Rare Earth: With Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2000 - Science - 333 pages
30 Reviews
The sweeping diversity of complex life on Earth, Ward and Brownlee argue, evolved out of an extraordinary set of physical conditions and chance events that would be extremely hard to duplicatea "a "though not impossible. Many planets throughout the vastness of the Universe may be teeming with microbial life, but advancement beyond this stage is very rare. Everyone with an interest in the possible extent of life in the Universe and the nature of life's evolution on our own planet will be fascinated by Rare Earth. ..".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
  

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Review: Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

User Review  - Bryan - Goodreads

The only extra-terrestrial life our species stands much chance of encountering will take the form of extremophilic "pond scum," and this book is a competent and generally approachable survey of the ... Read full review

Review: Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

User Review  - Pablo Stafforini - Goodreads

Microbial life is very common in the universe, but complex animal life is exceedingly rare. Read full review

Contents

Why Life Might Be Widespread in the Universe
1
Habitable Zones of the Universe
15
Building a Habitable Earth
35
Lifes First Appearance on Earth
55
How to Build Animals
83
Snowball Earth
113
The Enigma of the Cambrian Explosion
125
Mass Extinctions and the Rare Earth Hypothesis
157
The Surprising Importance of Plate Tectonics
191
The Moon Jupiter and Life on Earth
221
Testing the Rare Earth Hypotheses
243
Assessing the Odds
257
Messengers from the Stars
277
References
289
17
332
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Peter D. Ward is professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of many books, including "Rare Earth," "In Search of Nautilus," "The End of Evolution" (finalist for the "Los Angeles Times" Book Award), and "On Methuselah's Trail,

Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee are the co-authors of the acclaimed and bestselling "Rare Earth," Ward is a professor of geological science and zoology at the University of Washington and the author of nine other books, including "Future Evolution," T"he Call of Distant Mammoths," and "The End of Evolution," which was a finalist for the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize. Brownlee is a professor of astronomy at the University of Washington.

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