Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos [NOOK Book]

Overview

If extraterrestrials exist, where are they? What is the probability that somewhere out there in the universe an Earth-like planet supports an advanced culture? Why do so many people claim to have encountered Aliens? In this gripping exploration, scientist Don Lincoln exposes and explains the truths about the belief in and the search for life on other planets.

In the first half of Alien Universe, Lincoln looks to Western civilization's collective image of Aliens, showing how our ...

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Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos

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Overview

If extraterrestrials exist, where are they? What is the probability that somewhere out there in the universe an Earth-like planet supports an advanced culture? Why do so many people claim to have encountered Aliens? In this gripping exploration, scientist Don Lincoln exposes and explains the truths about the belief in and the search for life on other planets.

In the first half of Alien Universe, Lincoln looks to Western civilization's collective image of Aliens, showing how our perceptions of extraterrestrials have evolved over time. The roots of this belief can be traced as far back as our earliest recognition of other planets in the universe—the idea of them supporting life was a natural progression of thinking that has fascinated us ever since. Our captivation with Aliens has, however, led to mixed results. The world was fooled in the nineteenth century during the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, and many people misunderstood, with calamitous results, Orson Welles's 1938 radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds. Our continuing interest in Aliens is reflected in entertainment successes such as E.T., The X-Files, and Star Trek.

The second half of Alien Universe explores the scientific possibility of whether advanced Alien civilizations do exist. For many years, researchers have sought to answer Enrico Fermi’s great paradox—if there are so many planets in the universe and there is a high probability that many of those can support life, then why have we not actually encountered any Aliens? (Apologies to those who are sure we have.) Lincoln describes how modern science teaches us what is possible and what is not in our search for extraterrestrial civilizations.

Whether you are drawn to the psychological belief in Aliens, the history of our interest in life on other planets, or the scientific possibility of Alien existence, Alien Universe is sure to hold you spellbound.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/09/2013
Lincoln (Quantum Frontier), senior scientist at Fermilab, the Department of Energy’s accelerator lab in Batavia, Ill., guides the reader through a maze of commonly held images of “Aliens,” sentient extra-terrestrials, as opposed to “aliens,” biological entities such as blue moss that might be found on other planets. He devotes the first half of this informative book addressing the hoaxes, misunderstandings, and fictional treatments that have created these images. Lincoln stresses that he wants only to give an overview of prevailing opinions from movies of the 1950s to alien abduction stories. Rather than dismiss Alien life out of hand, he presents the historical and social reasons for the growth of our fascination with the possibility. After covering popular ideas, Lincoln then delves into what is scientifically possible, explaining the concepts beautifully and in layman’s terms. (He also shows that a silicon-based life form is unlikely, and does so using a graphic scatological example.) Basing his construction on the universal laws of physics, Lincoln posits what a real extra-terrestrial explorer might look like. He concludes with the Fermi paradox: if the universe is teeming with societies far ahead of us in technology, where are they? This is a clear and clear-sighted look at Aliens by a man who would be delighted if one day they appeared. B&w photos and line drawings. (Nov.)
David Reneke's World of Space and Astronomy - Dave Reneke

I immediately warmed to this book. It’s not only written in terms the average lay person can understand but it follows a well structured theme that has a start, middle and an end. I like that because it maintains order in a subject that deals mainly with a mix of confusing ideologies, fact and scientifically based interpretations.

Midwest Book Review

By combining the latest research with historical perception, Alien Universe successfully creates an outstanding inquiry highly recommended for any science-based collection looking for a blend of historical references and modern-day probes.

Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

Whether you are drawn to the psychological belief in aliens, the history of our interest in life on other planets, or the scientific possibility of alien existence, this book will hold you spellbound.

BBC Focus - Trevor Cox

The book is a level-headed fusion of pop culture and the latest scientific advances in the field of astrobiology, discussing the requirements for life on Earth.

Cosmos - Bill Condie

This book comes close to being the definitive guide to where we are in the search for extraterrestrials.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421410739
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 894,171
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Don Lincoln is a senior scientist at Fermilab and author of The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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