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Re: Fw: [NOVA] "Origins"

--- tholtz@geol.umd.edu wrote:

> > [sNIP]
> >> Are We Alone?
> >> Paleontologist Peter Ward says that as intelligent creatures, 
> we
> >> humans are probably not alone in the universe,  just very
> lonely.
> >>
> >     That sounds almost like a plug for Conway Morris's "Life's
> > Solution" book. I wonder if they tried getting him to appear ...
> >
> Actually, Ward and Conway Morris are pretty much diamterically
> opposed in
> their views on the evolution of intelligent life in the Universe.
> Compare
> the above mentioned book (which argues that intelligence, and
> indeed
> humanoid intelligence, is almost a predestined product of
> evolution) vs.
> Ward's "Rare Earths" (which argues that life is extremly contingent

    I don't particularly recognise the author. {Googlzons, or
Amazles, or something, much creaking of the Internet, ISBN:
0387952896, arrrgh, Amazon-itis, must put credit card away, Knoll's
first 3 billion, but I've got to get something for Dad's birthday too
    I was decidedly ... perturbed ... by SCM's book, not because I
swallowed it hook, line and sinker, but because I found it worrying
that such an obviously intelligent and informed observer could look
at the same universe as me and reach such radically different
conclusions. That he very obviously does know a *lot* about biology
and evolution makes his opinion worth listening to, in contrast to
the average knuckle-draggers trying to prove that a god must exist
because they're too thick to work out how their blood can clot on
their scraped knuckles. SCM's obviously trying to come to some
accomodation between his personal faith and the evidence of his eyes,
which is an interesting struggle to watch. More fun than pulling the
wings off flies, and since it's self-inflicted, much more ethically
justifiable as a spectator sport.
    Anyway, I'll see what Ward has to say for himself when I get back
onshore. Assuming the wife lets me live after getting Amazoned.

    What's really puzzling me now (consequent on one of those
horrible "spend more to save on postage" deals), is how on earth a
search from books by `Kenneth Carpenter` returned 
"6.     The Official "Godzilla" Compendium: A 40 Year Retrospective 
~J. D. Lees, et al
Random House USA Inc"
after several of the real Ken's books. Is the universes trying to
tell us something?

Aidan Karley,

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