Are we alone in the universe? This is surely one of the biggest questions of human existence, yet it remains frustratingly unanswered. In this provocative book, one of the world’s leading scientists explains why the search for intelligent life beyond Earth should be expanded, and how it can be done.
Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
After a half-century of scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. Could it be, wonders physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies, that we’ve been looking in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong way?
Davies has been closely involved with SETI for three decades, and chairs
the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we’re suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap—assuming that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In this mind-expanding book he refocuses the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does. The Eerie Silence
provides a penetrating assessment of the evidence, past and present, and an exciting new road map for the future.
As current chairman of the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Post-Detection Task Group, cosmologist Paul Davies is charged with deciding how to interact with any alien species we manage to make contact with, and he has a wealth of ideas about how to increase the odds of an interstellar connection. Davies argues that the current reliance on radio signals as our primary means for alien communication is anthropomorphic and insufficient, as alien civilizations are more likely to be using far more advanced technologies such as pulsar beacons or signals elsewhere on the electromagnetic spectrum. He also suggests that the best means for discovering life on other planets may be a renewed focus on studying the origins of life on Earth, which may have been spawned by molecules or organisms which traveled here from outer space on a meteorite or comet.
- Genre: Science
- Subgenre: Astrophysics + Space Science, Experiments + Projects
- Format: paperback
- Release Date:
April 13, 2011
- Date Published:
April 13, 2011
Author: Paul Davies
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- Online Item #: 13305774
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-62-0456
- ISBN: 9780547422589
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported