Monday, November 29, 2010
Are We Alone in the Universe
Rare Earth : Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe
by Peter D. Ward, & Donald Brownlee
Ground-breaking and controversial, Rare Earth marshals data from geology, astronomy, and biology to put forth a radical hypothesis: While primitive organisms such as microbes are very likely abundant across the galaxies, advanced life, depending as it does on a myriad of special circumstances, is altogether another story. In a thought- provoking departure from the widely held view that there must be countless civilizations of intelligent beings out there, Ward and Brownlee suggest that multicellular life- forms, let alone life-forms with whom we'd be able to communicate, must be exceedingly rare.
When you look up into the night's sky and see it full of galaxies, it is inconceivable that we are alone. And yet, as the author's guide us through the scientific evidence it is hard not to agree with their conclusions. Clearly explained science for the general reader. Brief video interview with Peter Ward