Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life by Jim Al-Khalili

Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

In these lively and fascinating essays, scientists from around the world weigh in on the latest advances in the search for intelligent life in the universe and discuss just what that might look like. Since 2000, science has seen a surge in data and interest on several fronts related to E.T. (extraterrestrials); A.I. (artificial intelligence); and SETI (search for extraterr...

Title:Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1250109639
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:240 pages

Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life Reviews

  • Mary
    Jun 07, 2017

    Collection of essays edited by a quantum physicist and written by scientists; astro biologists, theoretical, quantum and astro physicists and biochemists (to name a few) on the search and probability of intelligent life in the universe

    This is very much science based and probably deserves more stars; if only I was smarter or they dumbed the essays down more for me:)

  • Staci
    Jun 19, 2017

    This is a decent book, mostly sort of summaries of the history of searching for extraterrestrial life (including claims of UFO sightings and abduction by aliens), what we know so far about how life began and what we are looking for to determine other planets that could hold life, what we are looking for regarding technological signals, etc. None of the chapters really go too deep -- again, they're basically summaries -- so the book itself doesn't really go to deep. A good number of the contribut

    This is a decent book, mostly sort of summaries of the history of searching for extraterrestrial life (including claims of UFO sightings and abduction by aliens), what we know so far about how life began and what we are looking for to determine other planets that could hold life, what we are looking for regarding technological signals, etc. None of the chapters really go too deep -- again, they're basically summaries -- so the book itself doesn't really go to deep. A good number of the contributors mention the James Webb telescope which is expected to launch in 2018 and that's kind of telling for where we evidently currently stand regarding SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) and the overall takeaway from the book which is basically "not there yet but we hope to know more as technology improves".

  • David
    Jun 02, 2017

    Fascinating book. A set of essays, written by leading scientists, on the search of life in the Universe. Interspersed between the scientific essays are looks at how alien life has manifested itself in our culture. Lots of fun. Some of the scientific speculation is pretty far out there but some really smart people have been doing some deep thinking on the subject. The essays are accessible with very little repetition. Looking at the stars will be a different experience after reading this book.

  • Edward Fenner
    May 30, 2017

    This is a really good collection of essays by many of the leaders in the field. They make good arguments and tell fascinating stories. The tone is pretty level from author to author but the writing styles are, naturally, often quite different; such are the circumstances of an edited collection. That said, there is a ton of good stuff here and lots to cool things to learn. My only complaint with this book is that it is entirely text. Not one image, graphic, chart, illustration, or photograph of a

    This is a really good collection of essays by many of the leaders in the field. They make good arguments and tell fascinating stories. The tone is pretty level from author to author but the writing styles are, naturally, often quite different; such are the circumstances of an edited collection. That said, there is a ton of good stuff here and lots to cool things to learn. My only complaint with this book is that it is entirely text. Not one image, graphic, chart, illustration, or photograph of any kind appears. It's a lost opportunity that would have greatly enhanced many of the writings.

  • Slmstanley
    Jun 02, 2017

    Some of the essays were interesting, but some were full of snide assumptions (for example, when discussing a survey where people were asked if they 'believed in UFOs', the author admitted the survey did not equate 'UFO' with 'alien spacecraft', but decided that it was 'reasonable to assume' that those who participated in the survey really meant that in their answer.)

    I found the book ultimately disappointing.

  • Kiseruyoru
    Jun 06, 2017

    It's fine, but not worth buying the audiobook/new.

    Basically, it's just kinda boring. Here, I'll sum up the whole thing for you.

    1: If we can find life that is not related to the known life tree on Earth, then life in the universe is more or less certain.

    2: If we can find life anywhere but here or Mars life, then in the universe is more or less certain.

    3: We should consider more types of life than we can comprehend: except that, by definition, we cannot.

    4: We might be looking for alien AI, not b

    It's fine, but not worth buying the audiobook/new.

    Basically, it's just kinda boring. Here, I'll sum up the whole thing for you.

    1: If we can find life that is not related to the known life tree on Earth, then life in the universe is more or less certain.

    2: If we can find life anywhere but here or Mars life, then in the universe is more or less certain.

    3: We should consider more types of life than we can comprehend: except that, by definition, we cannot.

    4: We might be looking for alien AI, not bio-life.

    5: The origins of life of Earth are pretty well understood, tho we have not nailed down a specific starting point.

    6: It is either the height of hubris to assume there is ETI, or the height of hubris to assume there is not.

    In other words: The very nature of the question is such that only positive confirmation could currently provide anything like knowledge of the question. Not just the answer, but the question itself. Which. . . . I cannot help but feel most people already know this.

    And my personal thoughts on the matter, or the thoughts of others I have adopted, are irrelevant to the above criticism of the book. It doesn't matter what you believe, the book provides no light. Not that I expected it to do so; I expected it to be entertaining, and it just wasn't good at that.

  • Richard
    Jun 13, 2017

    Interesting read about aliens, etc. However, some or a lot of the topics I feel are ' common sense ' in regards to alien life. As well, they dwell in various topics of necessary elements to form life i.e. - water, carbon and the conditions for it to exist. They even mentioned ufo encounters that Americans have had in the past.

  • Sharon Zink
    Jun 15, 2017

    I'm glad I read this book. Much of it was readable. Scientists today are not looking for advanced life forms on distant planets; they are looking for molecules as close as Mars or Jupiter's moons. I will say this: it makes more sense to believe that humanoid extra-terrestrial life forms are visiting earth than it does to believe all the evolutionistic balderdash about human beings developing by chance from simple life forms.

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