☆ Astrobiology: A Brief Introduction ✓ Download by ✓ Kevin W. Plaxco Fascinating read spanning physics, astrophysics, chemistry, micro biology, climates, geology, biology and evolution The best examination of the components of the Drake equation I ve ever read.
A bit heavy on the scientific details for readers without a scientific background.
This was heavy going in places My chemistry stopped at the age of 15, and I was never any good at it anyway However, the authors recognise that the organic and biological chemistry that underpins much of life is indeed complex, and they make it as simple as possible for the reader like me.
The astrophysics and the atomic physics were easier for me to get on with but of course, that s just me it may be that other people have different specialties.
Overall, though, the authors provide a comprehensive look at the field, in a depth which went way beyond the Coursera MOOC that I took recently, and it s a book which will repay reading again to extract out of it all that I missed or skipped past the first time.
Be warned, though this is not easy reading Don t buy this if you re looking for a glib look at UFOs or alien abductions or anything these are not the subjects of the book But if you a Emphasizing The Biochemical Nature Of Astrobiology, This Book Examines The Origin Of The Chemical Elements, The Events Behind The Developments That Made Our Universe Habitable, And The Ongoing Sustenance Of Life It Also Explores Life In Extreme Habitats, Potential Extraterrestrial Habitats, And The Search For Extraterrestrial Life This book was one of many suggested readings for a course I am taking in Astrobiology through corserea.
I have found one thing about these suggested readings they are loaded with information Here is the problem with a multitude of information, trying to absorb it all There is another problem with many of the suggested readings for courses most are written to offer the reader the most information in within a few hundred pages They are loaded with footnotes and additional suggested reading a person could read themselves into oblivion just following the suggested readings The other problem seems to be presentation I have found that some books are much difficult to digest than others by this I mean most research books make the reader think of being in a lecture, the lectures given by those who have made this their This is the Textbook that I chose for my Molecules of Astrobiology topics course that I will be teaching in Spring of 2015 I chose this book because I felt that it would be accessible to most Biology and Chemistry students Since my course will be of a Molecular Biology Biochemistry course, this book offers an introduction to the field that does not require a degree in Astronomy or Physics While I wouldn t suggest it to the casual reader, it would be a goodread for the armchair scientist.
I started on this several months ago Then it fell by the wayside I loved the early chapters about the Big Bang, the origin of the Universe, the formation of our Solar System Suns exploding, gas giants swirling, a planet smacking into Earth and hacking off a chunk that would become our Moon Yeah I found the book dry on occasion, but it kept my interest overall I found it fairly accessible, but I struggled with some of the material In particular, the figures and tables could have been clearer.
That s all I can remember I ll take a look at it again sometime But I m interested in the Beginner s Guide by Dartnell.
This was suggested reading for an Astrobiology course I recently had I found this text very easy to follow with my class work and found additional information that wasn t covered from the course I liked the simplicity of this text and it generated some interest in the area of extremophiles I look forward to learning about them, esp for an upcoming course on exoplanets.
Very chemistry heavy Interesting, but not light reading I recommend it for those who are interested in the chemistry of life, possible scientific explanation of the origin of life, biological geology, early paleontology, comparative planetary science Not for everyone, but I know for having read it.
Professor Plaxco was a guest speaker in my Origins class today and he gave an absolutely compelling lecture on astrobiology Sure it was, y know, a little on the blue side to hear about the near infinitesimal chances of finding other lifeforms in the universe, in addition to the nightmarish thought of self replicating nanomachines that may will someday destroy us and take over the planet But it was still awesome.
This book contains a fair amount of information However, I feel that the author held back on particular details of things, because it just seems to be missing something that feeling is not from a lack of understanding on my behalf.