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Fifth Miracle The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life

ISBN-10: 068486309X
ISBN-13: 9780684863092
Edition: 2000
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $3.94
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Description: ARE WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE? In his latest far-reaching book,The Fifth Miracle,internationally acclaimed physicist and writer Paul Davies confronts one of science's great outstanding mysteries -- the origin of life. Three and a half billion years  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 3/16/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

ARE WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE? In his latest far-reaching book,The Fifth Miracle,internationally acclaimed physicist and writer Paul Davies confronts one of science's great outstanding mysteries -- the origin of life. Three and a half billion years ago, Mars resembled Earth. It was warm and wet and could have supported primitive organisms. If life once existed on Mars, might it have originated there and traveled to Earth inside meteorites blasted into space by cosmic impacts? Davies builds on the latest scientific discoveries and theories to address the larger question: What, exactly, is life? Is it the inevitable by-product of physical laws, as many scientists maintain, or an almost miraculous accident? Are we alone in the universe, or will life emerge on all Earth-like planets? And if there is life elsewhere in the universe, is it preordained to evolve toward greater complexity and intelligence? On the answers to these deep questions hinges the ultimate purpose of mankind -- who we are and what our place might be in the unfolding drama of the cosmos.

Paul Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, writer and broadcaster. He received degrees in physics from University College, London. He was Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University, Sydney and has held previous academic appointments at the Universities of Cambridge, London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Adelaide. Most of his research has been in the area of quantum field theory in curved spacetime. Davies has also has written many books for the general reader in the fascinating fields of cosmology and physics. He is the author of over twenty-five books, including The Mind of God, Other Worlds, God and the New Physics, The Edge of Infinity, The Cosmic Blueprint, Are We Alone?, The Fifth Miracle, The Last Three Minutes, About Time, and How to Build a Time Machine. His awards include an Advance Australia Award for outstanding contributions to science, two Eureka Prizes, the 2001 Kelvin Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics, and the 2002 Faraday Prize by The Royal Society for Progress in religion. He also received the Templeton Prize for his contributions to the deeper implications of science. In April 1999 the asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies in his honour.

Preface
The Meaning of Life
Life's mysterious origin
What is life?
The life force and other discredited notions
The tale of the ancient molecule
Microbes and the search for Eden
Against the Tide
The degeneration principle
Where does biological information come from?
The entropy gap: gravity as the fountainhead of order
Out of the Slime
The tree of life
The three domains of life
The earliest rock fossils
Spontaneous generation
Re-creating the primordial soup
Chance and the origin of life
The Message in the Machine
Replicate, replicate!
Making a living
The genetic code
Getting the message
A code within the code?
The Chicken-and-Egg Paradox
RNA first
RNA last
Self-organization: something for nothing?
The Cosmic Connection
The stardust in your eyes
Cosmic chemistry
Genesis from space
Impact
The Sisyphus effect
Superbugs
Some like it hot
Life in the underworld
Ascent from Hades
Let them eat rock
The rest is history
Mars: Red and Dead?
A bad place for a vacation
Flood
The Martian greenhouse
Was there life on Mars?
Is there still life on Mars?
Meteorites from Mars
Traces of life?
Killer plague from the red planet!
Panspermia
Survival in space
Did life come to Earth in a meteorite?
Did Earthlife come from Mars?
Did Earthlife go to Mars?
A Bio-Friendly Universe?
Did life ever begin?
Are the laws of nature rigged in favor of life?
Is it Darwinism all the way down?
A ladder of progress?
Is mind predestined?
Notes
Index

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