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Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 423–425 | Cite as

Milan M. Ćirković: The Great Silence: The Science and Philosophy of Fermi’s Paradox

Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, United Kingdom, 2018, (ISBN 9780199646302) USD 32.95, 432 pages
  • Jason T. WrightEmail author
BOOK REVIEW

Milan Ćirković wants you to take the Fermi Paradox more seriously. In his latest book, The Great Silence: The Science and Philosophy of Fermi’s Paradox, he argues it is in fact “one of the deepest, subtlest, and most persistent challenges in the history of science” (to quote just one superlative-filled passage).

Ćirković brings an encyclopedic familiarity of the professional and popular literature and history of the Fermi Paradox, including important contributions from science fiction. This makes for an undoubtedly scholarly work: its final quarter (over 100 pages!) is entirely devoted to extensive endnotes, impressively up-to-date references, and a (disappointingly incomplete) index.

Ćirković also brings a wide background to the discussion, using a broad range of artistic and popular references to illustrate points (reaching from Lovecraft to Dilbert, from Resnais to xkcd). The prose is alternatingly dense (befitting a thorough philosophical critique of the work to date), and...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Center for Exoplanets and Habitable WorldsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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