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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse What Does a Martian Look Like?
by Dr. Jack Cohen and Dr. Ian Stewart for applying the
principles of evolution, biology, chemistry and physics
to show us what alien life might actually be like.

What Does a Martian Look Like?
The Science of Extraterrestrial Life
By Dr. Jack Cohen and Dr. Ian Stewart

What Does a Martian Look Like? (2002) - 369 pages
What Does a Martian Look Like? at Amazon.com

Since H. G. Well's War of the Worlds startled Victorian sensibilities with the outlandish notion of an invasion from Mars, we have become increasingly obsessed with the possibility of extraterrestrial life. From Klingons to Ewoks to giant blobs of goo, we have imagined space aliens in every conceivable form. But if aliens do exist (and they probably do), what do they really look like? Would we recognize alien life if we saw it? Given the rules that science has devised for life on earth, can we predict how evolution might proceed in environments quite different from our comfortable air-and-water world?

In What Does a Martian Look Like?, two respected scientists and authors combine real science with the creations of the world's most inventive science fiction writers to imagine how life may have evolved elsewhere in the universe. They show that the universe is not populated with countless variations on the humanoid form or horrifying creatures drawn from your worst nightmares. Instead, the demonstrate how universal principles of life might produce amazingly diverse outcomes when applied to different environments.

You'll learn the difference between astrobiology and xenoscience, find out how scientists model alien ecosystems, and discover the real trouble with tribbles. You may be disappointed that some of your favorite fantasy aliens are dismissed as scientifically impossible, but they are replaced with a galaxy of fascinating creatures, including Cain and Abel, the mentally adroit millipede and sentient spray of mist whose explorations of earth introduce the theme for each chapter.

You'll also find lively and enlightening discussions of the life forms and environments created by celebrated science fiction authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Harry Harrison, Hal Clement, Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick, and many more. Using the work of these and other renowned authors as points of departure, you'll take off for the stars and discover the vast opportunities for alien life that actually exist throughout the universe.

Whether you're a die-hard science fiction fan or a skeptical scientist, What Does a Martian Look Like? will challenge your preconceptions and open your eyes to the real possibilities for extraterrestrial life.

Dr. Jack Cohen is an internationally known reproductive biologist and the coauthor , with Ian Stewart, of The Collapse of Chaos and Figments of Reality.

Dr. Ian Stewart, professor of mathematics at Warwick University in the United Kingdom. Among his sixty published books are The Magical Maze and Life's Other Secret, both from Wiley.

4-18-16 Will we know extraterrestrial life when we see it?
Will we know extraterrestrial life when we see it?
Recognizing life on other worlds requires wiggle room in the definition of what it means to be alive. A Martian microbe, envisioned by planetary geologist Kathie Thomas-Keprta, would need a tough outer wall to withstand the elements and magnetic crystals to help it navigate. But recognizing life on different worlds isn’t likely to be this simple, especially if the recipe for life elsewhere doesn’t use familiar ingredients. There may even be things alive on Earth that have been overlooked because they don’t fit standard definitions of life, some scientists suspect. Astrobiologists need some ground rules — with some built-in wiggle room — for when they can confidently declare, “It’s alive!”

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What Does a Martian Look Like?
The Science of Extraterrestrial Life
By Dr. Jack Cohen and Dr. Ian Stewart

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse What Does a Martian Look Like?
by Dr. Jack Cohen and Dr. Ian Stewart for applying the
principles of evolution, biology, chemistry and physics
to show us what alien life might actually be like.