Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional�and What That Means for Life in the Universe

Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional�and What That Means for Life in the Universe - David Waltham It's not possible to like science books and not like this book. He's a geologist and not an expert on a lot of the topics he's explaining and therefore explains the topics better than an expert. He'll tell you about the expansion of the universe, the moon, the solar system, rotation of the earth around the sun and its axis, "canals" on Mars, historical climate, global warming and geological oddities about the earth.

He approaches all of his statements as a scientist should, and if he says something that is not on firm foundation, he lets the reader know.

The author thinks the specialness of intelligence on earth is a much rarer event than most other scientist think. He shows this by looking at the problem in three ways: criticizing the principal of mediocrity, embracing anthropomorphic logic, and showing how we know earth's climate has been incredibly stable for the last 500 million years and has been remarkably stable sense life started about 3 billion years ago and how that is not probable in the observable universe.

The author mostly rejects the Gaia hypothesis and would embrace a 'psuedo-Gaia" hypothesis. He argues that it takes things to be just right for the emergent property of Gaia to have happened and due to a host of very special "Lucky" happenstance they did happen here on earth.

My only real complaint about the book is that he could have written a book twice as long because he has enough more material to work with than what he presented. Regardless, even if you don't believe the intelligent live on earth is very hard to replicate in the rest of the observable universe he explains different areas of science so that anyone can learn from this book and enjoy.