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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in…
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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (original: 2000; edição: 2000)

de Peter D. Ward (Autor)

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438944,127 (3.93)5
What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.… (mais)
Membro:JLockett
Título:Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe
Autores:Peter D. Ward (Autor)
Informação:Copernicus (2000), Edition: 2000, 338 pages
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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe de Peter D. Ward (2000)

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Note the subtitle of the book is "Why COMPLEX Life Is Uncommon in the Universe". The authors conclude that simple life is likely widespread throughout the universe--and was very likely seeded here from space. The SETI-types rebutted Rare Earth with their own take, hilariously titled, "Life Everywhere." After all, if your funding was based on the belief that E.T. is out there just around the next sun, you'd be upset by this book too. But once you've read Rare Earth you'll understand why Newsday said, "…[a book that] has hit the world of astrobiologists like a killer asteriod…". ( )
  andy_clark | Dec 31, 2020 |
This excellent book was reviewed in my "Alternate View" column published in the September-2000 issue of Analog Science Fiction/Fact Magazine. That review is available online at : https://www.npl.washington.edu/AV/altvw102.html (John G. Cramer) ( )
  Pauline_B | Apr 3, 2018 |
This is a very good book. But don´t expect much about extraterrestrial life and specifics about why life is uncommon in the universe. The book deals mostly on why life is common on Earth. It gives a much detailed account on the history of our planet and the history of life on Earth. Very well written and very nice to read. ( )
1 vote elviomedeiros | Jul 31, 2011 |
This is a rare book, a book on science which is informative and inspiring without really trying to be. If we destroy 5% of species on earth, we may be doing a lot more than just that, we may be destroying 5% of the species in this sector of the galaxy.The authors explain a wide variety of different topics in several different disciplines in a non-dogmatic way, from astronomy and physics to biology and geography, just laying out what we think we know and how it relates to the formation of life on earth. This is a book in which I learned not just one new thing, but a whole bunch of different things that all relate to the question of the origin of complex life. (Simple life forms, they argue, may be quite common in the universe.) This book is sufficiently good so that it doesn't matter that much to me if the book is true (although it is quite convincing); I learned so much that the "refutation," if it comes, will have to build on what I learned in this book. A lot of the book is taken up with the single case of life that we know the best -- life on earth. There is a lot that goes into supporting intelligent life on earth besides just life itself. There's plate tectonics, the balance of water and continents, mass extinctions, a unique moon that stabilizes the tilt of the earth, Jupiter, and other things. And we don't really know what's really behind the Cambrian explosion, or the development of higher life forms (plants and animals, for example) from the microbes. So this really was a fascinating book. ( )
1 vote KeithAkers | Jun 5, 2010 |
Princeton geologist Adam Maloof has chosen to discuss Rare Earth by Peter Ward and Don Brownlee on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject - Earth History.



“…This book looks at a classic Carl Sagan theory that says if there are zillions of stars and bazillions of planets in the universe, then there must be at least millions of habitable planets with complex life. But the book looks beyond statistics and considers in detail the series of "coincidences" that occurred to make complex life on earth. To do so, they must go through many of the important events that occurred in Earth history. …”



The full interview is available here: http://fivebooks.com/interviews/adam-maloof-on-earth-history ( )
  FiveBooks | Apr 19, 2010 |
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Ward, Peter D.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Brownlee, Donaldautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.

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