December 21, 2007

Thoughts On The Destructive Black Hole Galaxy

I'm not an astrophysicist, I'm just a layman. Astronomy theory makes my head hurt, so pardon my simplistic interpretation of the news that a bully black hole is blasting a nearby galaxy.

I tend to accept all real evidence. From there, I usually compose, in my mind, the simplest theory to explain the evidence, as long as it has nothing to do with accepting something supernatural happened. This is how my mind rationalizes things. I'll also note that I've yet to run across any event or piece of evidence that needed a supernatural explanation since becoming a full fledged atheist. My simplistic understanding of science covers all the bases.
Now this Islamic Jihad-like black hole which is wreaking havoc on an innocent neighbour, for no real valid ethical or moral reason, has opened the door to my imagination.

I'm a very strong believer that life exists on countless other planets and were most likely formed the way life was formed on earth. Of course, there has to be many earth like planets, and it is highly probable that life evolved on them much like it evolved here. Given the laws of science that make our universe work (I do believe in other universes, most failed universes, that have physical laws the same or similar to ours), and looking at the intelligent life forms on our planet, I'm pretty confident that most intelligent life forms have anything from four to eight limbs, a head, eyes, and ears, as well as a respiratory system, and yes, a brain.
That being said, I doubt very much we are alone in our own Milky Way Galaxy, and the Galaxy being attacked, most probably has, or until this recent attack that started 1 million years ago or so, had intelligent, self aware life.

One thing that I haven't quite figured out is light year stuff. I've read that this homicidal black hole is located over 1 billion light years away from us. Does this mean that the devastation is happening now, or did it happen 1 billion years ago? That makes a difference because it might limit how much life evolved in the attacked galaxy. I'm going to assume we are talking real time for the rest of this post.
Think about it. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of earth like planets in that attacked galaxy. What are they thinking? Many of the planets probably have life forms intelligent enough to realize what is happening (their scientific communities), but what about their general populations?

I have to add, I'm also a strong advocate in the belief that susceptibility to believe in a higher power, or the supernatural, evolved in any self aware intelligent beings ancestral past. There is a point when the being has evolved to become self aware and understands the idea of mortality, but doesn't have the scientific understanding to explain many every day things. For our ancestors, I like using the example of lightning. In order to stay sane and live to procreate, these unscientific self aware beings need to invent a reason for unexplainable events, of course, this goes hand in hand with the evolution of our imagination, something that is evident when it comes to man and the strides we made when it came to invention and innovation. Note: I got a lot of these ideas reading the God Part Of The Brain. I recommend the book strongly, though I don't agree with the author when it comes to his over emphasis on the specialness of humans.

Back to the galaxy that is being clobbered with death rays. I have a strong feeling that most of the intelligent beings on an earth like planet are freaking out right now if they are still alive, or they at least freaked out for as long as they could breathe once they found out what was happening. It must have terrible. Kind of like what would happen here on earth if something doesn't get us before the Sun burns out. How will those doomed humans handle things? By then, the idea of God will be deader than dead despite our evolutionary susceptibilities. Most likely a large Exodus would abandon Earth by then.

The earth-like planets in Galaxy 3C321 are probably full of Fundamentalists, who are blaming the destruction on God's vengeance. Maybe they have too many gays, or too many atheists. God is very angry. Lets say they have TV's and newspapers. Debates are going on with the Fundies pleading to everyone to come to God so he might stop his wrath, or more probably stating "The End Is Near," while the Secularists are telling them to "shut up already, if you didn't waste the resources of so many beings who bought into your crap (the possibly smarter ones who were brainwashed to deny science), we might have figured out a way to get the hell out of this galaxy by now."
I still can't get away from another analogy. If this was happening to us right now, the Palestinians would still be lobbing bombs into Israel from Gaza.


  1. If this Galaxy is 1 billion lightyears away, then the events happened 1 billion years ago. Doesn't really matter though, the earth has been cooled enough to support life for billions of years and there's no reason to think that it was among the first wave of earth-type planets to form in the universe.

  2. Hey BEAJ,
    I'm pretty sure that 1 billion light years means that it happened 1 billion years ago and we are just now receiving the "images" of it.


    I like your post though, I've always wondered what would humans do if that happened.

  3. Thanks for the clarification. Intuitively that is what I thought, but the last time I set foot in a physics class was 28 years ago, I think. Holy crap, where did time go? I remember actually feeling like slashing my physics teachers tires for not teaching what was on the exam. It was the only time I had that urge. He really didn't teach what was on the exam. It was grade 12 or 13 Physics and the test was done by two classes that were being taught side by side by two different teachers. The other side aced the test, and our side got clobbered.
    I didn't wind up slashing his tires after all.

  4. Hi BEAJ:

    Three quick points: when an earthly observer observes an object that is x million light years away it really means what we're seeing was happening x million years ago. Get yourself an amateur telescope and you've got yourself a time machine! Even when you look at the sun you see it as it was 8 minutes ago, because that's how long it takes to travel to us.

    Considering the inter-galactic distances, inter-galactic warfare by means of gamma ray beams would require serious foresight on the part of the aggressor! Inter-galactic distances are the main reason why we're unlikely to ever meet aliens and the strongest argument that UFOs are mostly simply unexplained phenomena (plus a lot of baloney a la Roswell) but no ETs...

    As regards intelligent life in our own galaxy (the Milky Way), that's largely been discarded by the SETI project: we would have received radio transmissions from within the Milky Way by now if intelligent life existed so "close" [cough!] to us. But life in the larger Universe? Almost certainly...

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. The subject brought out a side of you, because of the mystery, making for good writing.

    Another Palestine/Israel situation, on another galaxy, is a steak through the heart of a utopian planet far away.

    OT: See this.

  6. All SETI has proven is that there is no intelligent life that has beamed strong signals skyward any more often than we have. (Once. Look it up.) Our usual radio trash wouldn't beam "I love Lucy" reruns to Proxima Centauri without serious degradation.

    What you are seeing happened 1 billion years ago, but there's no reason to assume it isn't still happening. There is no theory on how to get rid of a black hole once you have one, so far as I know.

    I don't quite get the black hole/Israel-Palestine parallel. I've never heard either side in that conflict say, "You never call me!" or anything even close to that.

  7. Merry Christmas, BEAJ!!