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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 50 answers to a very good question
This fine book by Stephen Webb offers fifty different solutions for the Fermi paradox. In short, Enrico Fermi wondered that since universe is so big and should contain lots of life, where are they? Why haven't we seen any evidence at all of extraterrestrial intelligence?

Well, there are plenty of good explanations, as this book proves. The solutions are divided...
Published on 10 Aug 2007 by Mikko Saari

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3.0 out of 5 stars Webb casts his web widely but not widely enough
The author discusses 50 solutions to Fermi's paradox. However, he does not come over as unbiased. His conclusion - that Earth is unique - seems to have already been formed before the discussion of the possible solutions.

The conclusion of the author could be correct, although he did not seem convincing.

There is very little real data on the...
Published 23 days ago by Jonathan S.


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 50 answers to a very good question, 10 Aug 2007
By 
Mikko Saari (Tampere, Finland) - See all my reviews
This fine book by Stephen Webb offers fifty different solutions for the Fermi paradox. In short, Enrico Fermi wondered that since universe is so big and should contain lots of life, where are they? Why haven't we seen any evidence at all of extraterrestrial intelligence?

Well, there are plenty of good explanations, as this book proves. The solutions are divided in three categories: "they're already here," "they exist but we can't communicate with them," and "we're alone". Since there's a real lack of proper knowledge about these things, reader will find plenty of educated guesses, hazy probabilities and that sort of thinking, but that's the nature of the whole question.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anybody who's interested in the existence or non-existence of extraterrestrial life. While there are no set answers, this book will give the reader a lot of material to chew on. (Review based on the Finnish translation.)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 7 Jan 2004
By 
astrocurly (Near Frankfurt, Germany) - See all my reviews
Not being a science fiction fan, initially I doubted the scientific value of the book as the author includes some rather sci-fi solutions to the Fermi paradox early in the book. Presumably they have to be included for completeness. But he presents some very sensible, interesting solutions with his own as the last one, No. 50. I was particularly interested in the solutions dealing with the evolution of human characteristics, such as language and the probability of an extraterrestrial civilisation developing it. These factors are also treated like terms in the Drake equation.
I can recommend it to anyone wondering if there really is intelligent life in space. A less scientific, but worthwhile companion to "Rare Earth" which to me still represents the "bible" on planetary evolution.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello ??? Anyone there ???, 7 Nov 2012
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For anyone that asks the eternal question " IS there anyone out there ?", this book is simply a MUST. Absolute.

It argues for and against each case and is a thought provoking and highly enjoyable read.

It explores the Fermi Paradox in great depth with the respect that the subject matter deserves.

The author draws his own conclusions at the end, which I now share ( I didn't before ). A real testament to the power of books !

There is no better broadly based book on the subject.

Superb.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Webb casts his web widely but not widely enough, 27 Aug 2014
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This review is from: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (Kindle Edition)
The author discusses 50 solutions to Fermi's paradox. However, he does not come over as unbiased. His conclusion - that Earth is unique - seems to have already been formed before the discussion of the possible solutions.

The conclusion of the author could be correct, although he did not seem convincing.

There is very little real data on the subject. We have reasonable knowledge of the conditions on the 7 other planets in our solar system. There are over 1000 exo planets now known to exist. Some guesses can be made as to the likelihood of life on these planets, by virtue of their mass and proximity to their parent stars.

The author does not ask why some people would like to believe that the earth is unique. This seems to be an echo of pre Copernican thinking, which placed man at the centre of the universe. Surely this belief is as childish as a young child believing that the whole world revolves around its cries and temper tantrums. To believe that we are unique is to foster a childish outlook on another level.
Webb casts his web widely but not widely enough. There is too much concentration on what present technology can do.So he assumes that aliens may try contact via radio. What he does not investigate is how a meaningful conversation could take place. Assume for example a technological civilisation is 1000 light years away. So a simple 'Hello' would take at least 2000 years for a reply to come back.
Not enough emphasis has been given on how unstable the technogical civilisation on Earth is. It is simply not sustainable and is doomed to disappear quite soon. Think of the 4.5 billion years of the Earth and the probable lifetime of a radio using civilisation as not more than 300 years. Then think how rare a planet of the right size, constitution, benign parent star and so on is. The likelihood that there is another radio broadcasting civilisation in the Milky Way now must surely be very small.
It seems that advanced civilisations must use techiques beyond what we know, provided they have overcome the dangers of technology (war with destructive weapons, unsustainable use of their planet). Perhaps they have solved or partially solved the riddle of consciousness. John Lilly maintained that he had contacted beings from advanced civilisations via telepathy. Far fetched? If telepathy really does exist, then there may be little need for expensive space ships using enormous quantities of energy.
Webb does not investigate in enough detail why other civilisations would want to contact us. Would you want to contact someone who has discovered enough to make terrible weapons and is killing his fellow inmates ? You would only do so if you were convinced that he had matured enough not to use violence anymore. Impressing that person with the jewels of a greater civilisation would not ensure that the good in him is actually intrinsic, rather than imposed.
The apparent silence in the Universe, in my opinion, is because we expect advanced civilisations to be primarily technological civilisations. I do agree with the author that intelligent life is exceedingly rare, but not that the Earth is unique. If we overcome the present crisis of unsustainability, and war, I believe that other civilisations will then contact us as every intelligent and mature civilisation will be special in its own way and have gifts to offer others.

General points:
1) The black and white photos are quite poor. Some colour photos would have been appreciated.

2) As previous reviewers in the USA have noted, the author makes some mistakes in his calculations.

On the good side, the author has been quite systematic, the chapters are succint without excessive detail. It is provocative in a good way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly thought-provoking, 8 Sep 2014
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This review is from: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (Kindle Edition)
I found this book very interesting. It is full of well researched information on a huge range of astronomical, geological and biological topics. Every solution looked at could give rise to a plethora of debates. I don't want to give away the author's own solution to the problem but I discussed it at my own blog: http://3stes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/how-many-extra-terrestrial.html
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good overview of issues around the Fermi Paradox, 8 Dec 2013
By 
Andrew Clark (Highgate, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (Kindle Edition)
Good, clear, well-written overview of potential solutions to the Fermi Paradox. A little bit out of date on some of the latest work now, but I've not come across anything that I felt organised all the different ideas and literature better. I felt some of the discussion of non-scientific contributions (philosophy, sociology etc) was unduly flippant, but that was the only real weakness. I found Webb's eventual conclusion very plausible and well justified. Still (2013) well worth purchase if you are interested in issues around alien life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Sep 2014
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Very recommended to anyone who wonders if there is intelligent life in the Universe other than this planet.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! The best book I've ever read!, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (Kindle Edition)
This is the best book I've ever read. It details all the various theories on why we are not hearing Extra Terrestrial Civilizations past communications and why we are not visited by them (unless you are and idiot and think they are here already!) I have always believed that the probability of an ETC like us is very tiny, and so my theory is that there is a singular explanation for Fermi' 'Silence'....That is that the chance of intelligent technologically communicating life is close to zero so it could only ever happen once.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven solutions to Fermi's paradox, 12 Dec 2010
1. The aliens were here in the past. Unfortunately, the good people of Sodom had some pretty original ideas about hospitality, so the aliens left, never to return. They wrote about Earth in "The Hitch-hikers REAL Guide to the Galaxy", available all through the Milky Way, warning other aliens about our planet. It says: "Avoid that place like the plague on Rigel 3".

2. The aliens were here in the past. Their kids just loved the woolly mammoths. They still haven't gotten over that Palaeolithic killing spree of ours, so they won't be back any time soon. Cloning a woolly mammoth might do the trick, though.

3. The aliens are already here! However, they are body snatchers and shape shifters. They can't be distinguished from humans, not even under microscope. Their DNA is identical to ours, too. They have MELDED. "They" control the government. "They" control the media. "They" control FEMA. You get the drift. They also build subterranean tunnels under the Pacific to invade California with Hong Kong police officers. Only people with THE GIFT can recognize the aliens. Here are some sure signs: they are hook-nosed, have last names like Cohen and Dershowitz, speak English with a strangely foreign accent, and avoid beef sandwiches. YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, CITIZEN. I have personally seen ADL operatives shape shift into pink-colored reptilians, vaguely resembling the lizard whose scientific name is Lacerta agilis. They had those yellow triangles, too. THEY ARE HERE.

4. The aliens are already here! However, we can't see them because they are spiritual beings. They have reached a higher level of existence than ourselves. If you meditate like crazy every day for 15 years, and open up your Third, Fourth and Fifth Eyes, you will eventually see them. Taking acid or LSD might help, too. Or reading George Adamski's books. You will then see the aliens of the fourth globe on the sixth round, the third globe on the second round, and the sixth globe on the fifth round. You might even get a glimps of Paul the Venetian! This is ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE known only to REAL ADEPTS OF THE LIGHT.

5. We are the aliens. No kidding. But, you see, there was this galactic emperor named Xenu who had a penchant for ice cubes on top of volcanoes, and...

6. The aliens did exist once, but have all died. It's our fault. A cheeseburger accidentally got onboard a long-distance comet. I mean, how do you think that plague on Rigel 3 got started???

7. They aren't here - yet. You have no idea how long it takes to organize a million-alien invasion space fleet. Or the logistical problems involved. Not to mention those cheeseburgers. BUT THEY WILL ARRIVE ONE DAY, MR. FERMI.
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