Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$27.81
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$21.02
(Save 36%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $1.99   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   

Overview

Are we alone in the Universe? From the furor over Percival Lowell's claim of canals on Mars at the beginning of the century to the more recent controversial rock from Mars and the sophisticated Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the prospect of otherworldly life has often titillated and occasionally consumed science and the public. The search for planetary systems, the quest to explain UFOs, and inquiries into the origin of life have fueled an abundance of popular and scientific literature. They have also provided Hollywood with fodder for some of the most popular films of our time, including ET, Aliens, Independence Day, and Contact. Lucid and accessible, Life on Other Worlds chronicles the history of the twentieth-century extraterrestrial debate. Putting the latest findings and heated controversies into a broader historical context, Steven Dick documents how the concept of extraterrestrial intelligence is a world view of its own—a "biophysical cosmology" that seeks confirmation no less than physical views of the Universe. The debate rests at the very limits of science, and attempts at confirmation only illuminate the nature of science itself. Dick shows that appreciating the history of the debate enables a better understanding of the nature of science, and is central to any forward-looking view of religion and philosophy. For anyone interested in a look over the edge of scientific discovery, Life on Other Worlds provides the exciting tale behind the greatest debate in the twentieth century. Dr. Steven J. Dick is an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory. He is the author of Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge, 1982) and Biological Universe (Cambridge, 1996).

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Amazingly comprehensive, as well as highly entertaining...I almost wish it would put an end to the outpouring of books on the subject; nothing more need be written, until the feared/long-hoped for moment of Revelation!" Sir Arthur C. Clarke

"Life on Other Worlds is a wondersome synthesis of scientific criticism, historical narrative and socio-philosophical analysis of a theme that has captured the human imagination since the first stargazers." Joshua Lederberg, The Rockefeller University

"First published in subject until new discoveries lead closer to or futher away from the moment when we know how alone we are in the universe" The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

"...chapters on the search for planets outside our solar system, UFOs and the SETI project...pack a good deal of information and make skillful use of tables and figures...illustrations throughout." Publisher's Weekly

"Amazingly comprehensive, as well as highly entertaining...I almost wish it would put an end to the outpouring of books on the subject; nothing more need be written, until the feared/long-hoped for moment of Revelation!" Sir Arthur C. Clarke, CBE

"Life on Other Worlds is a wondersome synthesis of scientific criticism, historical narrative and socio-philosophical analysis of a theme that has captured the human imagination since the first stargazers." Joshua Lederberg, The Rockerfeller University

"One of the most exciting stories of the twentieth is the search, observational and theoretical, for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Steven Dick in his Life on Other Worlds has told that story with accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness. He is to be congratulated for this achievement, especially for the accessibility of his presentations and for the balance with which he has handled a history that at many points has been filled with controversy." Michael J. Crowe, University of Notre Dame

"...Steven Dick has written an intelligent and sober book." National Post

Booknews
Dick, an astronomer and historian of science at the US Naval Observatory, offers an antidote to the sensationalism surrounding the search for extraterrestrial life in this overview of the history of theories of life on other planets, recent advances in planetary science, and the latest thinking on the likelihood of life in outer space. He also demystifies the agenda of sensationalists who seek to impose their own radical cosmology based on conjecture rather than scientific fact. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521799126
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. From the physical world to the biological universe: Democritus to Lowell; 2. Life in the solar system; 3. Solar systems beyond; 4. Extraterrestrials in literature and the arts: the role of imagination; 5. The UFO controversy and the extraterrestrial hypothesis; 6. The origin and evolution of life in the extraterrestrial context; 7. SETI: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence; 8. The meaning of life; 9. Summary and conclusion: the biological universe; Select bibliographical essay; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)