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Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth (2021)

by Avi Loeb

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For someone who continually brings up the need for humility, Loeb is nothing by brazen in his polemic against the scientific establishment and what he characterizes as a "gamble" that alien technology is whizzing around our solar system. Just as we don't know who exactly built the Sphinx, resorting to aliens is not Occam's Razor. There are logical problems. Still, it's a fun read and he does have a point that if alien space trash is around, it is probably everywhere. A new direction for SETI research. ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Feb 1, 2021 |
Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb makes an interesting and compelling case for both extraterrestrial life and thinking outside the box (or at least being willing to push against the sides).

It actually took me a little while to get into the book, it starts almost like a memoir. But that short bit sets up the aspect of the argument that urges us to think big picture and to not get too stuck in our own specialties that we are essentially wearing blinders. If the first part makes you consider putting the book down, don't, it will all come together and be worth it.

The writing is accessible and suitable for any reader with an interest in the topic. Enough science to support his theory, all explained clearly. Big ideas expressed with an openness and curiosity that will make active readers consider the possibilities.

I think we all tend to have less of a problem with abstractly or theoretically accepting an idea than with actually acknowledging something tangible that might support that idea. It seems that while many scientists have no problem believing that there is likely to be some form(s) of life on other planets, they are resistant to considering this interstellar object as possible evidence of intelligent life elsewhere. It is just that wall which Loeb appears to be trying to scale in this work, with both fellow scientists and laypeople.

I recommend this to any reader with an interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Sep 20, 2020 |
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