The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos

Hanover Square: Harlequin. Apr. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781335463548. $32.99. SCI
Science journalist Green (series editor, Best American Science and Nature Writing) ponders the age-old question of wondering if Earthlings are alone. She answers it by drawing from the current scientific studies on the search for extraterrestrial life, as well as from the recent discoveries of exoplanets, or planets beyond the solar system. The author explores the elements necessary for life on other planets and for that life to evolve into sentient beings with the ability to communicate and develop technologically. Green intersperses ideas from popular science fiction with findings from the fields of astrobiology, cosmology, philosophy, and the history of science. From television shows and movies (Star Trek; Arrival) to books such as Carl Sagan’s Contact, she shows how these works have inspired people to search for other life-forms.
VERDICT While many books have been written about the search for extraterrestrial life, Green’s blend of scientific facts and science fiction reveals a sense of joy and wonder beyond the usual science-based cosmological studies or speculative fiction about aliens and UFOs. Ultimately, Green’s work reflects upon the nature of life and what it means to be human.
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