288 pages, 72 illus
Presents a detailed discussion of the 50 most cogent and intriguing answers to Fermi's famous question, divided into three distinct groups. Here are answers ranging from Leo Szilard's suggestion that they are already here, and we know them as Hungarians, to the theorists who claim that aliens built Stonehenge and the Easter Island statues. The theories in this camp range widely, from those who believe we simply don't have the technologies to receive their signals, to those who believe the enormities of space and time work against communication, to those who believe they're hiding from us. Here are the doubters' arguments, from the Rare Earth theory to the author's own closely argued and cogently stated skepticism. The varieties of arguments - from first rate scientists, philosophers and historians, and science fiction authors - turn out to be astonishing, entertaining, and vigorous intellectual exercises for any reader interested in science and the sheer pleasure of speculative thinking.
The 50 solutions to Fermi's paradox are divided into three major groups: I. They Are Here; II. They Exist, But Have Not Yet Communicated; III. They Do Not Exist. With Notes, Suggestions for Further Reading, and Index.
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Stephen Webb is a lecturer in physics at the Open University, and the author of Measuring the Universe (SV-Praxis, 1999).