If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 4, 2002 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 288 pages
25 Reviews
FROM THE REVIEWS: ¿Webb offers coherent, understandable, and sometimes humorous coverage of a diverse range of topics. He provides readers with non-trivial insights into research fields they may not have encountered previously . . . I think everyone who has ever considered the possibility that other intelligent civilizations exist elsewhere within our galaxy will enjoy Where Is Everybody? They will find much to agree with, and much to argue about, in this very accessible volume.¿ ¿SCIENCE During a Los Alamos lunchtime conversation that took place more than 50 years ago, four world-class scientists agreed, given the size and age of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations simply had to exist. The sheer numbers demanded it. But one of the four, the renowned physicist and back-of-the-envelope calculator Enrico Fermi, asked the telling question: If the extraterrestrial life proposition is true, he wondered, "Where IS everybody?" In this lively and thought-provoking book, Stephen Webb presents a detailed discussion of the 50 most cogent and intriguing answers to Fermi's famous question, divided into three distinct groups: - Aliens are already here among us. 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. - Aliens exist, but have not yet communicated. 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. - Aliens do not exist. Here are the doubters' arguments, from the Rare Earth theory to the author's own closely argued and cogently stated skepticism. The proposed solutions run the gamut from the crackpot to the highly serious, but all deserve our consideration. 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. Stephen Webb is a physicist working at the Open University in England and the author of Measuring the Universe.
  

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Review: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

User Review  - Quinton - Goodreads

I loved the premise of this book so much, but the execution fell a bit flat for me. Why? I think it was just because the author takes a sort of detached and tedious elaboration of all the different ... Read full review

Review: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

User Review  - mingfrommongo - Goodreads

I guess I was just meant to be this lonely... Read full review

Contents

Chapter
2
They Are Here
27
They Exist and They Are Us We Are All Aliens
44
They Exist But Have Not Yet Communicated
61
SOLUTION 11
74
They Stay at Home and Surf the
88
They Are Calling But We Do Not Recognize the Signal
118
They Are Somewhere But the Universe Is Stranger Than We Imagine
121
Earth Has an Optimal Pump of Evolution
164
The Galaxy Is a Dangerous Place
166
A Planetary System Is a Dangerous Place
172
Earths System of Plate Tectonics Is Unique
180
The Moon Is Unique
184
Lifes Genesis Is Rare
189
The ProkaryoteEukaryote Transition Is Rare
206
Toolmaking Species Are Rare
211

A Choice of Catastrophes
122
They Hit the Singularity
134
Cloudy Skies Are Common
137
Us
138
They Do Not Exist
141
The Universe Is Here for Us
143
Life Can Have Emerged Only Recently
147
Planetary Systems Are Rare
150
We Are the First
153
Rocky Planets Are Rare
156
Continuously Habitable Zones Are Narrow
158
Jupiters Are Rare
160
Technological Progress Is Not Inevitable
215
Intelligence at the Human Level Is Rare
217
Language Is Unique to Humans
223
Science Is Not Inevitable
231
Conclusion
233
The Fermi Paradox Resolved
234
Notes and Further Reading
241
SOLUTION 15
256
xi
269
References
275
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Stephen Webb is Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Bradford.

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