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The aliens are coming! : the extraordinary science behind our search for life in the universe / Ben Miller.

By: Miller, Ben, 1966-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : The Experiment, 2016Description: pages cm.ISBN: 9781615193653 (pbk.) :.Subject(s): Life on other planets | Extraterrestrial beings | Interstellar communicationDDC classification: 576.8/39
List(s) this item appears in: A Universe of Stories!
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Item type Current location Collection Shelving location Call number Status Notes Date due Barcode Item holds
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction Adult Non-Fiction 576.839 MIL Available pap.ed. 36748002324434
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Actor and bestselling science writer Ben Miller takes readers to the cutting edge of one of the greatest questions of all: Is there life beyond Earth?

For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the universe, but in the last few years--as our probes begin to escape the solar system, and our telescopes reveal thousands of Earthlike planets--scientists have taken huge leaps toward an answer. "Forget science fiction," author Ben Miller writes. "We are living through one of the most extraordinary revolutions in the history of science: the emergent belief of a generation of physicists, biologists, and chemists that we are not alone."

The Aliens Are Coming! is a refreshingly clear, hugely entertaining guide to the search for alien life. Miller looks everywhere for insight, from the Big Bang's sea of energy that somehow became living matter, to the equations that tell us Earth is not so rare, to the clues bacteria hold to how life started. And he makes the case that our growing understanding of life itself will help us predict whether it exists elsewhere, what it might look like, and when we might find it.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 Extremophiles (p. 1)
  • 2 SETI (p. 37)
  • 3 Planets (p. 69)
  • 4 Universes (p. 101)
  • 5 Life (p. 129)
  • 6 Humans (p. 161)
  • 7 Aliens (p. 207)
  • 8 Messages (p. 245)
  • Further Reading (p. 289)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 291)
  • About the Author (p. 294)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

Why the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is no longer just the province of science fiction but rather the emergent belief of a generation of physicists, biologists and chemists that we are not alone.Quantum physicist Miller (Its Not Rocket Science, 2014) dates the sea change from fiction to serious science to the discovery by NASA's recent Kepler mission that planets like ours are common throughout the galaxy. This raises the possibility that our first encounter with alien life is rapidly approaching. The author makes the provocative assumption that the discovery of microbial life in such extreme conditions tells us that biology is as universal as chemistry. If life can exist in such extreme conditions on Earth as the hot springs formed by geysers in Yellowstone Park, then why not on Mars or on Jupiter's moons? More to the point, writes the author, the recent discovery of Earth-like planets by the Kepler Space Telescope raises the possibility that they, too, might harbor intelligent life. Miller concisely and entertainingly reviews the evidence substantiating his contention that the preconditions necessary for life to exist and evolve, from microbes to intelligent beings like humans, are not necessarily unique to Earth. These include a gravitational field large enough to sustain an atmosphere and the existence of sufficient water and volcanoes to provide the chemical basis for life. However, the leap from microorganisms to intelligent life here on Earth is still not fully understood. The emergence of humans still appears to be a remarkable evolutionary event. Miller concludes with a big question. Assuming that there are other intelligent civilizations out there, how can we communicate with them? First, he wisely suggests, we must learn how to communicate with each other and the other beings that inhabit our planet. A lively, thoughtful look at a scientific frontier that captures our imagination while posing a serious moral question about our responsibilities as citizens of the universe. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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