SETI: Run by charlatans or fools?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Dinosaur, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From my Post #169:
    In Post #180, ss Watters questioned the validity of the above. To support my POV, my Post #193 provided the following:
    In Post &197, Russ Watters posted the following:
    The above indicates that you have little understanding of mathematics (& perhaps not much relating to physics).

    Wattage is irrelevant to a discussion of directional error. Wattage & the sensitivity of the receivers does not matter if the signal misses the receivers. 1/3600 of a degree was an assumed error in direction. Making assumptions for use in a mathematical analysis is common practice. Idoubt that you understood the calculations I provided. Perhpas you understood & knew you could not dispute them.

    : Russ mentioned the Aricebo message, which seems like another SETI-like experiment. From Wikipedia:
    Aside from questioning his knowledge of Mathematics & Physics, I wonder if Russ actually reads or understands the citations he provides. Note that the Aricebo folks admitted it was merely a test display of their their equipment rather than an attmept at interstellar communication.
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Any broadcast of any description undertaken by SETI folk is an attempt at interstellar communication.

    The title of this thread is no more than an emotional reaction by someone with some sort of axe or agenda to grind.
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  5. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Insulting me doesn't make you look any better. You have no idea who I am or what my qualifications are. But you are certainly demonstrating yours. Indeed, dropping any attempt to argue scientifically and resorting to pure hostility is often a sign of recognition that one's position is flawed.
    Agreed, so only a total idiot would send a signal that would miss the intended target. Thus, you have to consider what pointing accuracy and beam diameter you need and can produce. Then you have to see if that gets you what you need in terms of power density. You've professed to try the first part and say it can't be done, but it can. We can produce a signal with nearly any beam diameter we want.

    In this case, we have information from SETI about their beam width - there is no need to assume it. So you tell me: Will the Aricebo message hit its target?
    Sure. And they always need justification.
    Putting it in bold doesn't make it true. Honestly, lashing out like this I'm not sure you really understand what you are trying to prove - you're just trying to cover your retreat with aggression. The bottom line is: If the beam diameter is 1 arcminute, then 1 arcsecond pointing accuracy isn't required.

    You haven't made a relevant calculation: you simply assumed it isn't possible so you decided you don't need to do it. It's nonsense.

    So here's a test: using the information I provided, calculate the beam diameter of the Aricebo message.
    I was open about it being just a demonstration: but it was indeed a demonstration that what you claim is impossible is actually possible. Be careful down this road you are on: you are about to inadvertently argue that SETI should set up a permanent beacon.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It is quite relevant since antenna gain is proportional to narrowness of beam. If you want a very high gain antenna (transmitter or receiver) it is going to be very directional; if you can live with less gain it can have a wider pattern.

    Again it's quite relevant. Antenna beam patterns have maxima and minima; you will almost never be right at a maxima. Thus you have to figure out how much you are off by, how much the signal has dropped off, and whether the remaining gain, amplifier noise floors and detectors are sufficient to receive a signal.
  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Russ: Provide the data & I will try some calculations.
    I do not want to take the time to search for it.

    BTW: You seem to be the expert on wattage calculations. Perhaps you can do those calculations.

    Are you aware that you have accused the Aricebo folks of being idiots.
    The Aricebo folks state that their signal was merely a test demonstration of their equipment & that the signal would miss its target.
  9. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    [sigh - Why am I having to spoon-feed you this?] In post #180, I quoted this:
    You should be able to calculate the width of the beam from the two wattage numbers provided.
    One thing at a time: First you must recognize that the wattage calculations actually matter and that your claimed aiming problem was completely bogus.
    Uh, no, you are the one who started this thread and are continuously accusing them of either being idiots or liars, without thinking-through what they are doing and you are the one who claimed their signal would miss their intended target. Only an idiot assumes scientists are idiots and not being one, I intended that statement to prompt you to find another explanation. Ie: since they are not idiots, they didn't send a signal that would miss their target (or, rather as you claimed, couldn't possibly hit it).

    But clearly, you already do think they are idiots, since that is how you read my statement. Not only is that incredibly arrogant of you, it is idiotic for you to assume you are smarter than a bunch of phds.

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