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The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin…
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The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life

by Paul Davies

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Good review of current thinking and research into the origin of life. Davies is an engaging writer, so this is a good starting point to learn about this enduring mystery. ( )
  yapete | Jun 2, 2008 |
How unlikely is the actual beginning of life. While Davies never advocates deism (or theism for that matter) one is left with a profound sense of wonder on the origin of life. It really is a miracle. I think that the Universe is somehow predisposed to life though some underlying principle that we've yet to fully comprehend. If it isn't then the chances of life elsewhere are very slim. ( )
  jefware | Apr 9, 2008 |
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Imagine boarding a time machine and being transported back four billion years. What will await you when you step out?
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Come è nata la vita? E' solo un bizzarro accidente chimico o è qualcosa di iscritto nelle leggi fondamentali dell'universo, destinato a emergere ovunque le condizioni lo consentano? Tra le ipotesi sull'origine della vita, Davies privilegia la teoria della genesi dallo spazio, contemplando la possibilità di un universo autorganizzato e governato da leggi che favoriscono l'evolversi della materia in direzione della vita e dell'intelligenza. Un universo in cui l'emergere di esseri pensanti è parte integrante e fondamentale dello schema generale delle cose, un universo "in cui non siamo soli".
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 068486309X, Paperback)

How did life begin? Did it start here, by blind chance or by necessity, or was Earth seeded by extraterrestrial visitors? (And, if so, how did they arise?) Physicist and science writer Paul Davies tackles these heavy questions and more in The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life, a wide-ranging survey of the field of biogenesis. From the "Martian meteorite" ALH84001 to the hardy microorganisms living on--and under!--our sea beds, Davies looks for evidence pointing toward our first ancestor. His willingness to consider any possibility makes for a fun, fascinating journey through our solar system and beyond.

The Fifth Miracle provides convincing arguments that life flourishes, and may indeed have begun, deep within the earth's crust, and not in Darwin's "warm little pond." And if in our planet's crust, why not in others'? Indeed, he shows that it is not just possible but likely that living organisms have passed between Earth and Mars embedded within meteorites. Davies's command of the data and his facility with explaining it to nonprofessionals give the lie to his self-description as "a simple-minded physicist" intruding in another's domain. The best scientists hate to see questions finally answered and love to see new ones raised; by that standard (and by any other), The Fifth Miracle is a first-rate book of scientific speculation. --Rob Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:05 -0400)

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The author proposes that the ultimate origin of life could be due to planetary cross-contamination of organisms carried by giant meteorites after the cosmic birth of the universe and introduces a new theory that life began inside the earth where geothermal activity may have created the first living micro-organisms.… (more)

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