31Jul2014

Book Review – Alien Universe

Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos

Author: Don Lincoln

Book Review

I immediately warmed to this book. It’s superbly written in terms the average lay person can understand.

It also follows a well structured theme that has a start, middle and an end. I like that because it maintains order in a subject that deals mainly with a mix of confusing ideologies, fact and scientifically based interpretations.

The greatest question we can ask ourselves as a species is “Where did I come from?” It then begs the question, “is there anyone else out there?”

What is the probability that somewhere out in this vast universe other beings are wondering the same thing? It’s a tantalising question which is dealt with so skilfully in Lincoln’s book.

I don’t think there would be one single story in all of human history to eclipse the news one day that we’ve found intelligent life outside the Earth. It would make everything else pale into insignificance and certainly satisfy a lot of curious minds.

ILincolnn his book, Don Lincoln exposes and explains the truths about ancient belief systems and progressively examines the search for life on other planets in more modern times.

He devotes the first half examining the hoaxes, misinterpretations and fictional aspects that have created these images we have today of alien life before dealing with the universal laws of physics that indicate what a real extra-terrestrial being might look like.

I especially liked Lincoln’s handling of the media and his retrospective analyses of the more popular films, books and paperbacks that almost unanimously typecast E.T. in a malevolent or dominant light. The inference and mindset of the medium is reflected in a lot of the modern day accounts of alleged alien abduction by UFO witnesses.

The author doesn’t dismiss the possibility of alien life out of hand, on the contrary, he presents compelling for and against arguments leaving you, the reader, to make up your own mind and reflect on what may, or not, be scientifically possible.

This is not a book that will leave you asking too many questions. They’re mostly all dealt with in each of the chapters. It’s an easily digestible bed-time read tackling that age old question posed by anyone with a curious mind, like Enrico Fermi, when he uttered those immortal words, “where are they?”

Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos [Hardcover]

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Meet the Author

Don Lincoln is a senior scientist at Fermilab and author of The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Available through Amazon

 

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