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Offers a relatively unbiased account of the likelihood that extraterrestrial life exists Presents a text that has been class tested and reviewed in undergraduate and freshmen courses over many years Provides material that is suitable to teach at a large number of courses offered on this subject in the U.S. and elsewhere
What does existing scientific knowledge about physics, chemistry, meteorology and biology tell us about the likelihood of extraterrestrial life and civilizations? And what does the fact that there is currently no credible scientific evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial biospheres or civilizations teach us?
This book reviews the various scientific issues that arise in considering the question of how common extraterrestrial life is likely to be in our galaxy and whether humans are likely to detect it. The book stands out because of its very systematic organization and relatively unbiased treatment of the main open question. It covers all relevant aspects of many disciplines required to present the different possible answers.
It has and will provide undergraduates with a stimulating introduction to many of these fields at an early stage in their university careers, when they are still choosing a specialty. The difficulties and the range of possible answers to the title question are carefully addressed in the light of present understanding. The resulting perspective is distinctly different from those suggested by most other books on this topic.
Content Level »Upper undergraduate
Keywords »Chemical evolution of life - Drake's equation discussed - Extraterrestrial Life - Life on extrasolar planets - Panspermia hypothesis - Rare Earth hypothesis - SETI project - Search for Extraterrestrial Life reviewed