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Life Everywhere: The New Science Of Astrobiology

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
To many people, the main question about extraterrestrial life is whether or not it exists. But to the scientific community, that question has already been answered: It does. So confident are scientists of the existence of life on other planets that they've invested serious amounts of money, time and prestige in finding and studying it. NASA has started an Institute of Astr ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 5th 2001 by Basic Books
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Dennis Littrell
May 16, 2010 Dennis Littrell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alien-life
Darling, David. Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology (2001) *****
Includes a blistering critique of the "rare earth" hypothesis

Two things have happened in recent years to persuade most scientists that life beyond earth is not just possible, but likely. Indeed some people, including myself, believe there is, as the title of David Darling's book has it, "Life Everywhere."

Well, not in the center of the sun or on the surface of a neutron star--at least not life as we know it.

"Life as
...more
Susan
Feb 16, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
David Darling does a nice job of introducing the science and practice of Astrobiology in his book "Life Everywhere". That's right, "aliens", but not the aliens of the small imaginations seen in movies and weaker sci-fi novels. Life outside of earth is almost a certainty, he contends, and makes a pretty compelling case for it. Darling brings together an overview of the history of life on Earth, including the extreme forms of life that we have only recently discovered, with discussion about what t ...more
Lara
Jun 18, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it
Some of this may be a little out of date at this point, since the book was written in 2001, but I still thought it was a really good overview of astrobiology--what scientists in the astrobiology community are looking for, and where, and why, and how those findings will affect us here on Earth. Although Darling definitely seems to be in the "there's DEFINITELY life out there somewhere, FOR SURE!" camp, he comes across as open to the idea that further research and findings could prove that assumpt ...more
Ross
Jan 01, 2011 Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ross by: Darren
Shelves: science-nature
Entertaining and mind-expanding. Darling presents his case ably, in much the way a trial attorney would: he starts with bold claims, then presents supporting evidence in an authoritative way, explaining its historical context and walking you through the scientific process (the "how do we know") that generated that evidence. Like a good lawyer, he also pokes holes in the evidence for the opposing "rare earth" theory and raises questions about the veracity and motives of its primary advocates. Des ...more
Aaron
Apr 25, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Astrobiology and/or refuting the Rare Earth hypothisis
Shelves: idea, nonfiction
For all its enthusiasm, this book does one thing astonishly well: it refutes, point by point, the Rare Earth hypothesis (which basically states that complex life as we relatively know it exists only on Earth). I have yet to read Rare Earth (don't really want to give them my money) this book convinced me, quite cocisely, that its authors are wrong.
Ken-ichi
Jul 19, 2010 Ken-ichi rated it it was ok
Read this a ways back. It's a counter-argument to Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe, but I don't recall it being very compelling.
Lily
Nov 12, 2014 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, nonfiction, science
A very interesting introduction to astrobiology--the study of life's origins and the search for its existence elsewhere in the universe. It covers the history and current state of the field, and it also discusses some of the controversy surrounding it.
Booknerd Fraser
Apr 03, 2011 Booknerd Fraser rated it really liked it
A good if brief overview of "astrobiology", a bit dated now, but a good answer to Rare Earth.
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David Darling is a science writer and astronomer. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Equations of Eternity, and the popular online resource The Worlds of David Darling. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.
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