© 2006

Intelligent Life in the Universe

Principles and Requirements Behind Its Emergence


Part of the Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics book series (ASTROBIO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Planets

  3. Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-115
    2. Pages 149-199
  4. Intelligence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Pages 221-253
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 279-310

About this book


This book addresses the possible origins, development and fate of intelligent life in the universe. The author presents a wide-ranging analysis of the type of knowldege that can be inferred about extraterrestial intelligent societies from our own biological, cultural and scientific evolution, and from the likely future of mankind. Providing extensive background information from astronomy, geology, chemistry and biology, the book will appeal to both the scientist and the general reader.

In this second edition of Peter Ulmschneider's successful and highly interesting book the author is putting even stronger emphasis on the geological conditions and consequences of life's conquest of land as the pre-condition for the emergence of life with our type of technical intelligence.


Galaxy Star astrobiology bioastronomy evolution exobiology extraterrestrial extraterrestrial life intelligent life life on Earth origins of life the origin

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische AstrophysikUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"[...] A more detailed and well-referenced approach is Intelligent Life in the Universe by Peter Ulmschneider. He concentrates on planet formation and the characteristics needed for the development of life, the timetable of evolution, and the effects on our planet and others of life becoming intelligent. A lecturer could build an intriguing general science module around this book." (New Scientist, March 22, 2003)

"New in this book is the argument that, by thinking carefully about the future development of mankind, one can gain insight into the nature of extraterrestrial civilizations. [...] An interesting book for what concerns the scientific chapters, and also the speculative part will definitely interest a great number of readers." (Physicalia, 25/4, 2003)

"It is hardly surprising that the area of astrobiology already has two mainstream journals and a steady series of textbooks ranging from introductory to highly specialist. It is to this latter genre, pleasingly situated in the mid-range of technical but understandable, that we welcome Peter Ulmschneider's intelligent and succinct contribution. [...] Whether or not one shares Ulmschneider's optimistic view of our future and place in the cosmic realm, he is to be congratulated both on producing an excellent synthesis but also touching on potential philosophial and ethic points which may well assume a degree of urgency sooner than any of us expected." (Simon Conway Morris, Geological Magazine 2005, 142, page 135-136)

"The book addresses the reader through three main topics: planets, life, and intelligence. … In conclusion, ‘Intelligent life in the Universe’ is a nice monographic presentation of the cosmic vision of life. Certainly the book is a pleasant reading not only for scientists but also for a broad audience of non specialised readers." (Società Italiana di Fisica, Vol. 28C (1), 2005)

From the reviews of the second edition:

"This edition updates the field with the addition of an entire section devoted to Earth, in which the author discusses plate tectonics and continental formation, and expanded sections on the conquest of land by plants and animals. The material has been updated to include new work on astronomical exploration, and rearranged to accommodate the expansions. The new edition is worth adding to any collection … . Summing Up: Recommended. All levels." (P. R. Douville, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (10), June, 2007)