Life and Language Beyond Earth
by Raymond Hickey
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Pub Date 14 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 23 Aug 2023
Have you ever wondered whether we are alone in the universe, or if life forms on other planets might exist? If they do exist, how might their languages have evolved? Could we ever understand them, and indeed learn to communicate with them? This highly original, thought-provoking book takes us on a fascinating journey over billions of years, from the formation of galaxies and solar systems, to the appearance of planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars, and then to how biology and, ultimately, human life arose on our own planet. It delves into how our brains and our language developed, in order to explore the likelihood of communication beyond Earth and whether it would evolve along similar lines. In the process, fascinating insights from the fields of astronomy, evolutionary biology, palaeoanthropology, neuroscience and linguistics are uncovered, shedding new light on life as we know it on Earth, and beyond.
‘Raymond Hickey offers fascinating surveys of two very different fields: astronomy and linguistics. But his book is specially valuable and farsighted because these two topics may some day be linked: rapid advances in exobiology lead optimists to conjecture that extraterrestrials could be discovered this century.’ Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal