Welcome to KIWIreviews - product reviews
•  click here to return to the homepage  •
Welcome visitor.Join us or log in

Product reviews on kiwireviews.nz : Wednesday 8th July 2020 - 16:26:11

QuickSearch for:    What is QuickSearch?
QuickJump to:    What is QuickJump?
logon name: p/w:  
I want to:

You Are Here...

Home > Categories > Books > Non-Fiction > Beginners Guide - Life in the Universe review

« Ultra II SD Plus Card - 1gb reviewUltra II SD Plus Card - 1gbHeadset with Mic - Deluxe reviewHeadset with Mic - Deluxe »

Score: 9.3/10  [1 review]
4 out of 5
ProdID: 1513 - Beginners Guide - Life in the Universe
Written by Lewis Dartnell

Beginners Guide - Life in the Universe
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Bookwise Intl

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been supplied to KIWIreviews by the company for the purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
May 2007

Beginners Guide - Life in the Universe product reviews

The study of life and it's existence in the universe, known as astrobiology, is one of the hottest areas of scientific research today.

Dartnell discusses the latest theories on what 'life' is, and where in the universe it might be found, and introduces some of the most extreme lifeforms on Earth - those thriving in boiling acid or huddled around deep-sea volcanoes.

Taking us on a sweeping tour of the solar system and beyond, he reveals our profound connection to the cosmos, and considers one of the most pressing questions facing scientists today: "Is there anything out there?"

Check out Bookwise Intl onlineClick here to see all the listings for Bookwise Intl Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account They do not have a Facebook page They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel

Other listings you may be interested in:
Beginners Guide - EnergyBeginners Guide - Energy
Rating: 8.5
Beginners Guide - Quantum PhysicsBeginners Guide - Quantum Physics
Rating: 9.5
A Brief History of TimeA Brief History of Time
Rating: 8.8
The Troy Game 3: Darkwitch RisingThe Troy Game 3: Darkwitch Rising
Rating: 9.8
Freak Street - Time MachinesFreak Street - Time Machines
Rating: 9.8
Lotus Lane 1: Kiki - My Stylish LifeLotus Lane 1: Kiki - My Stylish Life
Rating: 9.5
Wearable WondersWearable Wonders
Rating: 10.0
Thea Stilton - Mouseford Academy - Drama at MousefordThea Stilton - Mouseford Academy - Drama at Mouseford
Rating: 8.8
You and Me, Together Board BookYou and Me, Together Board Book
Rating: 9.8
The Eternal CityThe Eternal City
Rating: 9.3
Exploring Nature's Pattern MagicExploring Nature's Pattern Magic
Rating: 10.0
Nga Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o MatarikiNga Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki
Rating: 9.8
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War Special Edition Junior NovelisationMarvel's Captain America: Civil War Special Edition Junior Novelisation
Rating: 8.8
Rating: 9.5

Product reviews...

Everyone is welcome to post a review. You will need to Join up or log in to post yours.

Click here to read the profile of tucker

Review by: tucker (Karl)
Dated: 13th of August, 2007

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.3/10
Value for Money:
Score 8 out of 10
Interesting Facts:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 9 out of 10

Now if you have any interest in extra-solar life at all, to any degree, you've probably seen movies such as 'Alien', 'Contact' or even the classic 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', where we are a spacefaring race and stumble across something that likes to eat us, or we get a message from deep space to build a machine, or they little BEMs drop in for a spot of tea and an afternoon of recreational human-probing... it's unlikely any of those will happen within the foreseeable future... except maybe the last one...

But for those of us who love to explore the universe with a probe that never need refueling, course adjustments, or armour-plating - the human mind - this book is about as close to 'mission-critical equipment' as we're likely to get in our lifetimes.

The book starts with a detailed, and some might say somewhat long-winded, explaination of the many potential definitions of 'Life' and where the grey line is between 'self-sustaining chemical reactions' and 'lifeform' is currently being drawn. After that comes a chapter on Earth's most wierd creepy-crawlies, the Extremeophiles. These are living creatures who live their days in environments no human could stand for more than a few seconds, if even that, without seriously determined fashionware, such as ceramic thermal shells or deep-sea submersibles.

Then comes the really hard stuff... a 45-page dissertation of the solar and galactic habitable zones, why they are, how big they are, and why they vary. If your brain has made it this far without leaking out your ears, you are then presented with a 30-page rendition of the earliest history of Earth known to modern theorists. It raises the very interesting point that there has been plenty of time for many waves of life to have evolved on this ball of rock, but all traces of which would have long since been swept down into the Dante'esque depths of the molten mantle by contintal drift and subduction, where it is put through the most efficient recycling system on earth, never to be seen or analysed by us hairless primates.

I personally found this to be a really mind-blowing revelation. Sure, it's hinted at in such TV shows as the "Stargate" series, and in some rather dated Sci-Fi stories such as 'Molt Brother' by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, but never have I seen it presented in such a serious and detailed manner.

After "Earth's pre-human history 101" comes the exploration of some of the other potential life-zones within our local space, such as Mars, which has 21 pages dedicated to just itself, and then a further 14 pages on the rest of the solar system. Considering some of the life-forms posited by authors such as Iain M. Banks in his book The Algebraist, or David Brin's astounding 'Sundiver' from his 'Uplift War' saga... I was hoping for some serious scientific opinions. Not a 14-page flick-thru.

Then we take a step further out, exploring possible life-bearing worlds orbitting other stars, and methods by which we could possibly detect them from back here on ol' Terra Firma. This in itself was quite an intriguing 24 pages, but again, I was hoping for more depth in these areas. Kind of glad Lewis didn't go there thou, as my brain was seriously starting to ache from the overload by the end of the book, when he makes his Synthesis and Conclusion. That's the side effect of trying to cram all this serious-sci into one lump of cognitive grey matter in only 2 days. -whew-

Overall, though I had some trouble getting into this book at the start, and some disappointments throughout, I still felt it was an excellent read, well worth slapping into the reference library for when you need some in-depth stuff for a school paper, doctorate work, or something to blow the brains at the office parties. Wink Icon But seriously, this is NOT for younger readers, unless they make Dougie Hauser look like an escapee from The Beverley Hillbillies. It's full-on, but still accessible for the Average Joe, as long as he is ready to take it slow and cross-reference anything that's a bit too heavy. Even though I am quite comfortable with this level of scientific literature, I found it very helpful to Google the occassional point or two, just to make sure I had a solid handle on it before I moved on.

Guest comments...

Random listing from 'Books'...

Score: 9.8
Product reviews for listing 5437: Birthdays for the Dead -  Written by Stuart MacBride

Product image for Birthdays for the DeadThe gritty new standalone crime novel from the No. 1 best-selling author of Shatter the Bones and Dark Blood.

Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret! Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: home-made, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front -- Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse ... more...

Go to the listing

General Disclaimer...

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Do not copy content from this page. Creative Commons Licence All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."

KIWIreviews Help GuideClick here for the Help Guide Subscribe to our Twitter streamVisit our
Twitter feed
Visit our Facebook pageVisit our
Facebook page
Visit our YouTube ChannelVisit our
YouTube channel
Follow us on instagramVisit our
Instagram album
Visit our Google+ pageVisit our
Google+ page
Visit our Flickr photostreamVisit our
Flickr photostream