What is the origin of the universe? Are we alone in the Universe? Using clear and plain language, the author explores these two interesting scientific-philosophical themes with a broad range of studies, including astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology and planet science.
The first part discusses the origins of everything, from the Big Bang to humankind. It follows the long course of evolution — from original matter to the formation of more complex structures, from the furthest galaxies to the nearest stars, from planets to organic molecules, from the first and most elementary forms of life through to the reptiles, the dinosaurs and the advent of man.
The second part traces the history of the Earth and evaluates the risks of extinction in the future as predicted by scientists. Is the Earth the only habitable planet in the Universe? This question initiates the discussion on the importance of the Earth's position in the solar system and the significance of our geologically alive planet.
The final part is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial beings with identifiable life forms. It also describes attempts for searching, from the past to the near future.
This remarkable book provides the best answers we have to the epic questions about us and our place in the universe.
Contents:Origins:Our OriginsThe Beginning of EverythingOrigins of Stars and PlanetsThe Origin of the ElementsThe Origins of LifeThe Case of the Earth:History of the EarthExtinctionsAn Inhabitable PlanetThe Importance of Continental DriftThe Earth: A Rare Planet?In Search of Another Gaia:In Search of ETIThe MeasurementAppendix A: Astronomical ObservationsAppendix B: A Few NumbersReadership: General audience interested in general science.