Astrobiology is an exciting new subject, and one, arguably, more interdisciplinary than any other. Astrobiologists seek to understand the origin and evolution of life on Earth in order to illuminate and guide the search for life on other planets. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the subject through our understanding of the factors that allowed life to arise and persist on our own planet, and for the signs we are looking for in the search for extraterrestrial life.
About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Although this is a very short introduction, it is very comprehensive. The subject is introduced and pursued with a workman-like manner, getting down to the essentials directly. * The Skeptic, Norman Hansen *
1: What is astrobiology?
2: From stardust to planets, the abodes for life
4: From slime to sublime
5: Life: a genome's way of making more and fitter genomes
6: Life in the solar system
7: Far-off worlds, distant suns
8: Controversies and prospects