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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe #2020

Rare Earth Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe 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 informatio

  • Title: Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe
  • Author: Peter D. Ward Donald Brownlee
  • ISBN: 9780387952895
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe By Peter D. Ward Donald Brownlee, 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 EveryoWhat 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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      376 Peter D. Ward Donald Brownlee
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      Posted by:Peter D. Ward Donald Brownlee
      Published :2020-04-02T10:34:20+00:00

    1 thought on “Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

    1. Having read David Waltham s Lucky Planet, there isn t much in this older book which is new to me, even though he recommended it for further reading It s less up to date, of course, but that s because it s older and at least it does acknowledge stuff like the Viking lander biological experiments, which Waltham did not If you re interested in the evidence that s out there for the fact that our planet might be rare indeed in producing complex life, I d recommend Rare Earth over Lucky Planet The sci [...]

    2. An intriguing book, it was written by two scientists Ward, a noted paleontologist, and Brownlee, an astronomer who sought to challenge the concept, rather widespread actually, that complex, even intelligent life, is probably common in the universe They felt that some of this bias in believing this stems from wishful thinking, no doubt fueled by science fiction, but also by science itself, notably the Drake Equation, put forth by astronomers Frank Drake and Carl Sagan This equation, one designed [...]

    3. 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 boo [...]

    4. 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 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 eart [...]

    5. There are probably millions of other planets in the galaxy with bacteria, but according to this book, very very few with civilization or even animals The conditions that enabled life to develop may be very widespread in the universe, but Earth has been unusually stable for a long time due to conditions that are extremely unusual The Sun is brighter than 95% of stars, giving it a bigger Goldilocks zone The solar system is much richer in heavy elements than average, making rocky planets possible J [...]

    6. Is there life in the Universe beyond Earth The authors contend that the Universe is probably teeming with microbial life Even on Earth one can find microbes living under most extreme conditions such as several thousand meters deep in the planet s crust or in the vicinity of deep sea hydrothermal ridges in complete darkness These earthly conditions are not better than the habitats a microbe can found, for instance, on Mars or Europa, a moon of Jupiter Enter the microbes penchant for regularly tra [...]

    7. One of the most popular themes in science fiction is the prevalence of alien intelligent life in the Universe While the supposed real life abductions and UFO sightings may be silly, the scientific consensus has been that intelligent life is common in the Universe Peter D Ward and Donald Brownlee support the idea that simple life forms are common in the Universe, but contend in Rare Earth that any type of complex, multi cellular animal life is extremely rare Their book covers the Rare Earth Hypot [...]

    8. Ward and Brownlee s book Rare Earth presents a nice overview of life on Earth and the conditions that influenced its development They put forward the idea that elsewhere in the universe microbial life might very well be common, but animal life is exceedingly rare.I think that they take a very restrictive view by laying out all of the specific conditions that occurred for Earth and then suggesting that these are likely absolutely necessary for animal life to arise elsewhere The book, published in [...]

    9. I grew up reading and reveling in vintage science fiction Among other authors, I loved the novels of James White, about Sector General, a great hospital in space that cared for creatures of countless species I also loved Murray Leinster s novella The Forgotten Planet, about a world that had been seeded with Earth plants and invertebrates, to which had come people from Earth who became marooned on it when finally found again by galactic civilization, the planet had been overrun with spiders the s [...]

    10. Ward, Peter D and Donald Brownlee Rare Earth Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe 2000 I think they re right, but I wouldn t bet the farm on itAstrobiology, the subject of this excellent book, is a science still in eager anticipation of its first object of contemplation Professors Ward and Brownlee from the University of Washington, the former a geologist, the latter an astronomer, argue very strongly that such an object will not be what we would call an animal or a metazoan Certainly th [...]

    11. Rare earth was my first scientific book to read, so informative, educative and most importantly mind opening book life on earth seems like a unique reasult that might be rare in the universe, the book strongly argues that complex life is extremely rare in the universe unlike the widespread idea that the universe is teeming with intelligent civilizations, on the other hand it doesn t deny the possibility of life to exist entirely, simple life unicellular organisms might be common across the unive [...]

    12. Rare Earth Hypothesis Life bacterial might be common in the universe, but intelligent animals are notThere are reasons to believe that Earth is rare and uniquea good book to know why

    13. I m pretty proud of myself I don t generally read non fiction, and the non fiction I do read usually has some kind of flavor to it However, I made an exception for Rare Earth, which is nothing but your usual general science condensed into a theory that Earth may be the only planet in the universe teeming with animal life, let alone intelligent life return return I heard of this book during Odyssey 2005 from guest lecturer Allen Steele He gave a lecture on world building, and passed out some of t [...]

    14. Are we alone This book has been controversial in the academic community since the day it was published in 2000 It seems to have sparked a little controversy among its readers as well The authors main hypothesis is While microbial life may be common in the universe, complex life animals, plants, etc would be very rare and Rare Earth explains why this may be so In our own Solar System, the discovery of microbes on any of our planets or moons would tend to support their idea while the discovery of [...]

    15. Well, this sure puts the kibosh on my enthusiasm for sci fi alien contact movies The authors take serious issue with the exobiology view of Carl Sagan and his cohorts, who maintain that the Earth is a commonplace planet around a typical star in an unremarkably commonplace galaxy, and therefore there should be plenty of planets with intelligent life on them While allowing that microbial life might indeed be common elsewhere in the universe, given the remarkable resilience of microbes inhabiting e [...]

    16. Are we alone in the universe The authors contend that While primitive life organisms such as microbes, bacteria, protozoa, etc is very likely abundant throughout the universe, advanced, complex animal life let alone intelligent life , as we know it, is extremely rare In fact, such complex animal life may exist nowhere else in the universe, but on Earth.Their first contention is supported by recent findings in deep sea rifts of extremophiles, creatures that love the extreme extreme heat, extreme [...]

    17. I consider this one of the best, most though provoking books, I ve ever read.It brings together an eclectic mix of concepts from Astronomy, Geology, Paleontology, Climatology, Genetics, and Evolotionary Biology.The thesis is simple That life in the Universe is probably common that we though 20 years ago, but that intelligent life is probably much rare than we thought He doesn t offer proof, but he presents several independent concepts why the process of evolution created intelligent life needs [...]

    18. Quite a lot wrong with this book and its theory Because the authors sets out from the start to poo poo the idea of intelligent life in the universe, they shot themselves in the foot by a proving that it requires a planet exactly like Earth b intelligent life must evolve exactly as we did and c making a plethora of speculations in an attempt to prove their case These have very little basis in science, let alone science fiction My pet hate is the authors treatment of Pluto Before any probe even ha [...]

    19. A difficult book to review For starters, the book is basically a catalogue of all the factors that probably or possibly contributed to a planet where complex animal life could evolve There are plenty of ideas here that I d never come across before that life probably wouldn t exist on Earth without plate tectonics, or without the existence of the Moon and Jupiter These were great ideas I m going to include these ideas in my lectures These ideas are amazing and fascinating But jeez, the actual tex [...]

    20. Ward ably repudiates the false logic of the arguments for intelligent life based on sheer numbers 95% of all stars can immediately be dismissed from consideration , as well as delineating the remarkable set of circumstances that allowed any forms of life to arise on planet earth These circumstances are so extraordinary that one can easily see how it was nearly impossible for animal life to rise up and was indeed almost completely destroyed during the 6 major extinctions and even astonishing tha [...]

    21. Ward makes a good case for his theory that technologically advanced civilizations and even animals barely complex than single celled organisms are a rarity in the Cosmos This case rests largely on geophysical and astrophysical bases, for example, arguing that such life requires plate tectonics, a meaningful continental system, a large moon, a Jupiter in the near outer solar system, and a favorable position in the galactic disk, and so so forth But I cannot help but wonder how we managed to win [...]

    22. Complex life is complex than I thought After reading this book my thoughts have run the gambit of how big and how alone we really are in this huge and hostile universe My take from this book is that life, that is human life is very rare indeed There are too many factors against life as we know it, conditions have to within a very small set of parameters for higher forms to even exist My thoughts turned to the SETI program and the search for extraterrestrials Then back to brownlee and ward and i [...]

    23. Thoroughly enjoyed this book mostly for its big picture overview of geology, climate, and the history of life on earth I learned a ton of interesting things, and got new perspectives about some ideas I thought i already knew For instance spoiler alert, the earth is the only planet known with tectonic plates and these have been essential to the evolution of life as we know it for a variety of reasons Or, the solar habitable zone has moved over time, so the time averaged habitual zone is much smal [...]

    24. As much as I truly love the optimism of Carl Sagan s billions of billions of civilations in the Universe, and wish it were true this book got me questioning for the first time could be ALONE Is there no chance of being saved enslaved in the nick of time by benevolent aliens Could Earth be as good as it gets My gut feel is yes, it s just humans left to fly SpaceShipEarth to her destination and tend to all her creatures great and small The scientific quest that must be undertaken to discover the t [...]

    25. Read this quite some time ago, in college, I think, but I enjoyed it immensely The authors essentially argue against the famous Drake equation, claiming that while simple, single celled life could very well be common in the Universe, multicellular life is probably very rare, and sapience even rarer Obviously, this and most other arguments for and against the existence of extraterrestrial life represent extrapolations on very little data, but their comments about our unusually large, stabilizing [...]

    26. This book analyzes the perplexing Fermi s paradox if the universe is so life friendly, where is everybody The authors thesis is that the reason we don t see a universe teeming with life is not because the origin of life is so impossibly difficult, but instead because its evolution to full fledged intelligent beings is such a singularly improbable event that we may be the only intelligent civilization in the Milky Way Among the items they consider is the fact that much of the galaxy is bathed in [...]

    27. A very interesting hypothesis to counter the argument that complex intelligent life is a very common occurrence in this universe Plainly written and very sharply focused, this book not only supports its hypothesis, but provides a very nice synthesis of the scientific disciplines cosmology, atrochemistry, geology, and biology It s a nice big picture view of how animals came to be.The Life and Death of planet earth also starts where this book leaves off and plays the story in reverse from complex [...]

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