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Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Unknown in the Universe

By: Peter D Ward and Donald Brownlee

333 pages, 20 figs


Paperback | Dec 2004 | #137801 | ISBN: 0387952896
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £17.99 $24/€20 approx
Hardback | Dec 2000 | #108015 | ISBN: 0387987010
Out of Print Details

About this book

Updated and with a new preface, paleontologist Ward and astronomer Brownlee team up to present a synthesis of what is now known about the development of life on Earth and how this sheds light on possibilities for organic life forms elsewhere in the Universe.

...likely to cause a revolution in thinking... The New York Times "...[the book] has hit the world of astrobiologists like a killer asteroid..." Newsday (New York) "...a sobering and valuable perspective..." Science "...a startling new hypothesis..." Library Journal "...Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee offer a powerful argument..." The Economist "...provocative, significant, and sweeping..." Northwest Science & Technology "...a stellar example of clear writing..." American Scientist


Preface & Acknowledgments.- Introduction: The Astrobiology Revolution and the Rare Earth Hypothesis; Dead Zones of the Universe; Rare Earth Factors.- Why Life Might Be Widespread in the Universe.- Habitable Zones of the Universe.- Building a Habitable Earth.- Life's First Appearance on Earth.- How to Build Animals.- Snowball Earth.- The Enigma of the Cambrian Explosion.- Mass Extinctions and the Rare Earth Hypothesis.- The Surprising Importance of Plate Tectonics.- The Moon, Jupiter, and Life on Earth.- Testing the Rare Earth Hypothesis.- Assessing the Odds.- Messengers from the Stars.- References.- Index.

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