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The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution
Author: Charles S. Cockell
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I highly recommend the book The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution . While we don't have a clear understanding of what other types of life are possible, we can look at the empirical evidence of all the conditions on Earth where life has failed to succeed (temperature limits, water viscosity, etc) and the convergence of where it has, combined with fundamental constraints of elements in the period table, the universal laws of physics, the most common distributions of elements around stars, etc, to at least make reasonable claims that dramatically different forms of life, while not impossible, are much less likely than the forms we have here.
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