February 26, 2008

Chutney Space Woo: India Daily Claims Distant Galaxy Engineered by Alien Civilization

Some things must be seen to be believed.

Four years ago, astronomers exploiting the phenomenon of gravitational lensing discovered the most distant galaxy ever observed, Abell 1835 IR1916. The galaxy is a located a bit more than 13 billion light years from earth, meaning that it had to have come into existing very early on in the cosmogonic process. It's interesting and, if you're particularly interested in such things, a bit exciting.

On the other hand, there appear to be some people claiming that the galaxy was literally engineered by some group of alien construction contractors. In fact, an editorial appearing in India Daily asserts that the whole of the Cosmic Renaissance is a product of such a feat of construction by a "Type IV civilization that created the big bang in their massive inter-universe particle colliders." It must be true, because unidentified "scientists" say so!

Signs of type IV extraterrestrial influence in Abell 1835 IR1916, a galaxy 13,230 million light-years away, merely 470 million years young from the time of big bang

t is the furthest galaxy on the record. The galaxy Abell 1835 IR1916 is located about 13,230 million light-years away. Hence, it is seen at a time when the Universe was merely 470 million years young, that is, barely 3 percent of its current age.

Scientists are finding extraterrestrial influence in this galaxy. It seems the galaxy was engineered and fit into place by artificial forces...

Some 13.7 billion years ago, after the big bang, the Universe plunged into darkness. Neither stars nor quasars had yet been formed which could illuminate the vast space. The Universe was a cold and opaque place. Some thing went wrong, according to some scientists. Intervention was needed by the Type IV civilization that created the big bang in their massive inter-universe particle colliders. The big bang created a black hole in the hyperspace – our universe with three spatial dimensions and a forward moving single time dimension. According to scientists this was the start of ‘dark ages’ that was eventually corrected through the intervention of the Type IV civilization.

The galaxy Abell 1835 IR1916 is part of the "Cosmic Renaissance" that was artificially engineered by the Type IV civilization.
Errrr... which scientists are saying that ET was going around building galaxies? We're not given so much as a single name here by which we could check this wild assertion. Nor are we told by what criteria these hypothetical scientists would make the claim that a galaxy was engineered in an "inter-universe particle collider." How would they know this? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and I can't think of a more extraordinary claim than one that insists that galaxies were engineered by spacemen... but there's no proof here, nor even an inkling as to where one might go to review the evidence leading to the claim.

Several passages in this editorial seem perilously close to an article published by the BBC on March 2, 2004, however, shortly after this distant galaxy was discovered. I remember having seen it because March 2 is my birthday, and it's not every day that news of such a discovery breaks on ones birthday. Luckily, I even had a bookmark for the old article saved and had no trouble finding it again. The title of the BBC article is somewhat less sensational, too, as one might expect:
Telescope probes far off galaxy

The VLT, which is sited in Chile, has pictured a small cluster of stars that are about 13.2 billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxy is being seen at a time when the Universe was just 470 million years old, which is barely 3% of its current age...

To make their observations, both teams used what is known as a "gravitational lens" - a massive foreground object that can bend and magnify the light of objects much further away...

Astronomers are now getting closer to what they term as the "Dark Ages", the time in the Universe's history when hydrogen and helium atoms had formed but had yet to come together to form the first stars.

Scientists want to see the "Cosmic Renaissance" - the time of first ignition - and the European team believes it has come very close...
Nowhere in the original story are there any scientists proposing that extraterrestrials engineering this or any other distant galaxies. The term "Dark Ages" has certainly been given a very different context in the new editorial, too. When the scientists who discovered the galaxy use the term, they're referring to a time period when hydrogen and helium atoms hadn't coalesced into masses great enough to begin the process of nuclear fusion. How one gets from that to a "black hole in hyperspace" is a bit of a mystery to me. Still, it's no less of a mystery than leaping from the scientific idea of "Cosmic Renaissance" as the moment at which fusion began due to a natural force like gravity to it being "artificially engineered by the Type IV civilization."

Isn't the universe interesting enough without having to invent woo-full science fictions plots as the India daily Technology Team has done in their bizarre editorial? Moreover, I have to wonder why they would decide to publish this four years after the discovery of the galaxy! Perhaps they were waiting for memories of legitimate articles regarding the discovery to fade before making up their Tales of Woo? Only they know for sure why they did it, but I know for sure that the people who discovered the galaxy haven't seen anything that made them think it's a product of alien intelligence.

If anyone knows what the India Daily Technology Team is in the habit of smoking before they write something like this, please pass that information along. I'd like to get some, too. Anything potent enough to produce visions of little green men with particle colliders producing entire galaxies to fill in hyperspace black holes has got to be terrific fun at parties!

Hyphal tip to Rebecca at Memoirs of a Skepchick for the heads-up on this hyperdimensional hilarity!

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