Sagan vs. Seeds Essay

The author of our textbook Foundations of Astronomy, Michael A. Seeds, has his own opinion and style of writing. Seeds uses a lot of evidence and other peoples work to show his arguments and his opinions. He uses a unique style that captures the audience’s attention. “Might life exist in other solar systems? To consider this question, you need to consider how common planets are and what conditions a planet must fulfill for life to originate and evolve to intelligence. The first question is astronomical; the second is biological,” (Seeds 664).

This is an example of his style of presentation how he makes you as the reader answer questions and form your own opinion of what you believe is true. This is also the objective of his presentation. I believe that he wants you to form your own hypothesis and own theory from evidence he finds. The author of Cosmos, Carl Sagan, uses his own style of writing as well. He talks a lot about the possibility of life on other planets and asks many questions. “All my life I have wondered about the possibility of life elsewhere.

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What would it be like? Of what would it be made of? All living things on our planet are constructed of organic molecules complex microscopic architectures in which the carbon atom plays a central role. There was once a time before life, when the earth was barren and utterly desolate. Our world is now overflowing with life. How did it come about? ” (Sagan 13). Sagan does this a lot and I believe that his audience is meant for the older type of people. Younger persons can’t understand his complex style of writing and the questions he uses.

Is extraterrestrial life, if it exists, based on the same organic molecules as life on Earth? Do the beings of other worlds look much like life on Earth? Or are they stunningly different other adaptations to other environments? What else is possible? ” (Sagan 13). Seeds draws many conclusions in each of the sections of Chapter 26. He concludes that life between stars is almost impossible. “Practically speaking, roaming among the stars is tremendously difficult because of three limitations: distance, speed, and fuel. ” (Seeds 666). The distance between the stars is so great it’s hard to imagine.

Even if you could travel the speed of light it would take around 40 years to reach the nearest star. And if you were to travel a great distance and a great speed you would need so much fuel for just the trip there. Another conclusion Seeds draws is that since travel between stars is nearly impossible that the way we should communicate to other civilizations is through radio communication. He talks about how we’ve been sending out TV and FM signals to space for the last 50 years and that any civilization inside of 50 light-years will have received our signals and probably detected Earth.

He also concludes that a normal conversation would be nearly impossible because if you send a message 10 light-years away you would have to wait 20 years for a reply. (Seeds 667). Sagan draws many conclusions as well. One of the most interesting things he says is “There may be a million worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy alone that at this moment are inhabited by beings who are very different from us, and far more advanced. Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is coordinated and used. (Sagan 224).

This shows how he draws conclusions from everything. He also concludes that the possibility of finding beings very similar to us is near zero but the possibility of finding intelligence is not close to zero. When I read both of the authors arguments I am more convinced by Seeds. He uses better arguments with his writing and I think that it’s an easier style to read then Sagans. He uses a more direct way of writing and it easier to find the information because it’s divided into sections since it’s a textbook.

Sagans book is much harder to understand and its much more mixed up in terms of where the similar information is. Both authors deal with the Drake equation but I like Seeds way of explaining it better. Once again it’s easier to find in the book and it’s more to the point. It’s easier to understand the way he explains it and it’s more to the point. The Drake equation depends on the life of a technological society because if life on a planet cannot last long enough for them to become advanced enough or last long enough for us to make contact with them then we will never discover them.

Seeds says that if a society lasts 100 years it’s much less likely for us to communicate with them then a society that survives for a longer time. So the more stars that live longer the more planets with a greater chance that a society will last longer and that gives us a greater chance for us to communicate with one of them. I believe that our society will last as long as it can until the sun expands too much and swallows our planet or dies out and we freeze to death. If that’s not what happens that I believe that it’s possible that we could end up having a nuclear war sometime and kill ourselves.

Sagan says that it is out of the question that we could kill ourselves tomorrow (Sagan 250). I believe that there is life out there somewhere. I think that there is most likely life somewhere else in our galaxy and there has to be life outside of our galaxy. I believe that there is technically capable life out there. There has to be life out there besides us because there are so many stars with planets in our galaxy alone and there are so many more galaxies that there is no way that we can be alone in this huge enormous universe.

I think that if there is life out there that we will make contact with them. At least I hope that we do because that would let us all know that we’re not alone. I think that if and when we do make contact with another civilization that it probably won’t be in my lifetime. And I think that it will be through radio communication because travel as of right now is out of the question and radio communication would be the easiest because it travels throughout space.


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