There's No Place Like Home? 

Not so fast, Dorothy! It looks as if Earth may not be so special after all. Second in a two-part series.

Page 6 of 6

The cutbacks won't affect some of the new projects expected to ramp up this fall, like the Automated Planet Finder at Lick and the largely privately funded Allen Telescope Array. But for Geoff Marcy, it's unbearable to have any projects sidelined on the cusp of such an era of discovery. "We have a chance to be the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria in a cosmic sense," he says. Okay, he concedes, Columbus didn't have to sail for the New World when he did; some other guy could have done it a hundred years later. Still, it breaks Marcy's heart not to have as many crafts as possible out there sailing the interstellar blue, looking for land.

"All I can say is that we humans began two million years ago on the East African savanna with sticks and stones, and miraculously, in a mere two million years, a blink of an eye on the geological timescale of things, we humans have developed computers and piano concertos and rocket ships and huge telescopes," he says. "In those two million years we all have asked ourselves, are there other Earths, are there other life forms out there, are we alone? We're the first ones to have a chance to answer this ancient human question. And we're blowing it."


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Feature

Author Archives

  • Thinking Outside the Cell

    For decades, the scientific establishment ignored Mina Bissell. Now her insights could revolutionize how cancer is understood and treated.
    • Dec 12, 2007
  • The Structure Is the Message

    What if cancer is triggered by changes outside the cell?
    • Dec 12, 2007
  • More»

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Holiday Guide 2016

A guide to this holiday season's gifts, outings, eats, and more.

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation