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Are We Alone? Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life
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Are We Alone? Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Scientists and governments are actively searching for signs of life in the universe. Will their efforts meet with success? Award-winning author Paul Davies, an eminent scientist who writes with the flair of a science fiction writer, explores the ramifications that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would have for our science, our religions, and our worldview in general ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 28th 1996 by Basic Books (first published 1995)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  209 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessante. Un breve compendio di ciò che potrebbe implicare la scoperta della vita fuori dal pianeta terra, sia in campo filosofico che religioso e scientifico.
Si può concordare in parte in toto o per nulla alle posizioni dell'autore, ma almeno sono lì, chiare e semplici; ottime basi per una discussione :)
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
A surprisingly deep analysis of the potential answers to the title question. Somewhat too dogmatic, but it raises some rather interesting points.
A.R. Yngve
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I think most UFO reports can safely be dismissed as unreliable or false.

I also think we have underestimated the possibility that intelligent alien life is out there but ignores us - that Earth might be, to use a metaphor, the galactic monkey cage.


The author Paul Davies is no crank; he's a science professional who's written several popular science books on physics and astrophysics.

ARE WE ALONE? is based on his lectures about the search for extraterrestrial life. He outli
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Spätnachrichten bei Radio SETI, 1.420 GHz

Die Erde wurde in 7 Tagen geschaffen. Dann kamen die Geologen und sagten "ne". Naja, immerhin steht sie im Zentrum des Universums. Bis dieser Kopernikus kommt und sagt "ne". Naja, immerhin sind wir Menschen das Ziel der Schöpfung. So ein Engländer namens Darwin sagt "ne", wir stammen vom Affen ab und alles ist nur Auslese. Uff. Na, wenigstens sind wir einzigartig im gesamten Universum. Und dann bauen die dieses vermaledeite Radioteleskop, haben die den K
Eric Piotrowski
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The biggest shortcoming of this book is the fact that I read it 20 years after its publication. There's no doubt that its contents would be dramatically different if it were written in 2014, not because we've discovered life outside our planet, but because the heart of the book is a philosophical exploration of consciousness and patterns of evolution. I'm sure these fields have grown in interesting ways since 1995.

This book is exactly what I expected it to be: An overview of the SETI program, co
Alan Bevan
I enjoyed the book but I found it a bit frustrating too. Davies identifies two fundamental issues that I have been pondering since reading.

1. Is it the case that life is inevitable given our universe, or is it a stupendous chance, or did it arise from miraculous intervention? Davies believes it is the former - but he doesn't offer any convincing reasons for that belief. However, it is interesting to note that if he is right, other life forms must exist in our vast universe - and as Davies points
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When I looked this book up, I was astounded that there were no reviews on it. I believe I've loaned this one out 2 or 3 times. This is an amazing scientific essay on the possibility of life on other planets, particularly intelligent life. It is also a mathematical contemplation on just how possible that life could sail to our planet and interact with human beings.

Davies discusses the stage of life that is possible in our universe given the elements of the number of years invested in dying suns,
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is realistic and down to Earth, no pun intended. It is a scientific analyses of the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. It covers not only our current time but eons back and forward. It is exceptionally informative and you come away, not only with a thorough understanding of the question "Are we alone", but a thorough understanding of the answer. The statistics revealed, the realism, the science behind the question is presented in nothing but rationality by Paul Davies. S ...more
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Paul Davis makes an erudite speculative inquiry into the burning question of extraterrestrial life.
I say, does any scientifically grounded person doubt that there may be other life forms out there in the putatively infinite universe?
With new planets being identified in our galaxy by the Kepler Mission, it is only a matter of time before other planets are discovered in the 'Goldilocks' habitable zone of their stars, planets which may well support life at some stage of evolution.
We are not like
Will Staton
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, thorough, and insightful. Davies does a good job of plumbing the science of the universe through a philosophical lens, and drawing conclusions based on his philosophic-scientific analysis. Davies considers multiple working theories on the likelihood of life elsewhere as well as the origins of life on earth. Though he doesn't espouse many of the theories he puts forward, this comparative analysis makes his conclusions and opinions that much stronger vis-a-vis other points of view.

May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Let's Go!

Davies presents a good survey of the science, theology and philosophy involved in considering the question, "are we alone in the universe."

And there is all sorts of value in exploring, with rockets and radios, to answer the question. Even when our results are unclear, the tools and techniques we created extend our capabilities.
Based on lectures, Davies reviews philosophic thought on Man's Place in the Universe, from Copernicus through Christian dogma - was God made alien to save the aliens from their sins too? - and the origins of intelligent life and DNA. Much the same as the previous book I read, but from a slightly different angle. Essentially, why SETI.
Andy Stone
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Well written essay on the implications and possibilities of other life in the universe. While the book laid out a variety of possibilities, it never went deep enough to ever make a point of what would happen to humans, society, religion, etc.

Worthwhile, but not nearly what I was hoping it would be based on previous reviews.
Mick Pope
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Looks at some of the science of searching for and communicating with ET, and general stuff on life in the universe. As with many of Davies books, looks at philosophical aspects. Thought provoking even if you don't agree with his conclusions on the impacts of hearing from ET for theology
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This has some pretty interesting insights on extraterrestrial life.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Martin Shone
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rather interesting and very enjoyable little book which gives us such huge scope for thought.
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Paul Charles William Davies AM is a British-born physicist, writer and broadcaster, currently a professor at Arizona State University as well as the Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. He has held previous academic appointments at the University of Cambridge, University of London, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, University of Adelaide and Macquarie University. His re ...more