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From the Publisher"We live in an exciting era of discovery. Breakthroughs in solar system exploration, star formation studies, and extra solar planet searches have greatly expanded our horizon of the cosmic root of the Earth and her planetary siblings. A new conceptual paradigm of planetary ubiquity and diversity is firmly taking shape. This book is an encyclopaedic reference of the vast range of intertwining phenomena and processes which compete to shape the paths of planet-making. Destiny or Chance Revisited is comprehensive, thorough, and admirably up-to-date. With many intriguing historic antidotes and vivid analogies, Stuart Ross Taylor lucidly conveys some deep concepts in layman terms without the distraction of intimidating formula or excessive jargon. It is a must-have for all amateurs or professionals who are fascinated by our place in the Universe." - Professor Douglas Lin, University of California Lick Observatory
"In his highly-readable style, Ross Taylor describes the most recently discovered members of the solar system family, and the planets found to circle other stars. Anyone interested in planetary formation will be interested by his argument for their formation by chance and the laws of physics, not by destiny or design, and his conclusion that other peopled earths must be extremely rare." - Dr John Wood, Senior Scientist (retired), Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
"This book presents an interesting and novel view of the origin of the Earth and life upon it. It successfully covers the known fact about the main members of our solar system as well as fully covering the recent discoveries concerning other planetary system. It also looks the formation of planets and planetary system, placing the concept within the wider context of stars and galaxies. It is thoroughly readable account, accessible to a wide audience, with complex concepts being explained in an informative way. Readers of all levels will both enjoy and learn from this book." - Professor Iwan Williams, School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London
"Subject: nothing less important than the universe including its history. Author: nothing less than a world-renowned scientist of broad learning with an exceptional gift for exposition. Result: nothing less than a must-read for scientists, philosophers, and anyone interested in learning about some of the most dramatic advances in our understanding of the universe and our place in it." - Michael J. Crowe, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; author of The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900.
"This is an engaging and informative read for anyone interested in planetary formation and the exploration of the universe." - Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin, November 2012
"benefits from an accessible and engaging tone..full of interesting tidbits..." - Olivia Johnson, skyatnight.com Magazine, January 2013
"Taylor puts the reader at ease early by defining terminology in an inviting conversational tone, which continues throughout the book...Useful for intrepid laypersons, students, and professionals. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general audiences." - N.W. Hinman, University of Montana, Choice, July 2013