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Life in the Universe: Essays

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  72 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Carl Sagan fans and science book buyers can now listen to the essays of this popular scientist. These unabridged essays by Carl Sagan were originally published in either popular science magazines or academic journals. This is the first time his essays have become available on audio.
Audio Cassette, 3 pages
Published August 25th 1998 by Audio Scholar
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
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22nd out of 33 books — 5 voters

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Apr 01, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Ah, you've got to love Sagan. He takes a good swipe at the anthropic principle - that the fact the constants are set up in such a way that they make man inevitable and therefore this is some sort of proof of God.

But his best bit is where he talks about Chimps using those sticks to pluck out termites. I've always seen this as pretty much the lesser end of the tool making achievements of animals - always being much more impressed with birds that use stones to open eggs. Little did I know.

Sagan tal
Max Maxwell
Aug 18, 2009 Max Maxwell rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one, really; check out the PBD audiobook instead
Recommended to Max by: Found an mp3 rip on
There's nothing wrong with these essays, so don't take affront to the fact that I gave this a two-star rating (as far as I'm concerned, everything Carl Sagan ever published is solid gold). It's just that most of them are awkwardly abridged and taken from other sources, including, largely, Broca's Brain and Sagan's opus, Pale Blue Dot , published a mere four years prior, and for which there is already an excellent audiobook, mostly read by the author ('nuff said). This is an OK introduction to ...more
Todd Martin
Nov 14, 2011 Todd Martin rated it really liked it
Life in the Universe is a collection of short essays centered around the theme of .. uh .. life .. on earth and, as you might expect .. out there in the universe. While the information is now a bit dated, you can't help but feel the sense of excitement and enthusiasm that Sagan has for science and astronomy.

Sagan, using the data available at the time looks at the fact that organic molecules had been identified on other planets and moons, the emerging evidence (increasingly confirmed in the inte
Elio Nakouzi
Jan 26, 2015 Elio Nakouzi rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. This is my first exposure to the renowned science populariser, and it did not disappoint. Excellent prose, but full of substance. Makes these complex topics not only accessible, but also fun stories. For example, what would a life-detection shuttle observe if it were discovering planet earth for the first time? What would the signs of life be?

From these essays, one cannot help but feel humbled by the grandeur of the universe!
Jan 27, 2016 SpaceBear rated it liked it
Shelves: astronomy, science
An interesting, if short, read of Sagan's thoughts on life outside the universe. It predominantly focuses on ideas of heliocentrism. It gets a bit repetitive at times, since the essays were produced in separate fora and not for a single volume.
Jun 16, 2014 Ed rated it liked it
gets a bit redundant.
But great points about space exploration and perceiving life on other planets.
May 22, 2012 Vanwhelan rated it really liked it
There are many people that can write very well. There are many incredibly intelligent scientists. There are very few that are both. Carl Sagan can do both.

I wanted to love this collection of essays, but ended up merely liking them. I read Pale Blue Dot and some of the concepts were already discussed in that book.

Good, but not mind blowing.
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in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
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