The Reason Why: The Miracle of Life on Earth Paperback – 5 Apr 2012
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A veteran science writer, Gribbin has published more than 100 books over the past four decades. The Reason Why exhibits the comprehensive research and lyrical writing that admirers of Gribbin have come to expect... [it] is an enormously readable book, and it will leave you with a lot to chew over. I heartily recommend it (Lewis Dartnell Times Higher Education)
A fascinating journey through space and time ... this book presents an exciting insight into the many fortuitous events and cosmic quirks that have all come together to make Earth such a life-friendly world (Science Focus)
About the Author
John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and Deep Simplicity. He is famous to his many fans for making complex ideas simple, and says that his aim in his writing - much of it done with his wife, Mary Gribbin - is to share with his readers his sense of wonder at the strangeness of the universe. John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.
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'The Reason Why' is an accessible and thought-provoking book explaining Earth's special place in our Galaxy. John Gribbin argues convincingly that the chance of any other technological civilization existing is very remote and we have to get used to the idea of being alone.
Gribbin's book is a brave and worthwhile attempt to show how phenomenally special our world is, and how precious a place we find ourselves the temporary guardians of. The ideas are up to date and woven into an elegant argument that appeals to general interest in a way that more technical offerings (such as Conway Morris - Life's Solution) never manage. It is relevant to all of mankind. Everyone should have to read it!
The only slight disappointment is the final couple of pages where, in explaining the possibilities of future cataclysmic cosmic events, a weary sense of pessimism about the inevitable future of our civilisation seems to creep in... Perhaps had John Gribbin read some Raymond Kurzweil before writing this he would have looked forward with barely contained enthusiasm at the potential future of a post-biological reliant civilisation, perpetuating sentience in vessels of exotic materials, carrying the codes for it's biology to seed an ever expanding web of self-awareness across the stars...
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