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Old 01-14-2009, 01:46 AM   #1
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Jeff Marcy

He's the one who discovered the first extrasolar planet and has discovered more than anyone else, an astronomer at Berkeley. He recently gave a talk to 10000 and here: http://www.oneplace.com/common/playe...CU&Show_ID=275


is a report by Dr. Ross. It begins at 38:37 and runs about 10 minutes.

I'm posting it because it's a report from Ross about what Marcy said concerning some topics that have come up on SMP, including the odds of life and advanced life in the universe including a comment about water and planets.

The bottom line is Marcy used to think there were likely billions of planets in the universe with advanced life, but now thinks there may be none - he's an atheist and Darwinian and still thinks life arose on earth easily, but has become very skeptical about other life in the universe.

Last edited by Zeno; 01-16-2009 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Restore link
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:54 AM   #2
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Re: Jeff Marcy

I don't think I can take him seriously if his estimation went from billions to zero in the last few decades.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:01 AM   #3
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Re: Jeff Marcy

I'm watching "The Universe" on the History Channel right now and that chap is prevalent in this particular episode.

Several times in the episode they mentioned that complex life might be a rareity in the universe(and gave reasons why). The episode should repeat later tonight if any of the night owls are interested.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:06 AM   #4
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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I don't think I can take him seriously if his estimation went from billions to zero in the last few decades.
I don't think he based his expectation on an estimate, more like Sagan-like hope - billions and billions and billions of stars there must be life out there. As reality sets in the probabilities change drastically. The great advances in science that show the fine-tuning needed for advanced life no doubt were a large factor.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:20 AM   #5
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Re: Jeff Marcy

The link is definitely and obviously a proselytizing site and posting the link is against forum rules from the introduction on and especially the questions and answers. Which anyone can tell by clicking on the link and listening. This is not appropriate for SMP and should be moved to RGT.

-Zeno

PS I will let the post stand but delete the link.

Last edited by Zeno; 01-14-2009 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #6
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Re: Jeff Marcy

Quote:
The link is definitely and obviously a proselytizing site and posting the link is against forum rules from the introduction on and especially the questions and answers. Which anyone can tell by clicking on the link and listening. This is not appropriate for SMP and should be moved to RGT.

-Zeno
See this is the problem I have with the forum split. There is too much overlap between science and religion. The number of planets capable of producing intelligent life is definetly a question of science, but it is also of importance in many religious discussions.

If these two forums are to be successful, you and madnak will have to let an awful lot fall through the cracks.

Zeno where does my thread about dating sex robots go? SMP or RGT? The conclusions are both scientific and about morality.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:26 AM   #7
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
The link is definitely and obviously a proselytizing site and posting the link is against forum rules from the introduction on and especially the questions and answers. Which anyone can tell by clicking on the link and listening. This is not appropriate for SMP and should be moved to RGT.

-Zeno
That may be my motive but the post is clearly scientific as it relies on the scientific observations of an atheist scientist and also addresses issues and questions raised by atheists on this forum. But please move it. As a matter of fact, I think I'll just wait for RGT because probably all my posts are motivated by my most fundamental beliefs - I just can't seem to help it.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:33 AM   #8
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Re: Jeff Marcy

I am continuing to listening to the link and it is well over 40 minutes and seems to be about a 2 hour question/answers for creation update radio.

Right now I'm listening about the book of Revelation and sons of God and new creations etc.

Bad form Notready. I'm disappointed.

-Zeno
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:36 AM   #9
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by NotReady View Post
That may be my motive but the post is clearly scientific as it relies on the scientific observations of an atheist scientist and also addresses issues and questions raised by atheists on this forum. But please move it. As a matter of fact, I think I'll just wait for RGT because probably all my posts are motivated by my most fundamental beliefs - I just can't seem to help it.
Ok, Notready. That is fine. We can move it and you can restore your link. Which is interesting and I like listening to it. But it is not appropriate for SMP.

-Zeno
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:44 AM   #10
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by NotReady View Post
I don't think he based his expectation on an estimate, more like Sagan-like hope - billions and billions and billions of stars there must be life out there. As reality sets in the probabilities change drastically. The great advances in science that show the fine-tuning needed for advanced life no doubt were a large factor.
Lol at reality setting in. We know no more about the formation of life than we did 50 years ago. This guys view happens to agree with yours, fine, but he is just some observational astronomer who spent decades looking at pictures of stars and watching for shadows (I think?). I don't think his opinion on this matters any more than mine.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:45 AM   #11
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
I am continuing to listening to the link and it is well over 40 minutes and seems to be about a 2 hour question/answers for creation update radio.

Right now I'm listening about the book of Revelation and sons of God and new creations etc.

Bad form Notready. I'm disappointed.

-Zeno
I said it was 10 minutes. But keep listening. Good discussion later on Boltzmann brains.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:51 AM   #12
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Lol at reality setting in. We know no more about the formation of life than we did 50 years ago. This guys view happens to agree with yours, fine, but he is just some observational astronomer who spent decades looking at pictures of stars and watching for shadows (I think?). I don't think his opinion on this matters any more than mine.
I think we know a whole lot more that Miller-Urey did, at least what can't have happened - not to mention how many parameters are necessary for US.

And I'm trying to remember the last thread you started in which you blew the horn of someone you disagreed with. Remind me.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:52 AM   #13
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Re: Jeff Marcy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Raker View Post
Lol at reality setting in. We know no more about the formation of life than we did 50 years ago. This guys view happens to agree with yours, fine, but he is just some observational astronomer who spent decades looking at pictures of stars and watching for shadows (I think?). I don't think his opinion on this matters any more than mine.
I don't think he really discovered the first exo planet. If I recall correctly Marcy spent years looking for them. Some Swedes found one and when Marcy's went back thru all his data, he realized he did indeed found a bunch too.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:54 AM   #14
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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I said it was 10 minutes. But keep listening. Good discussion later on Boltzmann brains.
Can someone PM the link? I want to watch it now but the link has been deleted.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:55 AM   #15
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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And I'm trying to remember the last thread you started in which you blew the horn of someone you disagreed with. Remind me.
I don't start threads when random unimportant people happen to agree with me

[I'm not saying that this thread shouldn't have been started, but I think we can agree that this guys opinion isn't worth a whole lot on this issue]
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:58 AM   #16
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by Max Raker View Post
[ I think we can agree that this guys opinion isn't worth a whole lot on this issue]
That's probably why he's considered the leading authority in exoplanets and is invited to give talks on it before 10000 professors and students.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:01 AM   #17
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by Stu Pidasso View Post
See this is the problem I have with the forum split. There is too much overlap between science and religion. The number of planets capable of producing intelligent life is definetly a question of science, but it is also of importance in many religious discussions.

If these two forums are to be successful, you and madnak will have to let an awful lot fall through the cracks.

Zeno where does my thread about dating sex robots go? SMP or RGT? The conclusions are both scientific and about morality.

That link had little to do with planets, only a few minutes of talk then off to bible land it went. It was obviously a sly attempt at slipping in proselytizing. Notready knew better.


Quote:
Zeno where does my thread about dating sex robots go?
In Other Topics would be my suggestion.


Quote:
There is too much overlap between science and religion.

Perhaps you should make that your first post in RGT.


-Zeno
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:04 AM   #18
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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That's probably why he's considered the leading authority in exoplanets and is invited to give talks on it before 10000 professors and students.
All he knows how to do is find planets from stars very close to the Earth. His methods favor planets that are not going to be suitable for life. He has also only found a handful of them. I would much rather listen to a biochemist talk about life on other planets. Nobody doubts that it is very, very unlikely that we'll discover a planet with intelligent life using the methods we have now.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:04 AM   #19
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by Max Raker View Post
I don't think I can take him seriously if his estimation went from billions to zero in the last few decades.
I'm surprised at you. I don't know what made him change his mind but if it was something along the lines of "I used to think that to have life we needed 500 things to be true each of which is a 99% shot. But now think they are 98% shots" that slight change would be more than enough to change an estimate from billions to zero.

I'll let Not Ready elaborate.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:05 AM   #20
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Can someone PM the link? I want to watch it now but the link has been deleted.
Stu, I'll PM the link to you.

-Zeno
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:11 AM   #21
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
I'm surprised at you. I don't know what made him change his mind but if it was something along the lines of "I used to think that to have life we needed 500 things to be true each of which is a 99% shot. But now think they are 98% shots" that slight change would be more than enough to change an estimate from billions to zero.

I'll let Not Ready elaborate.
Lol, I'm surprised at you. If you ever get a solution to a problem that is that unstable your solution is generally worthless. Especially in this field where the uncertainty of every component is huge.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:30 AM   #22
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
I'm surprised at you. I don't know what made him change his mind but if it was something along the lines of "I used to think that to have life we needed 500 things to be true each of which is a 99% shot. But now think they are 98% shots" that slight change would be more than enough to change an estimate from billions to zero.

I'll let Not Ready elaborate.
My impression from listening to a lot of RTB on why astronomers as opposed to biologists are beginning to doubt ETs is, that though we have only found planets relatively close to us, we know so much more about what requires the formation of planets and due to the uniformity that can be observed even to extreme distances, there is less and less reason to expect earth like planets - and much of it has to do with the unique properties of our sun, solar system, earth and moon. One comment Marcy made was on the very fine balance of water on earth - .02 percent of the earth's mass is water but water is the most prevalent molecule in the universe. And given what is required for the water cycle to work (techtonics, atmosphere, the moon-forming collision, etc.) on earth, that alone makes another planet like ours very unlikely. He also made a very interesting comment which I've thought about before - that so many organisms have existed for many millions of years, virtually unchanged, and show no signs of developing higher intelligence - dolphins, for instance. So I think he is changing his mind because of many different factors. He's not the only one who is, just he's fairly well known for being pro-ET and is a respected scientist who's done a 180 for non-religious reasons. I think Flew became a deist for much the same reasons, but he's just a high-falutin philosopher, so he doesn't count.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:04 AM   #23
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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One comment Marcy made was on the very fine balance of water on earth - .02 percent of the earth's mass is water but water is the most prevalent molecule in the universe.
Molecular hydrogen is the most prevalent molecule in the universe.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:17 AM   #24
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Molecular hydrogen is the most prevalent molecule in the universe.
Oh. Maybe water is 2nd.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:23 AM   #25
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Re: Jeff Marcy

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
I'm surprised at you. I don't know what made him change his mind but if it was something along the lines of "I used to think that to have life we needed 500 things to be true each of which is a 99% shot. But now think they are 98% shots" that slight change would be more than enough to change an estimate from billions to zero.

I'll let Not Ready elaborate.
Lol I hope you're kidding.

Try checking the math before making statements like the one above.
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