Probability 1: Why There Must Be Intelligent Life in the Universe Hardcover – September 1, 1998
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In highly oversimplified terms, a rational analysis of "is there life elsewhere?" starts like this. We know (very roughly) the number N of stars in the universe. Suppose there is some probability p that life evolves around a given star. Then there is a logical dichotomy: if p is large compared to 1/N then life must (very likely) have appeared around many stars, whereas if p is small compared to 1/N then life on Earth was a fluke and (very likely) life has never arisen elsewhere. But we have no idea what p actually is. Aczel simply guesses numbers to plug into a Drake-type equation that works out to make p larger than 1/N. This is no more than wishful thinking.
For more rational analysis and evidence-based discussion, read The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence or If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Seventy-Five Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (Science and Fiction) , and for intriguing speculation read about Robin Hanson's idea of the Great Filter.
If you are looking for a definitive work on the science behind Extra Terrestrial Intelligent, this isn't for you. But if you would like to read a thought provoking book that touches on many different areas of terrestrial and extraterrestrial science, you may enjoy this one.
I also found the sheer obviousness of his mathematical proof kind of startling. While it isn't a very sound theorm, it is still very interesting.
In summary, I recommend this book if you're looking for a a quick read that will make you think, but if you're looking for depth and accuracy, look elsewhere.