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The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? Kindle Edition
About the Author
George K. Wilson is a working actor in stage, film, television, and commercials with almost one hundred audiobook narrations to his credit. He began in broadcast journalism with American Forces Radio and Television and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He had a lead role in the cult film classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and appeared on television's One Life to Live, Ryan's Hope, and The Doctors and has been heard on voice-overs for The Guiding Light and The Cosby Show, as well as many television and radio commercials.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B003AYZBLG
- Publisher : Penguin (4 March 2010)
- Language : English
- File size : 15989 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 256 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 446,816 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Top reviews from other countries
Do not be lulled into thinking that this is simply a round up of all the credible evidence for extra-terrestrial life we have so far uncovered. That would be a very short book indeed because, put simply...there is none
By contrast, this book contains a wide ranging analysis of the implications of our hitherto failed attempts to search for extra-terrestrial life - the 'eerie silence' of the title. Given our failure, this leads Davies to the question: 'What should we look for instead?'
And the fact is, the answers are far from simple. Most people are aware that the SETI programme is actively searching for radio signals from inter-stellar space. But, as the author (himself head of SETI's Post Detection Task Group) argues, is this really the best place to look? In a universe as vast as ours, radio signals from distant galaxies will take millions of years to reach us. Given that the Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago, countless numbers of advanced civilisations could have arisen and then simply disappeared in that time. If life is rare - as we are increasingly forced to accept - and the universe is both very large and very old, can we ever expect technologically advanced civilisations to exist within communicable distances of each other? The fact is, we search the radio spectrum because it is a technology we have mastered, not because it is necessarily a good place to look...
Davies then goes on to sketch out what we might look for instead. What would an advanced civilisation look like? What tell-tale footprint would it leave in the cosmos? What would it have achieved in technological terms? How would it actually communicate with us? Would it actually have any interest in doing so? Do civilisations inevitably 'do science'? Should we look closer to home - for evidence of more than one 'genesis' on Earth perhaps? (Again, the only only evidence we have points to a single one, from which all life on Earth is descended. If there had been more than one, at least we could say that the probability of life elsewhere would be greatly increased)
This is great stuff. The summation of a life of scientific, intellectual and philosophical thought and endeavour.
Finally, Davies discusses the profoundest possibility of all. That, in this unimaginably vast universe we are utterly alone. This would mean that the chances of life arising anywhere in the vastness of space and time are are vanishingly close-to but not quite zero, making life on Earth unbelievably special. However unlucky you may feel in life, the fact of our existence might be one of the most amazing pieces of good fortune it is possible to imagine. I find this thought beautifully life-affirming!
If you are, like me, fascinated by the vast universe and the search for life out there, this book is a real find.