A physicist's attempt to reconnect science and theology on the controversial subject of extraterrestrial intelligence. Davies (Natural Philosophy/Univ. of Adelaide, Australia; The Mind of God, 1992, etc.) has written numerous works on religion and the nature of the universe. This time around he explores theories of physics that suggest that life elsewhere is possible. At the center of the argument is Davies's theory of organized complexity, which claims that the universe has an underlying order and that consciousness is one of its fundamental features. The author sometimes wanders into the arcane details of radio frequencies and the odds of finding a DNA molecule elsewhere in the universe. Davies is at his best when simply stating his own ideas. In the final pages he passionately argues that ""the most important upshot of the discovery of extraterrestrial life would be to restore to human beings some of the dignity of which science has robbed them [and to] give us cause to believe that we, in our humble way, are part of a larger, majestic process of cosmic self-knowledge.