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Academic & Professional Books  Reference  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy

Rare Earth Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe

By: Peter D Ward and Donald Brownlee
333 pages, 20 figs
Publisher: Springer Nature
Rare Earth
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  • Rare Earth ISBN: 9780387952895 Paperback Dec 2003 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Rare Earth ISBN: 9780387987019 Hardback Dec 2000 Out of Print #108015
Selected version: £24.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

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.


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.

Customer Reviews

By: Peter D Ward and Donald Brownlee
333 pages, 20 figs
Publisher: Springer Nature
Media reviews

"[...] 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 [...]"

"[...] 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

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