Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

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Princeton University Press, 2008 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 211 pages
8 Reviews

The quest for extraterrestrial life doesn't happen only in science fiction. This book describes the startling discoveries being made in the very real science of astrobiology, an intriguing new field that blends astronomy, biology, and geology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Jeffrey Bennett takes readers beyond UFOs to discuss some of the tantalizing questions astrobiologists grapple with every day: What is life and how does it begin? What makes a planet or moon habitable? Is there life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? How can life be recognized on distant worlds? Is it likely to be microbial, more biologically complex--or even intelligent? What would such a discovery mean for life here on Earth?

Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars.

  

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Review: Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

User Review  - Hamidur Rahman - Goodreads

The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space. Carl Sagan, Contact. The book is extremely well-written. It takes the reader through a journey to understand ... Read full review

Review: Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

User Review  - Dimitri Paulyn - Goodreads

Certainly an intriguing topic . . . alghough with a foregone conclusion since the entire topic is purely hypothetical. Posits very interesting scenarios, however - for example categorizing possible ... Read full review

Contents

Worlds beyond Imagination
1
What Makes It Science?
22
What I Know about Aliens
41
What Is Life?
62
Getting Life Started
87
The Makings of a Truly Great Planet
111
Life in the Solar System
137
Life among the Stars
161
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
184
Where Is Everybody?
197
TO LEARN MORE
207
INDEX
209
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Jeffrey O. Bennett's academic home is the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has been teaching on and off since 1983 and from which he received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1987. During this time, he's taught more than 50 college courses in subjects including mathematics, astronomy, physics, environmental science, and science education. He began work on Using and Understanding Mathematics because he is particularly interested in helping students overcome difficulties with mathematics. For similar reasons, he has recently completed a textbook for introductory astronomy (The Cosmic Perspective, with M. Donahue, N. Schneider, and G.M. Voit, Addison Wesley Longman, 1999).

He is also working on several books about mathematics and science for the general public. In addition, he is now working on science books for children. Jeff is perhaps best known for his role in creating the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC (opening October 2001); he proposed the project and worked on the team that developed it as a collaborative effort between the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, the Smithsonian Institution, and NASA.

When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and hiking the trails of Boulder, Colorado, with his family.

William L. Briggs has been on the mathematics faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver for 17 years. He teaches throughout the undergraduate and graduate curriculum with a special interest in teaching mathematical modeling as it applies to problems in biology and medicine. He developed the quantitative reasoning course for liberal arts students at CU-Denver supported by the textbook "Usingand Understanding Mathematics," which he co-authored with Jeff Bennett. He has written two other tutorial monographs, "The Multigrid Tutorial" and "The DFT: An Owner's Manual for the Discrete Fourier Transform,"

He is a University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholar, an Outstanding Teacher awardee of the Rocky Mountain Section of the MAA, and the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Ireland. Bill lives with his wife, Julie, his daughter, Katie, and two dogs, Midnight and Seamus, in Boulder, Colorado. He loves to bake bread, as well as run trails and rock climb in the mountains near his home.

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