The Eerie Silence by Paul Davies
Are We Alone in the Universe?

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One of the world’s leading scientists explains why—and how—the search for intelligent life beyond Earth should be expanded.

Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). After a half-century of scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. Physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies has been closely involved with SETI for three decades and chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we’re suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap—assuming that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In this provocative book Davies refocuses the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does.


About Paul Davies

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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.
Published April 2, 2010 by Mariner Books. 261 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Eerie Silence

The New York Times

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Paul Davies’s new book suggests that humans are looking for alien life in all the wrong places, and in all the wrong ways.

Apr 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alo...

The Guardian

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"I confess this seems to me a rather narrow vision of thrill-seeking," Davies writes ruefully, "but it may be that an Extraterrestrial Quantum Computer would rapidly exhaust all other possible experiences."

Apr 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alo...

The Guardian

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He thinks that the emergence of life on earth may have been a one-off fluke, that the rest of the universe may never have cleared this first hurdle, and that the emergence of intelligence is only to be expected once life is up and running.

Mar 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alo...

The Telegraph

If so, aliens might be trying to contact us and it would .

Apr 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alo...


Would science ever have emerged on Earth?’ asks Davies who argues that science which is taken for granted today as default, emerged due to societal factors (especially monotheistic religion) that existed in Europe.

Oct 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alo...

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