Life Everywhere

The Maverick Science of Astrobiology

Author: David Darling

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780465009985

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 2842

To many people, the main question about extraterrestrial life is whether it exists. But to the scientific community, that question has already been answered: it does, and within our solar system. The new science of astrobiology is already being practiced at NASA's Astrobiology Institute and the University of Washington's new Department of Astrobiology. Life Everywhere is the first book to lay out what the new science of astrobiology is all about. It asks the fascinating questions researchers in astrobiology are asking themselves: What is life? How does it originate? How often does life survive once it arises? How does evolution work? And what determines whether complex or intelligent life will emerge from more primitive forms? Informed by interviews with most of the top people in this nascent field, this book introduces readers to one of the most important scientific developments of the next century.
Posted in Science

Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586454

Category: Science

Page: 142

View: 2995

Examines the origins of life on Earth and the search for extraterrestrial life, through an understanding of the factors that have allowed life to exist on this planet and the commonalities on others that may enable life elsewhere.
Posted in Science

Astrobiology

A Brief Introduction

Author: Kevin W. Plaxco,Michael Gross

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421401940

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 2553

New to this edition is a glossary of terms and an epilogue recapping the key unanswered questions, making Astrobiology an ideal primer for students and, indeed, for anyone curious about life and the Universe.
Posted in Science

Astrobiology of Earth

The Emergence, Evolution and Future of Life on a Planet in Turmoil

Author: Joseph Gale

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199205809

Category: Science

Page: 245

View: 691

Astrobiology of Earth studies the fortuitous combination of numerous cosmic factors that together produced the special environment which enabled the emergence, persistence and evolution of life on our own planet, culminating in humanity. This environment has been subject to constant and chaotic change during life's 3.6 billion year history. The geologically very recent appearance of humans and their effect on the biosphere isdiscussed in relation to its deterioration as well as climate change. The search for extraterrestrial life is considered with a view to the suggestion that humans may escape a depleted Earth by colonizing the universe.
Posted in Science

From Dying Stars to the Birth of Life

The New Science of Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Universe

Author: Jerry Cranford

Publisher: Nottingham University Press

ISBN: 1907284796

Category: Science

Page: 248

View: 1294

Written in an informal manner, this account tells the incredible story of the birth of an entirely new field of science called Astrobiology—a field that is now investigating whether life might exist on other worlds. From the discovery that other stars in our galaxy are circled by planets to the detection of single-cell organisms found living on Earth in extremely hostile environments, this account details the recent breakthroughs made by astronomers and earth scientists over the last few decades. Based on these findings, it argues that scientists now have the technology they need to move from speculating or fantasizing about extraterrestrials to possibly providing mankind with the first definitive proof that we are not alone.
Posted in Science

Life in Space

Astrobiology for Everyone

Author: Lucas John Mix

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674054288

Category: Science

Page: 344

View: 3691

A truly interdisciplinary endeavor, astrobiology looks at the evidence of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, and a host of other fields. A grand narrative emerges, beginning from the smallest, most common particles yet producing amazing complexity and order. Lucas Mix is a congenial guide through the depths of astrobiology, exploring how the presence of planets around other stars affects our knowledge of our own planet; how water, carbon, and electrons interact to form life as we know it; and how the processes of evolution and entropy act upon every living thing.
Posted in Science

Frontiers of Astrobiology

Author: Chris Impey,Jonathan Lunine,José Funes

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139789228

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 9662

Astrobiology is an exciting interdisciplinary field that seeks to answer one of the most important and profound questions: are we alone? In this volume, leading international experts explore the frontiers of astrobiology, investigating the latest research questions that will fascinate a wide interdisciplinary audience at all levels. What is the earliest evidence for life on Earth? Where are the most likely sites for life in the Solar System? Could life have evolved elsewhere in the Galaxy? What are the best strategies for detecting intelligent extraterrestrial life? How many habitable or Earth-like exoplanets are there? Progress in astrobiology over the past decade has been rapid and, with evidence accumulating that Mars once hosted standing bodies of liquid water, the discovery of over 500 exoplanets and new insights into how life began on Earth, the scientific search for our origins and place in the cosmos continues.
Posted in Science

Equations of Eternity, Speculations on Consciousness, Meaning, and the Mathematical Rules That Orchestrate the Cosmos

Author: David Darling

Publisher: First Edition Design Pub.

ISBN: 1622870514

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 92

View: 9097

In a dazzling, lyrical mixture of science and philosophy, acclaimed science writer David Darling makes a provocative case for the workings of human consciousness, its origins, and its destiny when the next Big Bang precipitates a quantum leap in evolution. Equations of Eternity rethinks thought and the existence of intelligence in a way that will give readers a lot to think about.
Posted in Body, Mind & Spirit

Lonely Planets

The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life

Author: David Grinspoon

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061748617

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 5260

It's been nearly four decades since Carl Sagan first addressed the general public from a scientist's perspective, confronting the possibility of extraterrestrial life. We've learned a lot in those years, and planetary scientist David Grinspoon is well prepared to explore this field with a new generation of readers. In Lonely Planets, Grinspoon investigates the big questions: How widespread are life and intelligence in the cosmos? Is life on Earth an accident or in some sense the "purpose" of this universe? And how can we, working from the Earth-centric definition of "life," even begin to think about the varieties of life-forms on other planets? In accessible, lively prose, and using the topic of extraterrestrial life as a mirror with which to view human beliefs, evolution, history, and aspirations, Grinspoon takes readers on a three-part journey. History is an overview of our expanding awareness of other planets, from the observations of seventeenth-century natural philosophers to modern-day space exploration. It traces the history of our ideas on alien life to the earliest days of astronomy, and shows how these beliefs have changed with humanity's evolving self-image. Science tells the story of cosmic evolution and the evolution of life on Earth. Here, Grinspoon disputes the recent "Rare Earth hypothesis," which argues that Earth is unique for sprouting advanced life-forms, maintaining instead that life is likely to be well adapted to a wide variety of planets. He questions conventional assumptions of what is required for a planet to come to life, scrutinizing current ideas and evidence for life on Mars, Venus, and the moons of Jupiter, and challenging readers to think about other life-forms that may exist on other worlds. Belief discusses the limits of our abilities to conceptualize or communicate with intelligent aliens living on planets circling distant stars. Grinspoon speculates on what intelligent life might become, eventually, on Earth and elsewhere, and the implications, both scientific and philosophical, of these far-future evolutionary possibilities. Written with authority and edge, and rich in personal,often amusing anecdotes, Lonely Planets explores the shifting boundary between planetary science and naturalphilosophy and reveals how the search for extraterrestrial life unites our spiritual and scientific quests for connection with the cosmos.
Posted in Science

Intelligent Life in the Universe

Principles and Requirements Behind Its Emergence

Author: Peter Ulmschneider

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3662432129

Category: Science

Page: 253

View: 2533

This book addresses all those interested in the origins, development and fate of intelligent species in the observable part of our universe. In particular, the author scrutinizes what kind of information about extraterrestrial intelligent life can be inferred from our own biological, cultural and scientific evolution and the likely future of mankind. The first part of the book provides the necessary background information from space and life sciences, thus making the book also accessible to students and the scientifically educated layman. -The first book of its kind that goes beyond the popular science level.
Posted in Science

The Living Cosmos

Our Search for Life in the Universe

Author: Chris Impey

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139499815

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 543

Considering the development of life on Earth, the existence of life in extreme environments and the potential for life elsewhere in the Universe, this book gives a fascinating insight into our place in the Universe. Chris Impey leads the reader through the history, from the Copernican revolution to the emergence of the field of astrobiology – the study of life in the cosmos. He examines how life on Earth began, exploring its incredible variety and the extreme environments in which it can survive. Finally, Impey turns his attention to our Solar System and the planets beyond, discussing whether there may be life elsewhere in the Universe. Written in non-technical language, this book is ideal for anyone wanting to know more about astrobiology and how it is changing our views of life and the Universe. An accompanying website available at www.cambridge.org/9780521173841 features podcasts, articles and news stories on astrobiology.
Posted in Science

Between Necessity and Probability: Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life

Author: Radu Popa

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9783540204909

Category: Science

Page: 252

View: 2896

Systematically explores the early origins and basic definition of life. Investigates the major theories of the origins of life in light of modern research with the aim of distinguishing between the necessary and the optional and between deterministic and random influences in the emergence of what we call ‘life.’ Treats and views life as a cosmic phenomenon whose emergence and driving force should be viewed independently from its Earth-bound natural history. Synthesizes all the fundamental life-related developments in a comprehensive scenario, and makes the argument that understanding life in its broadest context requires a material-independent perspective that identifies its essential fingerprints
Posted in Science

The Universal Book of Mathematics

From Abracadabra to Zeno's Paradoxes

Author: David Darling

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471667005

Category: Mathematics

Page: 512

View: 3016

Praise for David Darling The Universal Book of Astronomy "A first-rate resource for readers and students of popular astronomy and general science. . . . Highly recommended." -Library Journal "A comprehensive survey and . . . a rare treat." -Focus The Complete Book of Spaceflight "Darling's content and presentation will have any reader moving from entry to entry." -The Observatory magazine Life Everywhere "This remarkable book exemplifies the best of today's popular science writing: it is lucid, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable." -Science Books & Films "An enthralling introduction to the new science of astrobiology." -Lynn Margulis Equations of Eternity "One of the clearest and most eloquent expositions of the quantum conundrum and its philosophical and metaphysical implications that I have read recently." -The New York Times Deep Time "A wonderful book. The perfect overview of the universe." -Larry Niven
Posted in Mathematics

Astrobiology

An Evolutionary Approach

Author: Vera M. Kolb

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1466584629

Category: Science

Page: 504

View: 727

Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach provides a full course in astrobiology with an emphasis on abiogenesis and evolution. The book presents astrobiology both as a developing science and as the science of the future. The origins of life and the possibility of life elsewhere continues to be a subject of scientific and philosophical examination. These topics evolve with time as our understanding of life itself and the laws of chemical and biological evolution evolve. Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach aims both to provide a foundation in astrobiology and to describe the most challenging questions and problems in the field. The book begins with an overview of astrobiology, the origin of elements, and the formation of the solar system, planets, and exoplanets. Other topics covered include prebiotic synthesis of biochemical compounds, transition from abiotic to biotic, microorganisms in space, the roles of silicon in life, encapsulation of organic materials in protocells, cold and dry limits of life, virolution, and more. The contributors explore different aspects of astrobiology, reflecting the exciting journeys of their own research. This book will inspire students to explore the endless possibilities in astrobiology. The book includes end-of-chapter questions, a glossary of terms, and recommended references, making it ideal for use as a classroom text.
Posted in Science

Beyond UFOs

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

Author: Jeffrey Bennett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838486

Category: Science

Page: 248

View: 5225

The quest for extraterrestrial life doesn't happen only in science fiction. This book describes the startling discoveries being made in the very real science of astrobiology, an intriguing new field that blends astronomy, biology, and geology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Jeffrey Bennett takes readers beyond UFOs to discuss some of the tantalizing questions astrobiologists grapple with every day: What is life and how does it begin? What makes a planet or moon habitable? Is there life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? How can life be recognized on distant worlds? Is it likely to be microbial, more biologically complex--or even intelligent? What would such a discovery mean for life here on Earth? Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars. In a new afterword, Bennett shares the most recent developments in extrasolar research, and discusses how they might further our quest to find alien life.
Posted in Science

A New History of Life

The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth

Author: Peter Ward,Joe Kirschvink

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608199088

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 8453

Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, form the backbone of how we understand the history of the Earth. In reality, the currently accepted history of life on Earth is so flawed, so out of date, that it's past time we need a 'New History of Life.' In their latest book, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen "snowball Earth†?, and the seeds for life originating on Mars. Drawing on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology, experts Ward and Kirschvink paint a picture of the origins life on Earth that are at once too fabulous to imagine and too familiar to dismiss--and looking forward, A New History of Life brilliantly assembles insights from some of the latest scientific research to understand how life on Earth can and might evolve far into the future.
Posted in Science

The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia

Author: David Darling ,Dirk Schulze-Makuch

Publisher: First Edition Design Pub.

ISBN: 1506901441

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 1906

The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia is an A-to-Z of the search for life in the Universe. Entries cover astrobiology, the origins and evolution of life, the hunt for exoplanets, SETI, and extraterrestrial life in science fiction, philosophy, and popular speculation (including UFOs). The book is written in an engaging style for the layperson and contains numerous B&W illustrations. Keywords: Encylopedia, ET, SETI, Science, Extraterrestrial, Origins, Evolution, Planets, Universe, David, Darling, Dirk, Schulze Makuch, Stars, Life
Posted in Science

Goldilocks and the Water Bears

The Search for Life in the Universe

Author: Louisa Preston

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472920082

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 2930

'Highly recommended' Financial Times Today we know of only a single planet that hosts life: the Earth. But across a Universe of at least 100 billion possibly habitable worlds, surely our planet isn't the only one that, like the porridge Goldilocks sought, is just right for life? Astrobiologists search the galaxy for conditions that are suitable for life to exist, focusing on similar worlds located at the perfect distance from their Sun, within the aptly named 'Goldilocks Zone'. Such a place might have liquid water on its surface, and may therefore support a thriving biosphere. What might life look like on other worlds? It is possible to make best-guesses using facts rooted in science, and by studying 'extremophiles' – organisms such as the near-indestructible water bears, which can survive in the harshest conditions that Earth, and even space, can offer. Goldilocks and the Water Bears is a tale of the origins and evolution of life, and the quest to find it on other planets, on moons, in other galaxies, and throughout the Universe.
Posted in Science

Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own

Author: David Toomey

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393089940

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6256

“Weird indeed, and not a little wonderful.”—Nature In the 1980s and 1990s, in places where no one thought it possible, scientists found organisms they called extremophiles: lovers of extremes. There were bacteria in volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, single-celled algae in Antarctic ice floes, and fungi in the cooling pools of nuclear reactors. But might there be life stranger than the most extreme extremophile? Might there be, somewhere, another kind of life entirely? In fact, scientists have hypothesized life that uses ammonia instead of water, life based not in carbon but in silicon, life driven by nuclear chemistry, and life whose very atoms are unlike those in life we know. In recent years some scientists have begun to look for the tamer versions of such life on rock surfaces in the American Southwest, in a “shadow biosphere” that might impinge on the known biosphere, and even deep within human tissue. They have also hypothesized more radical versions that might survive in Martian permafrost, in the cold ethylene lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan, and in the hydrogen-rich atmospheres of giant planets in other solar systems. And they have imagined it in places off those worlds: the exotic ices in comets, the vast spaces between the stars, and—strangest of all—parallel universes. Distilling complex science in clear and lively prose, David Toomey illuminates the research of the biological avant-garde and describes the workings of weird organisms in riveting detail. His chapters feature an unforgettable cast of brilliant scientists and cover everything from problems with our definitions of life to the possibility of intelligent weird life. With wit and understanding that will delight scientists and lay readers alike, Toomey reveals how our current knowledge of life forms may account for only a tiny fraction of what’s really out there.
Posted in Science