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Life Everywhere Paperback – May 2, 2002
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Their efforts will revolutionize astrobiology, more so perhaps than spacecraft parachuting down out of the orange sky of Titan or roving the rock-strewn deserts of Mars. The world-shaking headlines of the next twenty years will likely come from giant instruments, on the ground and in Earth orbit, gazing with far sight at the planetary systems of other stars.
Since most research germane to the field has been done here on Earth, Darling explores such hot topics as heat vents and other geothermal mini-biomes, meteoritic dissection, and, of course, SETI's radio telescope arrays. Mars, Venus, and the moons of the outer planets are all major characters, and their stories will reinvigorate most readers' excitement about the prospects of having neighbors just down the cosmic street. Ending with a set of hypotheses and brief explorations of their ramifications if shown to be true, Life Everywhere is an outstanding and thought-provoking look at what could ultimately be the most world-shaking research ever conducted. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Life Everywhere explores the conditions assumed to exist on prebiotic Earth and the various explanations for how life arose. Supporters of the various hypotheses are lumped together as "surface, sunlight" guys (who believe in Darwin's "warm little pond") and "deep, dark" guys (who believe that life arose near hydrothermal vents). Each new discovery gives a new advantage to one team or the other. The book also discusses the possibility of life on other planets and moons in our solar system, and it gives the most convincing and clear explanation I've found for the possible role of comets in the origin of life's building materials.
The science in Life Everywhere is solid, and the treatment of opposing theories is open and even-handed, with the exception of the Rare Earth theory which, according to Dr. Darling, is a theory based more on theological conservatism than on scientific fact. Life Everywhere is not a large book, but it contains a wealth of up-to-date information about the new science of astrobiology. If you are interested in the scientific study of life's beginnings and limits and the search for life on other worlds, I strongly recommend Life Everywhere as the first book to read for anyone new to the subject. For anyone already familiar with the basics of astrobiology, this is still an interesting new look at a rapidly-evolving science.
Well, not in the center of the sun or on the surface of a neutron star--at least not life as we know it.
"Life as we know it." This is an important phrase that comes up again and again in discussions about astrobiology. "Life as we know it" means life with a carbon base and liquid water. David Darling considers silicone-based life and even life forms so bizarre that we wouldn't recognize them if we saw them, but basically he sticks with life as we know it in this very interesting answer to those who think that life in the universe is rare.
The two things:
(1) The discovery of extremophiles, bacteria that live in sulfurous hot springs, deep inside the earth, and at the bottom of deep oceans. Instead of deriving their energy from the sun, they are able to use heat coming from within the earth to metabolize.
(2) The discovery of scores of planets (albeit not earth-sized planets--yet) revolving around other stars.
What the first discovery means is that life doesn't have to exist or begin in conditions such as there are or have been on the surface of the earth, but can thrive in places previous thought hostile to life. That opens up a whole lot of the universe to life including parts of our solar system previously thought inimical to life, such as in an ocean under the icy crust of Europa or beneath the inhospitable surface of Mars. And the fact that planets are now clearly plentiful means that there are numerous places for life to develop.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Parts of this lucid and accessible book have become dated. We now have found hundreds of exoplanets including some so-called Goldilocks planets in the presumed habitable zone for... Read morePublished 23 months ago by C. Peterson
A positive explanation and outlook for the view that life can and probably does exist in other parts of the universe, other than earth. Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Toshokan
I read this book cover to cover and truly enjoyed it. I loved that it provided me with a new way of thinking of science and of connecting my knowledge of both biology and chemistry... Read morePublished on August 24, 2012 by Cat
I think this is a good book to read after reading "Rare Earth". The writing style is definately more casual and as if you are inside the mind of Darling, compared to the more... Read morePublished on March 24, 2006 by N. Pinto
This book is actually in the form of a long essay defending the hypothesis that life, at least in microbial form, is widespread in the Galaxy. Read morePublished on December 21, 2004 by Jill Malter
This is one of eight books on Astrobiology which were rushed out after the publication of Joseph's revolutionary and ground breaking text, in May of 2000. Read morePublished on October 17, 2003
I would definitely recommend to buy and read this book, but beware... this book is very thought provocing! Read morePublished on July 7, 2002 by Emmanuel Lambert
Astrobiology is THE science of the future... and the science of the past... and encompasses the study of genetics, microbiology, astronomy, evolution... and of course... Read morePublished on June 12, 2001 by Rhawn Joseph