophy, another in the Environmental Sciences, and a third interpretation is also provided in the area of astrobiology. In the field of philosophy, the term "biocentrism" is used to describe that ethical theory which denies that human beings occupy a privileged position with respect to other living creatures, as well as humankind’s centrality as a source of universal values. Life at large is taken as the only source and holder of any value by biocentrism, which implies that humanity is displaced from its central position, and so biocentrism is anti-anthropocentric. This is the usage the term is given in the "deep ecology" and conservation movement, based on the theories developed by Aldo Leopold and Paul W. Taylor. The second use of "biocentrism" is opposed to that of "functionalism". In this sense, these two designations refer to opposing views in the study and management of the environment, which, in turn, have generated two distinct scientific disciplines: population ecology and system ecology, respectively. Bearing this difference in mind, biocentrism is best characterized as focusing on organisms and taking the "biota" as its basic component. Besides, biocentrism relies on natural selection as its explanatory paradigm and defends biodiversity.