The Possibility of Life is wonderful, and I am so happy I found it. Jaime Green’s writing is lovely and she seamlessly transitions between astronomy, biology, linguistics, and science fiction, and somehow weaving it all together into what alien life might be like, and how the idea of alien life helps shape our understanding of life here on Earth, the only life that we know exists. Perhaps the only intelligent life that exists anywhere.
The book takes seriously the search for extraterrestrial life, particularly extraterrestrial intelligence, and tries to grapple with what it would mean to find life on other worlds. Could we recognize non-terrestrial life? Could we recognize intelligence if we saw it? If we recognized intelligence, could we communicate with those intelligent beings? What would life on other worlds look like? Does finding life on other worlds matter when we seem to be incapable of living peacefully and sustainably on this world?
Thought-provoking and beautifully written. A joy.