The Eerie Silence

The Eerie Silence[KINDLE] ❂ The Eerie Silence By Paul Davies – 50 years ago a young astronomer named Frank Drake 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 proje years ago a young astronomer named Frank Drake 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 But after a half century of scanning the skies astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie The Eerie Kindle - because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life The problem argues the leading physicist astrobiologist Paul Davies is that we’ve been looking in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong way Davies should know For than three decades he's been closely involved with SETI now chairs its Post Detection Taskgroup charged with deciding what to do if we’re confronted with evidence of alien intelligence In this extraordinary book he shows how SETI has lost its edge offers a new exciting road map for the future Davies believes our search so far has been overly anthropocentric we tend to assume an alien species will look think behave like us He argues that we need to be far expansive in our efforts in this book he completely redefines the search challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take how it might try to communicate with us how we should respond if it does A provocative mind expanding journey The Eerie Silence will thrill fans of science science fiction alike. Are we alone in the great big fat universe?It's presented as if it's a real lonesome thing Just us nine billion no one to talk to but each other And true when you put it like that who would want to spend their life with no one except human beings? You'd have to be a psycho Human beings? Eww Give em a planet and what do they do with it? Only thing they're good at is making human beings But anyway I don't get why people cudgel their brains about this uestion are we alone in the universe Here are the facts 1 The universe is big It could be bigger than we think it is It might turn out to be the biggest thing there is Imagine that or don't you might hurt yourself And and and could be this is only one of a million universes Cool Could be new universes are popping into existence all the time Pop There goes one2 Everything is a really long way from everything else Nothing is near There are no corner shops in space no local Sainsburys There's sod all Deep space facilities in that respect are poor It would take centuries to get to anywhere You'd have to have a massive ipod When you look at the universe you just think nah Let's stay in3 So just imagine along with me that means that if life started in a gazillion places apart from Earth imagine imagine we're never going to find out because in order to discover each other then one of the civilisations has to have invented Warp Factor Five or whatever and then they have to happen to be living in the same galaxy as another civilisation and at the same time which is a little unlikely it means that civilisations trying to discover each other is like one red grain of sand on a yellow beach wanting to find another red grain of sand which might appear on a different beach in 500 million years Crazy Just never gonna happen Like me and that girl way back in the sixth form Never gonna happen in a million years and we were in the same year 4 So therefore of course there's life out there what you think you're so uniue? Oh stop it But we'll never find out Ever The end Stop writing books about this foolishness Paul Davies does a really good job here of illustrating the issues of SETI's lack of success and Fermi's Paradox He goes into the science and philosophy of it in depth explaining all the terms and generally making it crystal clear What amazes me is that he's still somewhat optimistic about finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe given all the things he says in this book I'm now almost completely sure that even if intelligent life has arisen elsewhere and that's still a big if that we'll have trouble finding it because of the issue of the sheer amount of time and space involvedNot that I don't think the search is worth doing Even if we'll never manage to communicate with intelligent life elsewhere in the universe we might find signs of it and understand about how life begins There's so much we can learn along the way and maybe the idea that we may not be uniue will keep us a little bit humbleOr not This was a good book on how and why we need to think out of the box while keeping the search ongoing for ETs Extra Terrestrials Paul Davies does a good job of mentioning the various ways in which we can do this or what to look out for where do we as intelligent beings need to think anew and stay away from anthropomorphism and our mindsets based upon the past and present dogmasA pretty delightful read for people who always have uestions and thoughts regarding the possibilities of intelligent life forms away from our planetHaving to read this alongside Jim Marss' Alien Agenda Investigating the Extraterrestrial Presence Among Us was kind of interesting I had to edit this review to put in this commentI think it's important to note that both Paul Davies and Stuart Kauffman seem to be laboring under the idea that if life is emergent or has a predetermined plan to unfold then it's in the realm of religion or dualism If something is predetermined then it's not physical But it is We can change our ideas about the blueprint for life and for anything else that emerges without having to worry about religion or dualism Those things don't belong in science There is some really important work in this book and in the later books of both Davies and Kauffman but you are going to have to ignore their concerns about emergence and simply accept it like the next generation of scientists will You are going to have to accept that they grew up in a time where if you suggested there was anything predetermined that meant god or something nonphysical Let those ideas die and let's move on and just do science whether it shows a predetermination or not ReviewIf there is no signal from alien life why even search? This is an actual concern for policy makers who fund projects like SETI The first answer from Davies is Logic How many signals could we have missed? With our limited toolset in 2010 no less our limited time residing on this planet in the whole history of the universe it seems very reasonable that we might not be in an optimal position to detect a signal That doesn't mean we should stop trying He gives all the standard arguments about why we should fund SETI and keep looking First Life research will certainly go a long way to helping this cause It is interesting to read this 2010 book in light of my current knowledge about his work with Sara Imari Walker and others in trying to define and synthesize life so that humans can keep searching for it on other planets His definitions of life are not as detailed as what you will find in his textbook with Imari Walker titled From Matter to Life but this 2010 discussion is still food for thoughtI really could have done without Chapter Nine in which he spent way too much time trying to win over the religious folks I realize how many people still subscribe to magical thinking while actively thinking scientific fact is too absurd to believe and realize some of those people have power to make policy So I get why it's important to discuss it But I am so tired of being anchored to that outdated concept that only serves to pull our focus away from continuing to gather facts and progress Davies went all in and tried to introduce the religiously interested to Swedenborg One of my best friends grew up in the New Church complete with its own little Swedenborg only community It's progressive than Catholicism but it's still severe in its magical thinking I just don't want any of my head space taken up by this nonsense Though I did enjoy his discussion of whether Frank Drake's euation is really a religionDavies is concerned that since we don't know what is out there should we so thoughtlessly keep sending out signals? I am in the camp that wants to keep sending out signals but I really do understand how that could get us all killed if there is advanced life out there Davies' argument about how life might be ethically advanced was worrisome to me He thinks being advanced might mean having GMO'd the evil out of people to prevent them from being criminals That is so short sighted and ignores the social situations on Earth that marginalize entire groups of people and then targets them and put them in jail for the same crimes committed by non marginalized people who get away with it It's our justice system that needs fixing not people's genes There might be some rarer cases of genetic determinism but it's not the rule and it was a dangerous thing to imply Overall this is a worthwhile book that it might appear because he is really working toward something extremely important namely updating our idea of what life is and fitting it into the frame work of not only biology but in physics where it surely belongs Only when physicists join the discussion of 'What is Life; can we really understand life on our planet as well as what life in general on any planet or anywhere in the universe means  This is a great book The greatest potentially answerable uestion 'are we alone in the universe?' is explored from every imaginable perspective and with its possible ramifications I don't think any one explains science to non scientist better than Paul Davies does He excels at giving both sides of an argument to a dilemma and lets the reader make the informed decisionThe book doesn't just look at radio astronomy but considers all the other evidence or lack of evidence for what it takes for other intelligence to be elsewhere in the universe For example the lack of evidence for non DNA based life on earth or other planets in our solar system implies that life might not be as easily created as some might state No systematic harnessing of black hole energy through out parts of the galaxy implies we just might be aloneThe narrator is the same one who read The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil That is good since the themes between the books overlap so much and my mind would naturally go back to that book as I was listening to this book He gives the best refutation to the Fermi Paradox I've seen so farThis book is much than what the title implies He covers everything related to are we alone? and fairly provides all relevant arguments to the table He has his opinions and states them but always realizing that it's just his opinion and there are not necessarily right answers There are but very few instances where you pick a gem that many mistook for just a dusty rock How could this book be so unpopular Maybe thats the most compelling evidence for the eerie silence The intellectual orgasm was uite similar to that from the movie Interstellar Its like a thousand classic science fictions distilled to just over 200 pages The shadow biosphere the great filter neutrino beacons nanoprobes Oh baby it's Christmas And it reaches its pinnacle when Paul convinces you almost certainly why biological intelligence is to uantum processers as apes are to humans The stepping stone in evolution Phew And to end it all consider three choices to reason the eerie silence Either we as earthlings are really special to hold life Or really really special to hold intelligent life Or are just the next iteration in an often repeating cosmic cycle of self destructing intelligenceBy reading popular reviews you may feel that this book mainly discuss Fermi paradox and the impact of alien contact on religion Not at all This book about the search Why it began why the silence what's the probability of success where should we look what to do when the contact happens and its impact It's Bible for anyone remotely interested in aliens The organization SETI Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence was funded by the US government for a short while It was soon decided that the money could be used for better things SETI continues to operate with private funding The author Paul Davies heads a special committee at SETI Davies argues that the search is too narrow SETI has been searching with radio telescopes for over 50 years without a bite Using radio telescopes to listen for ET's is like using only a twitter account to check for messaging from everyone on Earth Not everyone tweets My words not Davies Davies presents alternative methods of communication and I found it fascinatingDavies doubts that Earthlings would panic if we heard a general message that said Hello we're here but if we got a specific message just for us Hello Earth how are you? Please respond there might be trouble Should we answer? I adore speculations like this Davies writes that as of now there is zero scientific evidence that ETI exists How disappointing I want it to be true be damned the conseuences Paul Davies is an astrobiologist who at the time of this book at least was the chair of SETI's Post Detection Taskgroup so if you're interested in the uestion of Are we alone? this book offers a number of uniue and necessary insightsFor most of the book Davies carefully avoids offering his opinion on whether or not there is other intelligent life in the universe giving instead numerous possibilities of what non Terrestrial life might look like or why it might not even be there He goes back and forth between optimistic and pessimistic about the chances of life existing elsewhere but one thing he says for certain is that if intelligent life does exist out there SETI currently is very unlikely to find signs of itOne of the big uestions he says comes down to whether life is common in the universe or life is rare in the universe and with our sample size of 1 we have no way of really answering that uestion yet But he does put forth various reasons why he believes it is either very common or very rare he does not believe there is a middle ground in this case He suggests that if the genesis of life is common it may well have happened than once here on Earth an idea that never occurred to me before and that studying our own planet may determine whether or not SETI is worth itSPOILERS if you want to know what position he ends up taking at the end of the bookview spoilerHe waits until the final pages to say it but he comes out saying that in many ways SETI and the belief in extraterrestrial life is uasi religious and fulfills the same role in a lot of people's lives that religion fills in others happy to see my own opinion echoed finally Paul Davies the Scientist believes that there probably is not intelligent life in the universe other than us but Paul Davies the Human Being really wants there to be Which I think if we're honest about our feelings and about the evidence we have is the position many people would take hide spoiler Paul Davies the chair of SETI's Post Detection Science and Technology Taskgroup wrote The Eerie Silence in 2010 a short time after the Kepler space telescope launched Back then a handful of exoplanets planets outside our solar system had been discovered Since then Kepler alone has confirmed over 2300 exoplanets and estimates for the observable universe go as high as 53 trillionThat's a lot of planetsAnd yet seven years later the eerie silence Davies wrote about persists You might think that over 50 years of observation by SETI failing to yield any tangible results would be disheartening and indeed Davies does admit it can be a little depressing when you focus solely on the lack of any clear signal that we are not alone in the universe But he remains hopeful that life here is not a one time fluke among the billions of star systems That hope is tempered by his adherence to the scientific method of observation and testing with minimal speculationIt is that speculation though that forms the heart of the book Davies presents comprehensive scenarios on how other planets might support life what that life might be like how alien races might communicate with us or if they would even bother He takes a dim view on fictional portrayals of aliens as malevolent beings looking to wipe us out and constantly warns against falling into the trap of anthropocentric thought H notes that we might not even recognize aliens because they could exist in a state we can't comprehendDavies also spends time covering how SETI and others would handle the world changing confirmation of other intelligent life he doesn't put much stock in politicians or government handling it wellIn all this is a wonderfully detailed and engaging look into the possibility of life beyond Earth Davies keeps coming up with uniue angles on how to approach looking for signs of communication whether intentional or incidental on how other intelligent beings might act and evolve and why he is still passionate about continuing the search for other intelligent species beyond the confines of our solar systemHighly recommended This was a fascinating thought provoking and entertaining book I've thoroughly enjoyed every Paul Davies book I've read I like the way he pursues highly speculative topics but still maintains a reassuringly rational critical and intelligent point of view I had previously considered the search for extraterrestrial intelligence to be an exhausted and cliched subject but I learned so many new things from this book For example the possibility of a shadow biosphere life that originated separately from the dominant life on earth right here on the same planet and how that affects the likelihood of extraterrestrial life And I like the way Davies shoots down the widespread misconceptions about how easy it is for life to begin spontaneously even given hospitable conditions And the discussions of the pessimistic ideas of Brandon Carter et al based on probabilities are mind blowing and compelling This book is a nice companion piece to his earlier book The Fifth Miracle

The Eerie Silence eBook ´ The Eerie  Kindle -
  • Hardcover
  • 241 pages
  • The Eerie Silence
  • Paul Davies
  • English
  • 09 February 2016
  • 9780547133249