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Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life (original 2002; edition 2002)
by Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart (Author)
What Does a Martian Look Like? The Science of Extraterrestrial Life by Jack Cohen (2002)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0091886163, Paperback)Most books about alien life are by astrophysicists, and spend their time arguing whether other planets and solar systems are habitable. This one is different. The authors point out that aqueous planets are common and where water exists life is likely. The test here is to find those features of life and evolution that are universal, and then to work out how they might have operated to produce life in other worlds. Along the way, the authors use examples of the aliens on offer via films, books and TV. Many have entirely reasonable biologies, others - cuddlies like ET, or dragons like the Alien - fail to measure up to the tests the authors set, but help narrow the search for the 'scientific alien'. The authors conclude that humans are not alone as intelligent entities, and that many others have appeared, and will appear, on other planets. And now, they argue, we can even surmise what they will look like and why.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:55 -0400)
Since H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds startled Victorian sensibilities with the outlandish notion of an invasion from Mars, we have become increasingly obsessed with the possibility of extraterrestrial life. From Klingons to Ewoks to giant blobs of goo, we have imagined space aliens in every conceivable form. But if aliens do exist (and they probably do), what do they really look like? Would we recognize alien life if we saw it? Given the rules that science has devised for life on earth, can we predict how evolution might proceed in environments quite different from our comfortable air-and-wa.
(summary from another edition)
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