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If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

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If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780387955018
ISBN10: 0387955011
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

During a Los Alamos lunchtime conversation that took place more than 50 years ago, four world-class scientists agreed, given the size and age of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations simply had to exist. The sheer numbers demanded it. But one of the four, the renowned physicist and back-of-the-envelope calculator Enrico Fermi, asked the telling question: If the extraterrestrial life proposition is true, he wondered, "Where IS everybody?"

In this lively and thought-provoking book, Stephen Webb presents a detailed discussion of the 50 most cogent and intriguing answers to Fermi's famous question, divided into three distinct groups:

  • Aliens are already here among us. Here are answers ranging from Leo Szilard's suggestion that they are already here, and we know them as Hungarians, to the theorists who claim that aliens built Stonehenge and the Easter Island statues.
  • Aliens exist, but have not yet communicated. The theories in this camp range widely, from those who believe we simply don't have the technologies to receive their signals, to those who believe the enormities of space and time work against communication, to those who believe they're hiding from us.
  • Aliens do not exist. Here are the doubters' arguments, from the Rare Earth theory to the author's own closely argued and cogently stated skepticism.
The proposed solutions run the gamut from the crackpot to the highly serious, but all deserve our consideration. The varieties of arguments — from first-rate scientists, philosophers and historians, and science fiction authors — turn out to be astonishing, entertaining, and vigorous intellectual exercises for any reader interested in science and the sheer pleasure of speculative thinking.

Review:

"[R]ichly informative and very engaging." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] splendid and enlightening story." Scientific American

Review:

"Webb offers coherent, understandable, and sometimes humorous coverage of a diverse range of topics....[E]veryone who has ever considered the possibility that other intelligent civilizations exist elsewhere within our galaxy will enjoy Where Is Everybody?" Science

Synopsis:

Do you believe in extraterrestrials? Among serious and speculative thinkers, scientists, philosophers, and even science fiction writers, there is an amazing variety of theories, and 50 of the best are reviewed in detail here.

Synopsis:

In a 1950 conversation at Los Alamos, four world-class scientists generally agreed, given the size of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations must be present. But one of the four, Enrico Fermi, asked, "If these civilizations do exist, where is everybody?" Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14 billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-282) and index.

About the Author

Stephen Webb is a physicist working at the Open University in England and the author of Measuring the Universe.

Table of Contents

The 50 solutions to Fermi's paradox are divided into three major groups: I. They Are Here; II. They Exist, But Have Not Yet Communicated; III. They Do Not Exist. With Notes, Suggestions for Further Reading, and Index.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

RickRickRick, June 3, 2014 (view all comments by RickRickRick)
Most of us go about our daily lives only thinking about what's in front of us. How often do we stop to remind ourselves that we live in a fish bowl (albeit one that is roughly 27.4 Billion light years in diameter and expanding at the speed of light)?

The best estimates suggest that there are at least 70 thousand million million million (70 sextillion) stars in the Universe and that the Universe is roughly 13.7 Billion years old. So, where is everybody? Why do we appear to be alone? Hasn't there been plenty of time for aliens to evolve and communicate with us? Is it possible that in a universe that is unimaginably large and old that we are the only intelligent species?

These are profound questions and ones that the author answers in a well-researched and insightful book. Stephen Webb presents 50 possible answers to what is know as the Fermi paradox. As someone who has thought and read about this subject before, I was impressed at the number of new insights offered by the author. Additionally, his writing style is easy to read and absorbing.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the universe and our place in it. I also recommend another book on this subject "Eerie Silence" by Paul Davies.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780387955018
Author:
Webb, Stephen
Publisher:
Copernicus Books
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Life on other planets
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Subject:
Fermi, Enrico
Subject:
Fermi's paradox
Subject:
Astronomy
Subject:
Popular Science in Astronomy
Subject:
astrobiology
Subject:
Popular Science-General
Subject:
Science, general Do you believe in extraterrestrials? Among serious and speculative thinkers, scientists, philosophers, and even science fiction writers there is an amazing variety of theories, and 50 of the best are reviewed in detail here.
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Language, literature and biography
Subject:
Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Book
Series Volume:
413
Publication Date:
20021031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
299
Dimensions:
235 x 155 mm 1330 gr

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If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$27.50 In Stock
Product details 299 pages Copernicus Books - English 9780387955018 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[R]ichly informative and very engaging."
"Review" by , "[A] splendid and enlightening story."
"Review" by , "Webb offers coherent, understandable, and sometimes humorous coverage of a diverse range of topics....[E]veryone who has ever considered the possibility that other intelligent civilizations exist elsewhere within our galaxy will enjoy Where Is Everybody?"
"Synopsis" by , Do you believe in extraterrestrials? Among serious and speculative thinkers, scientists, philosophers, and even science fiction writers, there is an amazing variety of theories, and 50 of the best are reviewed in detail here.
"Synopsis" by , In a 1950 conversation at Los Alamos, four world-class scientists generally agreed, given the size of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations must be present. But one of the four, Enrico Fermi, asked, "If these civilizations do exist, where is everybody?" Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14 billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-282) and index.
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