Carol Cleland

Carol Cleland is Director of the Center for the Study of Origins and Full Professor in the Department of philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California (Santa Barbara) and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Brown University. Before she became a philosopher, Cleland worked as a software engineer. After receiving her Ph.D., she spent a year as Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy and Computer Science at Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI). Cleland’s current research focus is in in the area of philosophy of science. She is especially interested in the methodology and justification of origins theories in the historical natural sciences and philosophical issues about life, which include the nature and origin of life, the search for extant and extinct extraterrestrial life, and the possibility of a ‘shadow biosphere’ (as yet undiscovered microbial life descended from an alternative origin of life on Earth), and more general issues concerning causation, mechanism, and emergence.

Selected Publications